Solution overview

Our Solution

SKILL-UP

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Tagline

SKILL-UP helps users become more employable while on-the-go via their phone or tablet!

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Pitch us on your solution

  • 1. Humans will need to RESKILL and UPSKILL so they are prepared for the new job roles that automation will create. Many companies will not pay to re-train their current workforce and the education system has failed at preparing students for future roles.
  • 2. SKILL-UP users complete a short skills assessment that creates a personal learning path for each user. Users learn via lessons, articles, and videos. Companies are able to monitor your progress and contact you about opportunities based on your development.
  • 3.  SKILL-UP will help change lives because our users will gain new skills via our app that will make them more employable and also connect them to potential employers based on their progress and development.
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Film your elevator pitch

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What is the problem you are solving?

What is the scale of the problem in the communities you are working in?

A. Reskilling workers due to automation will cost approximately $34 billion. 

B. There will be 1.4 million displaced workers due to robotization

C. 18% of those displaced are not reskillable

D. 133 million NEW roles will be created

Stats courtesy of Axios and McKinney Global Institute

What are the contributing factors to the problem that relate to your solution?

A. Technology is growing at a rapid pace and changing when, where and why we work. Companies have to invest funds into the school system to help ensure that the students they are teaching are learning the skills they need to prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Len Rosen in his article, Education and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, stated that, "education is failing to prepare young people for their working future, young people need to develop right-brain skills (creativity) just as much as left-brain (mathematics and technical) to adapt to the emerging economy, employers need to take charge of training employees, providing full-time rather than part-time positions, and provide them with adaptive skills in the face of disruptive change."

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Who are you serving?

1. How are you working with them to understand their needs and participate in the solution?

I am addressing this issue currently in 2 different ways to help bring awareness to the issues that SKILL-UP will address. First, I host a live Youth Leadership Academy and a Critical Thinking Workshop that focuses on improving soft skills for teens and young adults. The skills we focus on are Creative Problem Solving, Analytical Thinking, Leadership, Collaboration, Communication, and Social & Emotional Intelligence.  

Also, iMar Learning Solutions is developing a mobile financial literacy application called, PLAN-IT. PLAN-IT teaches users how to grow their financial knowledge via engaging videos, lessons, and articles. PLAN-IT also has a built-in budgeting tool that helps users learn and apply what they are learning in real time.

2.  How will the solution address their needs?

SKILL-UP will help me to reach more users and help more users become more employable. Also, I will partner with companies that are in need of skilled workers and are in search of 'diamonds in the rough' that has the potential to grow into the employee they need. 

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What is your solution?

What is SKILL-UP?

SKILL-UP App’s goal is to close the job skills gap that has been created due to automation and robotization.

SKILL-UP users complete a diagnostic assessment that creates a personalized learning path for each user based on their technical and soft skills strengths and areas of opportunity for growth.

•The SKILL-UP app will also partner with small and large corporations to post job skills training on the app.

Our partners will have the ability to monitor user growth based on their app usage and create a pool of potential employees.

Our technology is still in concept mode. Visit the link below to view a DEMO of our vision for the SKILL-UP app:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQnIxV17qgU

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Select only the most relevant.

  • Increase opportunities for people - especially those traditionally left behind and most marginalized – to access digital and 21st century skills, meet employer demands, and access the jobs of today and tomorrow
  • Upskill, reskill, or retrain workers in the industries most affected by technological transformations
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Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Van Alstyne, TX, USA
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Our solution's stage of development:

Prototype

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More about your solution

Describe what makes your solution innovative.

SKILL-UP's ability to create a personalized learning experience for our users is what separates us from our competition. Our job skills assessment helps users discover what are their strengths and they can choose to make them stronger or they can focus on their weaknesses and focus on becoming more well rounded.

Our vision to partner with large and small corporations also separates us from our competition. This is a very important aspect of SKILL-UP because our corporate partners will be able to create training materials for our users and if they are able to grasp the content they will earn points. As a user progresses and learns then companies will be able to see who are the top candidates that have the potential to become their next employee.

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Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?

The World Economic Forum states in the article "Towards a Reskilling Revolution: Industry-Led Action for the Future of Work”, finds that it will be possible to transition 95% of at-risk workers into positions that have similar skills and higher wages. The cost of this reskilling operation would be approximately $34 billion.

The outlook is positive, but the way that this will be accomplished is important to understand because we can't just sit back and HOPE that everything will work itself out. 

SKILL-UP is a solution that doesn't require hope, just like the participants of my Youth Leadership Academy aren't just sitting by and hoping they will acquire the Top 10 Skills that Employees Want in 2020, we are learning and developing those skills now. 

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Select the key characteristics of the population your solution serves.

  • Women & Girls
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Elderly
  • Rural Residents
  • Urban Residents
  • Very Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Minorities/Previously Excluded Populations
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • United States
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • United States
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How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?

1. The current number of people you’re serving-0

2. The number you’ll be serving in one year-5,000

3. The number you’ll be serving in five years-10,000,000 

Being that my technology is still in 'concept' mode I don't have any users. But, I expect to grow vastly after I develop my MVP and test my technology. Once we hit the market and form our corporate partnerships we will grow at a very fast pace. 

