Updated, July 27, 1:49 p.m.: The company says its moved its launch to August 16.
If you’re wondering how to scale a company fast, take a look at the trajectory of Skillshare, a New York-based startup intent on creating a market for educational classes in major cities across the country and globe.
The company, which began gaining public attention in April, is opening its service to Philadelphia as soon as August 16, organizers say.
Skillshare allows anyone to create a class or enroll in someone else’s, essentially creating a DIY education marketplace on a local level. The company suggests that its classes could be a potential business channel for companies or freelancers, and could be a revenue stream in and of itself. In New York, where the site has already launched, the site recommends that teachers set an average admission price of $25.
The classes could be a boon for local tech education, but it’s perhaps the company’s nimble scaling with seemingly modest publicly-known investment which make it more interesting to entrepreneurs.
One of Skillshare’s local coordinators, Brendan Lowry — who’s been working with the project since June and has been helping to fiercely run the company’s Philly Twitter campaign— says the company is currently relying on word of mouth and grassroots marketing. It’s clear from the chatter that it’s staying heavy on the social media and good ‘ole fashioned in-person meetings.
Skillshare’s is a labor intensive marketing push that clearly is backed by operational interest in Philly (as well as 50 other U.S. and international cities) and, of course, financial investment. The company raised a round of angel funding in May to the tune of $550,000, according to TechCrunch. But that figure seems low considering the company’s aggressive, simultaneous push to additional markets, like San Francisco.
It’s moving fast. And it’s clever: though Philly is not yet “unlocked,” like 50 other cities that are listed as possible locations for the Skillshare service, you are encouraged by the site to get involved: “Unlock Philadelphia & Become a City Founder,” a page encourages the reader. Trust us: it’s already here.
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