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EditiCreate to Educate

Overview:
iCreate launched in June 2010 to address the need for innovative learning tools in schools limited by time and money. Leveraging a learning tool that’s been informed by research and in development since 2005, iCreate began running hands-on teacher workshops as a pilot to gather user data on all the requirements needed to enhance existing curricula with a 21st century technology, and how those enhancements could be shared among a network of teachers. The 6-month pilot surfaced key elements to shape the strategy for refining the current product and scaling iCreate as a differentiator in prioritizing learning over technology use in the K-12 classroom. Moving forward, iCreate will release a web-based platform with a student-generated content gallery, linked to activity modules, providing a just-in-time solution to help teachers increase student engagement and understandings across all content areas.

About the Product:
The product which iCreate used in the pilot is a stop-motion software called SAM Animation, developed to give students a unique medium of representing their ideas and developing understandings in science. Originally funded from a multi-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant at Tufts University, a limited feature demo version of the product has registered over 35,000 downloads. Because the application was in development over multiple years, born out of university-based research, it exhibits an intuitive, simple interface for teachers and students alike to demonstrate learning without taking time to learn the technology itself. iCreate owns the exclusive copyright and trademark licenses for SAM Animation from Tufts, enabling us to build improvements and additional features into the application to further improve the learning experience.

Monetization:
By commercializing a developed product from Tufts, iCreate started bringing in revenue within the first month of launch through product-based services. Once the Tufts product license was secured, we supplemented services revenue with software downloads and sourced hardware kits. Within the first year we’ve brought in over $50K in revenue. To scale, we are changing our monetization strategy and developing the free content gallery with premium activity modules to supplement the software freemium sales. We are partnering with publishers and distributors to supplement their existing curricula and kits with our universal tool for understanding, allowing us to focus on the product offering rather than setting up new sales channels. We’ve learned that direct sales to K-12 institutions is slow without established channels, hence our method of scaling through other B-to-B relationships.

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