One-line solution summary:
Retraining + Placement in analytics and data science for older workers (50+)
Pitch your solution.
With automation and AI-driven solutions, older workers are challenged to find their next careers and are increasingly replaced by younger workers or machines. With Covid-19-related layoffs and furloughs, older workers, especially women are significantly impacted. Just a 3-month gap in unemployment makes it twice as hard to find the next employment.
Qu.Academy's Second Chances is a boot-camp styled practical learning program in data science and analytics geared towards older workers(40+) who are recently laid off or furloughed. We provide older workers a continuous and focused training program as a part of severance package or as a learning opportunity when older workers apply for Unemployment benefits helping them retool and regear towards their next job in areas like Data science and analytics. By enabling older workers to reskill strategically, Second Chances collapses unemployment period and creates opportunities for older workers to reenter the workforce with new skills.
Film your elevator pitch.
What specific problem are you solving?
Many workers who are above the age of 40 find it difficult to get new employment if they are involuntarily laid off. With automation and AI, exacerbated with Covid-19, many find that they don’t have the skills and training that are in demand. Taking time off for formal education is hard with parental and family responsibilities. With the stress of losing a job and with few focused leads, many find themselves in a place they have never been before losing critical time in finding a new position. Current unemployment assistance programs provides relief but don’t provide enough focused direction to help unemployed people get back on their feet in a timely manner.
What is your solution?
Qu.Academy's Second Chances provides a focused education and practical training program preparing participants for the jobs of tomorrow. We focus on
Different courses that focus on educating unemployed professionals on a variety of subjects that will help them retool and regear themselves.
A platform that allows professionals to educate themselves at their own time and pace
Teaching subjects that are thought to be difficult or impossible without formal college offerings.
Practical training to build a portfolio of projects to showcase skills.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
People in their 40s and 50s, particularly women are vulnerable when they lose jobs involuntarily. Just a 3-month gap in unemployment makes it twice as hard to find the next employment. Second chances provides an actionable program that collapses the unemployment period through:
1. Focused training
3. Actionable learning and a platform to showcase skills
We have been offering scholarships through our "Analytics for a cause" program and many people who have benefited from those scholarships are people who wouldn't have formally enrolled if there wasn't a community and an offering geared towards that demographic. We plan to expand the offering with more focused programs, skill-based learning and pathways to their next careers through the Second Chances program.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?Increase access to high-quality, affordable learning, skill-building, and training opportunities for those entering the workforce, transitioning between jobs, or facing unemployment
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge and your selected dimension.
As someone in the 40+ demographic,I can empathize the learning needs of people in my age group. I have various friends who have reached out to me to enroll in the programs we offer. Many question if it's too late to learn. Many have family obligations and at a stage of their careers where there are few choices. Many silently suffer with rejection and deal with depression and dejection alone without having a community and support. Second Chances provides the opportunity to get back to a career gearing up for the opportunities of the 21st century.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Boston, MA, USA
In which US state(s) will you be operating within the next year?
What is your solution’s stage of development?Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community
Who is the team lead for your solution?
Sri Krishnamurthy, CEO
How many people work on your solution team?
Currently, our team has 3-full time and 2-part-time staff. We plan to expand it to Full-time - 4-6, Part-time - 10-20 in 2021
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization?
Our team prides on diversity.
Sri, the founder is an Indian-American entrepreneur.
Emma is from Thailand
Ziyu and Runyi are from China and Ritvik is from India.
We have all attended schools in Massachusetts and have experienced how Covid-19 has impacted local economies and has been particularly devastating to students. We offered scholarships to 50+ students this year through PRMIA https://www.linkedin.com/pulse... and through the "Analytics for a cause" initiative that allows unemployed professionals and students to attend QuantUniversity's paid workshops to attend these workshops for free or subsidized costs
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new application of an existing technology
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
Many online-learning programs have a 90%drop out rate. By proactively engaging the learner and customizing the learning to the learner’s learning goals, Second chances engage learners to work with their own “digital coach” to accomplish their learning goals. Second Chances personalizes an actionable learning path through a digital twin that monitors learning progress and motivates the learner to ensure that the learner sticks to the learning plan.Our AI-based analytics and review intelligently intervenes in customizing learning and in engaging learners in a timely and proactive manner.
Many traditional programs like Udacity, Coursera exist supplementing traditional universities, etc. But most are not specific to older demographics and don't customize content to address the learning needs of older populations.
Describe the core technology, if applicable, that powers your solution.
We envision anyone who is unemployed would be able to access our programs through their employer/state when filing for benefits.
Our technology fully online, and is hosted on Amazon and requires only a working browser and internet.
Provide evidence that this technology works.
Currently people from more than 13 countries have used our learning platform. We have had more than 1000 students take our classes. We have partnered with organizations like PRMIA and CFA Institute to deliver classes around the world.
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
What is your theory of change?
We believe that when people become unemployed involuntarily, a proactive system approach to engage them through learning and re-skilling programs with increase their chances of getting their next position. Our research shows that people who don't find their jobs in 3 months will usually take twice the time to find their next position and the next position would involve a significant pay cut and compromises. Through Second Chances, we plan to reduce the unemployment period.
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many people did your solution serve in 2019? 2018? 2017?
1000+ , 2019 - 300, 2018 -100, 2017 - 50
What percent of the people you served in 2019 were between the age of 15 and 30?
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
1 year - Provide solution to more than 50000 unemployed in 50 states
5 years - Expand programs and provide solution to more than 500000 unemployed in 50 states
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?
1 year- Relationship to local agencies, funding
5 years - Relationship to local agencies, funding, traction and data that details if the programs are working
How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
- Programs like Solve, XPrize, local funding agencies
- Analytics and metrics for measuring success.
What outcomes data would you like to be collecting that you are not yet able to collect?
1. Satisfaction in new positions
2. A/B testing on people with similar skills having access to second chances/not
What type of organization is your solution team?Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit
How many people are on your leadership team? (Of these, please provide the number of individuals from your leadership team that are full time, part time, and volunteer)
In what year was your organization founded? How many years have you worked on your solution?
2013, We have been working on QU.Academy for 1 year
Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
We have had more than 1000 people take classes
The average age of our student is about 35
Our programs have been delivered in 13 countries
We have partnered with reputed organizations to offer programs through their memberships
Our scholarships amounted to $30000 this year and we had a 90% completion rate.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
Co-branded programs, scholarships https://www.prmia.org/Public/N...
CFA Institute : Education and upskilling for their members
What is your business model?
Paid students - 70% Self funded, grants, scholarships - 30%
Trainers, Hosting, Marketing & G/A
All our products will be delivered online in the near future.
Self, PRMIA, State agencies, companies
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
What is your path to financial sustainability?
We plan to incorporate Income share agreements, raise capital to build our tech platform and get funds from socially minded organizations to support the program.
If you have raised funds for your solution or are generating revenue, please provide details.
Self funded. Funded by paying custoemers. In 2020 Qu.Academy generated $60000 in revenue and gave away $30000 in scholarships
If you seek to raise funds for your solution, please provide details.
We plan to raise $1m to support our next year's investment in tech platform
What are your estimated expenses for 2021?
$1m for G&A, Marketing, onboarding, support