Solution Overview

Solution name:

Mentorclass

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One-line solution summary:

Learn from top professionals what their career means and how you can get there.

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Which Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Scalable Innovations for Blended Learning: How can evidence-based blended learning solutions be scaled in low-resource contexts?
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Pitch your solution.

How did you choose what to study? ...work? ...have as a hobby? 

In a world of constant noise, high school students follow their parents’ or friends’ opinion for what to study and work, and never lead a life of their own ...discover their passions ...or dream. 

What if you could get expert stories at your fingertips?

What is it like to be a top-notch dentist? How do I create a cocoa brand? What’s the day-to-day of a Marketing Manager? How much can I make as a Mechanical Engineer? 

MentorClass gives an authentic, professional and insightful experience to everyone who’s eager to learn more about a profession. 

Our business model is to partner with universities to promote their degrees, we sell to companies to promote their job opportunities on our platform, and we sell extended learning courses to continuous learners. This profitable segment of the education lifecycle then funds the reach and content to younger audiences.

Lastly, we provide educational content suitable for each context - not just western white-collar jobs. 





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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Sofia, Bulgaria
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Our solution's stage of development:

Prototype
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Is this a new solution, an existing solution, or an adaptation of an existing solution?

New solution
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How does your solution incorporate research?

We're committed to conducting 100 semi-structured interviews with children aged 12-18 on their learning outcomes at school and at home. We're then going to code and analyze the interviews using the Gioia method and publish a paper on the 'State of Youth education challenges and desired outcomes'.

Each of our courses will address the education 'pain points' identified in the paper.

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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Martin Voynikov

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More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

The youth education curriculum has been stuck for the past decades. Only recently institutions have placed focus on evidence-based learning. Mentorclass not only uses this modern approach to curricula but also bridges the gap between educational outcomes and real-life professions.

What's more, our online platform has the potential to reach hundreds of millions of children around the world. 

The modern community that we'll build will enable us to e.g. connect 16-year-olds excited about Brand Management from across the globe. The long-tail implications that we'll see are more global entrepreneurship from young individuals carrying the values of the modern-day and respecting the challenges our world faces. But this is not it.

Mentorclass's aim is to elevate the real-life knowledge of children from all backgrounds with the decades-long wisdom of our top-notch professionals. The soft skills and domain-specific knowledge that our mentors extensively teach over the course of 6 weeks are not accessible anywhere online at the moment.

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What is your theory of change?

The outcomes we expect are:

- High-school students will choose better-suited university programs.
We will measure this via CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) on Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3 of the Bachelor's degree lifecycle of both university-enrolled Mentorclass students and a control group. Moreover, we will measure the drop-out rates of Mentorclass students in their university programs versus a control group.

- University graduates will choose better-suited careers. 
We will once again measure this via CSAT on Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3 of the professional life of both Mentorclass students and a control group.

- More young entrepreneurs
When someone finds their passion, they often find gaps in what is existing in the world and come up with innovative ways to solve novel challenges. We will measure this with the % of Mentorclass students that start a (social) business in their 5-years after taking a course.

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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Rural
  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Bulgaria
  • Switzerland
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In which countries do you plan to be operating within the next year?

  • Bulgaria
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Nigeria
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
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What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Mentorclass's mission is to boost the educational outcomes for children aged 8-12 since this is the most critical period in which children develop long-lasting habits and interests.

Our 5-year plan is to develop educational videos that will teach the much-needed soft skills and values needed for this century. Some include: growth mindset, empathy, perseverance, gratitude, empathy - all in the context of modern global and workplace challenges.

Our approach here will once again be evidence-based, where we will develop surveys on those values and soft skills and estimate the videos' effectiveness based on the responses of Mentorclass students and a control group. Since the surveys can be self-fulfilling in nature (asking for answers just on what is thought in the videos), we will collaborate with the extensive school network of the Jacobs Foundation and aim to establish a global standard such as the PISA test, but for soft skills and values.

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What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

Market barrier
The education market for for-profit social ventures is characterized in 4 key sub-markets based on a person's lifecycle. The first is the pre-K through K-4 years. This is where there's no significant existing market for digital solutions and the go-to-market strategy is to go directly to parents. Second, is K-5 to K-7 and this is where Mentorclass's mission lays. This market is even more charactirerized by a lack of significant existing consumer or institutional resources deployed in digital solutions. The go-to-market is through schools/online DTC (Direct To Consumer)/or once again through parents. The third segment is K-8 through K-12, where the go-to-market is DTC, but consumers do not have budgets on hand. So in order to finance our penetrations of these last two segments, we will tackle the biggest one, worth around $5 billion today - the continuos learners (aged 18-70). Here, the go-to-market is enterprises.

Financial barrier
In order to build the technology platform, we will need approx. $500,000 dollars.

Operational barrier

We have to find enough top-notch professionals from all industries and backgrounds. This will be the biggest hurdle in scaling from prototype to a world-wide solution over the next 5 years.

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How do you plan to overcome these barriers?

Market barrier
So in order to finance our penetrations of these last two segments, we will tackle the biggest one, worth around $5 billion today - the continuos learners (aged 18-70). Here, the go-to-market is enterprises.

Financial barrier
Compete in global education competitions to win, or raise the funds through a foundation or impact investment vehicle.

Operational barrier
Use personal relationships to recruit the first 100 mentors, then use the extended network to recruit the next 900, and so on.

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Solution Team

 
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