Bad lecturers drove this entrepreneur to launch his own online learning business

Dan Brand graduated from uni 12 weeks ago, but not before the poor quality of some of his lecturers drove him to launch a rapidly growing business for which he has just locked in an angel investor.


Frustrated with a couple of his lecturers’ inability to clearly communicate the technical details of his engineering studies, Brand often found himself searching for YouTube videos of young people explaining the same issues.


As he progressed further in his studies, explainer videos of niche content became harder to find. So he rigged a webcam up in his bedroom, made over 200 explainer videos and SpoonFeedMe was born.


The offering now includes over 2500 videos on technical topics in 35 courses at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, including engineering, maths, science, commerce and psychology subjects.


Brand told StartupSmart almost 2000 people were using the service, with about 60% as subscription members. Students receive ten free videos for each course, with between 30 to 50 available for paying clients.


“We created lots of simple, five to 10 minute videos with everything you need to know and no bullshit. It’s peer to peer, so you understand exactly what’s being said,” he says.


Brand uses a series of freelance designers, developers and marketing people, as well as video presenters to grow the business.


He’s recently brought on his first angel investor, signing the investment agreement the day after filing his civil engineering thesis at the University of Sydney.


While Brand wouldn’t disclose the investment amount, the funds have gone towards building a better website and expanding the course offering as SpoonFeedMe begins to scale across the country.


“Marketing is the most difficult part of this. I’m quite passionate about it, but convincing others and getting the word out there is hard. There’s good early traction but scaling that is hard,” Brand says.


The focus for the coming months will be scaling the offering across Australia and then the wider world. He adds they intend to leverage user generated content as many courses are similar.


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