Business

LFE gathers experts so we can all learn from hands-on experience

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LFE wants you to learn from experience. The roots of the company’s initials are in these words, and its goal is to enable experts to share their knowledge with the rest of the world.

The company is the brainchild of Zeev Glozman, the chief executive of LFE who started it in January. The popularity of search engines and video-sharing sites like YouTube suggests that the world has a voracious appetite for learning. LFE’s goal is to create software and a web site that makes learning easy and rewarding. The company made the announcement at the DEMO conference today.

“I think this is kind of one of the things that makes the Internet so interesting. You don’t need to be a university or a celebrity to have information that’s really valuable.” said Jason Krikorian, partner at DCM at the DEMO Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. “The big question for me would be around customer acquisition.”

LFE is one of a number of sites like Khan Academy and Coursera in the blooming field of social online education. But it differs in that the emphasis is less on academics and more on people who do hands-on work — with their hands or bodies — like carpenters or plumbers.  It will enable experts, or “authors,” to create courses and get paid for their work. LFE walks experts through the process of creating a course and uploading it to the site. The software does not require expertise in Internet usage, marketing, or Google analytics.

Users, known as “learners,” can find courses directly on the site or through an affiliate’s web site. They can also connect remotely via mobile platforms and smart cards. LFE tries to keep everything simple.

“We are passionate to solve this problem because it will change lives in a very large way, across all cultural barriers around the world,” said Mark Messersmith, a spokesman for the company. “There are so many people who would love to share their expertise but either don’t know where to start or are tired of sharing their expertise without getting paid. LFE.com solves both of these problems.”

He added, “Now, hard-working people will be able to make money wherever they are located and in parallel, those who want to learn and have struggled to find quality, step-by-step high-quality educational content, will have found a home. This is very exciting for us. In fact, when we talk internally about how to define success, we always say helping our authors make money so they can better take care of their families as our goal.”

The company has raised about $500,000 in seed money from friends and colleagues. LFE plans on seeking a new round of funding in early 2013. In the meantime, LFE plans a big marketing push and it will create an affiliate relationship program with key industry players. The company has four employees.

LFE is one of 75 companies and 6 student “alpha” startups chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.


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