Educational Technology Company SnappSchool Named Winner of The Lean Startup Machine NYC, 2011

Share Article

“SnappSchool is making lesson planning a 'snapp!' By using the tool, teachers will be able to focus more on teaching, instead of planning lessons for 3+ hours every day, or in some cases, 30 hours per week.” The company was selected as the winner of Lean Startup Machine NYC 2011, a weekend long competition for 'Lean' entrepreneurs.

“Building a system that puts the highest quality web content into the hands of teachers can have a profound impact on our educational system. But if you build something that no one buys, that impact will never be realized.“

On April 4 2011 in NYC, 6 sleep-deprived entrepreneurs vowed to improve education with technology. Brant Cooper, a judge in the Lean Startup Machine (LSM), announced SnappSchool the winner of the 48 hour competition in which 12 teams of 5-6 participants worked around the clock to apply “Lean Startup” principles to their business concepts. The LSM premise is to identify and develop a product’s market before scaling the organization - “customer development” principles. Ideas went from pitch to product within 48 hours.

The judges included Eric Ries, the leading evangelist of the “Lean Startup” philosophies, coupled with accomplished entrepreneurs Brant Cooper, Giff Constable, Hiten Shah and Patrick Vlaskovits.

Alex Weinberg, a teacher with Teach For America in New York, started SnappSchool to assist educators to find relevant, quality content for their classrooms online, saving them over 20 hours per week.

“The Customer Development approach pushed us to get to know our customer, and allowed us to realize very early on that teachers were not actually our customers - principals were - saving us massive time and effort,” said Weinberg.

“At LSM we were forced to make quick, and often times hard decisions regarding our key business assumptions. It’s classic guess and check mixed with the movie Speed (the first one). Ultimately, though, that process is exactly what kept the vision alive - which was to build something to help teachers do their job,” said Boyd, a recent graduate of Rice University and Product Development Intern at Thrillist.

“Building a system that puts the highest quality web content into the hands of teachers can have a profound impact on our educational system. But if you build something that no one buys, that impact will never be realized," remarked Halloran, product manager consultant.

“At Google, we believed in ‘build it and they will come’. Lean Startup flips that on its head, and teaches us to hunt for the customer right away,” said Schuck, a Senior Software Engineer at Julpan Inc, previously Technical Lead at Google on Maps and Wave.

“Our team experienced the extreme highs and lows of entrepreneurship in just 48 hours,” said Helmkamp, CTO of Efficiency 2.0.

“As entrepreneurs, it's our duty to catalyze businesses worldwide in adopting this transformative business thinking,” said England, co-founder and CEO of Keepstream, a social media curation tool.

Other competitors at the event included start-ups such as Bebop, a CRM app for Pick-Up Artists, and Lardspotting, a mobile app allowing one to take a photo of their meal and get its calorie count.

About SnappSchool:

SnappSchool (http://snappschool.com) is a curated directory of the best digital education content available online. We help educators quickly find great resources to develop a unique, thought-provoking lesson plan for their students.

The SnappSchool team:

  • Alex Weinberg is a second year teacher with Teach For America in New York.
  • Bryan Helmkamp is CTO of Efficiency 2.0, and previously was a software engineer at Gilt Groupe.
  • Conner Boyd is a recent graduate of Rice University and is currently a User Experience designer working in New York.
  • Jim England is the co-founder and CEO of Keepstream, a social media curation tool based in Austin, TX.
  • John Halloran is a Product Management and Customer Experience consultant. He was one of the original employees of Liquidnet where he ran the Product Management group for 6 years.
  • Adam Schuck is a Senior Software Engineer at Julpan Inc, previously Technical Lead at Google on Maps and Wave.

About Lean Startup Machine:
LSM is a weekend long boot-camp where entrepreneurs learn Lean Startup principles through real-world problem solving and coaching from mentors that get it. In 48 hrs, you'll pitch an idea, form a team and attempt to build something customers actually want. The prize? Cash, mentorship and glory. This is a single weekend that will change how you think about building startups forever.

theleanstartupmachine.com

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

John Halloran
Visit website