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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

Many companies are seeking to partner with companies that are mission driven and these are the companies that I want to work with. Check out The Muse's list of the Top 20 Mission Driven Companies.

1. Year One-I will begin by first completing "Customer Discovery" surveys based on Giff Constables, Talking to Humans. This is an important aspect of my plan because it will ensure that I am building the right technology for the right users. I will also begin development in year one and begin forming corporate partnerships. 

2. Year Two-I will test the app in various markets, and also test my marketing plan and begin to grow my user base.

3. Year Three-Five-Years 3-5 will be our years to scale and grow our partnerships globally. In year 1 and 2 we proved that our product is capable to grow globally. We will create global corporate partnerships and continue to grow and expand. 

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

Barriers:

1. Financial Barrier-I am a former school teacher with a dream of creating a 'world changing' technology application. 

2. Technical-I have limited technical experience.

3. Legal-I currently don't have a legal team in place.

4. Cultural-This will become an issue in Years 3-5 as we grow globally. 

5. Market Barriers-It will be difficult to enter different markets

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How are you planning to overcome these barriers?

Barriers:

1. Financial Barrier-I am a former school teacher with a dream of creating a 'world changing' technology application. I have limited access to business capital and time. Winning the 'Solve Competition' would help give me time and capital to build my technology and give me the time to do so.

2. Technical-I have previously worked with KiwiTech's development team. I would partner with them again to help with this new project. The main barrier here is that they are based in India and I am in the U.S.

3. Legal-I will need to hire a legal team as I partner with corporations to ensure that we are protected legally. 

4. Cultural-This will become an issue in Years 3-5 as we grow globally. I will assemble a diverse team that is aware of different cultural norms to help solve this problem.

5. Market Barriers-It will be difficult to enter different markets, but my corporate partnerships will help with this. For example, if a person is turned down for a job, the company can suggest that the person begin to use our app and improve their skills and they will be contacted if they develop into the employee that the company needs If not, the user will gain valuable skills from the app to help them gain employment somewhere else. 

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Select one.

  • I am planning to expand my solution to one or more of ServiceNow’s primary markets
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If you selected “I am planning to expand my solution to one or more of ServiceNow’s primary markets,” please provide an overview of your expansion plans. What is the market opportunity for your business or product here?

Our initial focus will be on the areas that are most effected by the lack of job skills. These areas are: 

1. Customer Service

2. Finance

3. Health Care

4. Retail

5. Transportation

Sources: US News and Datafloq

These are markets that will feel the affect the fastest and be hit the hardest. These are also the markets that will be more likely to adopt our technology because they will be in the most need for skilled workers. 

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About your team

Select an option below:

For-Profit

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If you selected Other for the organization question, please explain here.

N/A

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How many people work on your solution team?

1. Derrick Wesley-Founder

2. Chris Hannabeck-Advisor

3. Bill Glover-Advisor


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For how many years have you been working on your solution?

2

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Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?

I am a former educator that knows and understands the importance of educating others to prepare them for future success. I am the owner of iMar Learning Solutions and our mission is to close the critical thinking and financial literacy gap that exists in our society today. I am fulfilling my mission through my Youth Leadership Academy and also via PLAN-IT our financial literacy mobile application.

iMar Learning Solutions in the News:

A. PLAN-IT wins TD Ameritrade Innovation Quest

B. Derrick Wesley Nominated for ASCE Entrepreneur of the Year

C. PLAN-IT Pitched at WIRE Demo Day

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With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?

I have currently partnered with The Michael Finley Foundation to host and pilot our financial literacy application. 

I have also partnered with AACAL High school in Amarillo, TX to and My Place Hotel chain. 

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Your business model & funding

What is your business model?

The SKILL-UP application will use the PAYMIUM Model. The appstore.com explains the Paymium Model as a model that, “users pay to download your app and have the option to buy additional features, content, or services through in-app purchases if they want to engage more deeply.” and also, “in managing your app’s lifecycle, the paymium model offers the possibility of lowering the app’s download price while using in-app purchases for ongoing monetization.” 

SKILL-UP will generate revenue by users downloading the application and purchasing additional features, and by selling advertisement slots to our partners and also through paid subscriptions.

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What is your path to financial sustainability?

I will fund my work by first winning the Solve Competition and this will help me to conduct my 'customer discovery' and also begin development based on feedback.

Next, I will seek investment from joining in a business accelerator program to help me boost my time to scaling.

After, I have a proven model that has traction and customers I will seek more outside funding with investors that believe in my mission.

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Partnership potential

Why are you applying to the Digital Workforce Challenge?

Winning the prize will help me to overcome the financial barrier and at the least help me to begin development. I will integrate SKILL-UP into my current technology, PLAN-IT to help make it a more robust app that helps with job skills and financial education.

Also, I look forward to the mentorship that I will receive from winning and having someone by my side as we grow our technology.

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What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?

  • Business model
  • Distribution
  • Funding & revenue model
  • Legal
  • Monitoring & evaluation
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If you selected Other, please explain here.

N/A

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With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?

1. Kohls

2. Boeing

3. Intel

4. American Express

5. Fidelity

6. AIG

7. Twitter

8. Facebook

9. Dell

10. Citi

These would be GREAT companies to partner with to help create training programs for the users that need their company the most. 

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Solution Team

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