To keep their employees happy, companies are taking more of an active role in professional development and training.
Learn27 is an e-learning startup for the enterprise. Instead of targeting students and consumers like the majority of education technology, or “ed-tech,” companies (Coursera, Course Hero, Udemy, and so on), it’s targeting businesses that already spend vast sums on employee education, with the intent of serving as a better way to for large companies to inform their extensive workforce about new products and services.
Currently in beta, Learn27 is the newest product from Redmond, Wash.-based Social27, an events management service that launched in 2007. Parent company Social27 has pulled in $750,000 in funding, and it has some high-profile customers, including Microsoft and Dell. The founders, brothers Ike and Bally Singh, tell me that some of these large-scale companies are already signed up to use the new product.
The Singhs Learn27’s cofounders, relocated to the U.S. from India and worked at Microsoft for seven years before branching out to form their own company.
“[We] came upon the realization in 2007 that most enterprise apps will need to have social features built in to be effective and relevant,” Bally told me.
On Learn27, any organization can create a virtual learning center and offer relevant professional courses. Employees, partners, and customers can collaborate on courses and training sessions and upload text-based information or instructional videos. On the website, companies can also provide feedback and regular tests for their employees.
Similarly to companies like Badgeville, Learn27 employs basic gamification techniques like badges and points to keep employees motivated.
“Some of the elements of gamification around learning seem forced,” said Jason Krikorian, a General Partner at DCM. “The motivation is learning, it doesn’t need more around it.”
According to the founders, the major benefit for customers is that they will save time and money. This is a similar pitch that their competitors, such as Saba, Skillsoft, and Cornerstone OnDemand, make in the learning management systems (LMS) sector. Learn 27 also competes with established HR software providers SuccessFactors, acquired by SAP, and Oracle-owned Taleo, which have an LMS component.
Furthermore, it makes online education a more social experience.
“Learning online is usually in isolation, sitting at desk, with talking head in front of you,” said Bally. “But human beings have been learning in a collaborative fashion for centuries. We are taking e-learning from islotion to collaboration.”
Interested to learn more? Check out the video to learn more about how it works!
Learn27 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.