“I started out within E Learning by creating a content-based platform which I pursued after deferring my degree at Loughborough University. This venture didn’t work out, but it led to me finding a deep passion for E Learning,” says Jake Lee, founder of the Edtech company Uppercent.
“Through my early journey, I saw more of an opportunity for scalability and impact with E Learning through building EdTech instead of content.”
How NFTs are disrupting TechEducation, Jake Lee, Uppercent
Lee concedes that EdTech is a huge part of E Learning innovation and started taking steps into this industry by building a mentoring marketplace. After taking his first steps into Edtech, Lee decided to combine his passion for Edtech with Web3 which he has been involved in since 2017. This led to the creation of Uppercent in late 2021.
“We’re completely different to any other E Learning marketplace that has existed before. We are actually looking to build a secondary market for E Learning.”
Lee explains his concept in book terms. If he owns a book and finishes reading it, he has a number of choices. He can give it to a friend, give it to charity or he can sell it. However, if he owns an online course – which is typically of significantly greater value than a book – there are limited if any choices about what he can do with the course once completed.
Given that the E Learning market is valued at over $200 billion and there is currently no secondary marketplace as such – that poses an opportunity according to Lee.
Lee is looking at commoditising access, using Access Passes, which will be formed as NFTs but still called Access Passes for ease of understanding for non web3 users, Lee wants the everyday student to be able to use Uppercent.
The idea behind Uppercent is that Lee will partner with the top 1% of achievers to build high quality, immersive courses. The plan is to set a maximum number of initial Access Passes for each course.
The benefit to the creator is that NFTs allow for secondary royalties. It also provides the initial purchasers with an ability to recoup some if not all of their initial outlay.
Lee has been spending time looking at this process. He recognises that completion of E Learning courses can be as low at 5%. Part of the reason for the low completion rate is down to sub-standard courses. But also, people can buy the wrong course and then be unable to sell it on to someone who might benefit from pursuing the learning.
“At least, a mis-bought course might not be a total loss if the original purchaser can sell on their access.” Lee has other ideas on how to formulate feedback and plans to use the community on the platform to provide feedback on courses.
“A creator could create a trailer with us and get feedback from the community – so that the ultimate course has a value and a need already established in advance. People could vote on upcoming courses and the most popular ones are given the green light.”
Lee says that technology is only one part of the product and that the core product will always be education. Uppercent focuses on working with the top achievers in certain fields to help them share the unique knowledge they’ve gained through their journey to the top. These creators will teach vocational, highly valued skills not necessarily taught in traditional education yet extremely valuable to society, for example, entrepreneurship, ecommerce & social media.
Uppercent will announce the high-flying creators who are poised to produce courses in May 2023. These creators have millions of followers and so are well placed to educate and inform people wishing to follow their lead.
Uppercent will be membership based as Lee is looking to build a community of aspirational thinkers looking to help each other grow. “To be the best you need to learn from the best and surround yourself with people with a similar mindset.”
Part of the membership review will be to ask why people want to join and what value they might add.
“We are looking for an active community from the start. There is no cost to early membership if you apply on our website today, but as we develop features on the site we may introduce other membership models.”
In terms of technology, Lee has selected Flare Network as their Layer One of choice. After several meetings, Lee is very impressed with their push to bridge Web2 communities into Web3.
“They have a great passion for this transition which we share. As a result, we want to make Flare the home to accelerate education and innovation. In addition, their technology is very much poised to create interoperability with other chains which also aligns with my Web3 philosophy.
“We also believe their state connector will be fundamental as it allows for data to be accessed from other chains and the internet in a decentralised fashion which is also attractive to Uppercent.”
Applying & becoming an Uppercent member is free at the moment, this may change after their launch later on this year. You can apply today on uppercent.com.
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