At 27, Vince Tan was travelling the world speaking to thousands of people on how they too can make a living on the Internet. The Malaysian entrepreneur then realised that while speaking on an elevated stage felt good, there was a limit on the number of people he could reach.
“There are only so many people’s lives that I can touch at any one time. It was not scalable, there is only one of me but I know there are more people out there who have the knowledge that someone else wants to learn from,” he said.
Tan was previously involved in KBU International College as a Course Leader and Lecturer managing and teaching Computing, and later entered the entrepreneurship scene with a number of digital products.
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“So I dropped everything and was prepared to lose everything,” he added. “I left the world stage and put everything I got into eduPOW.”
In 2012, he started eduPOW, a Malaysia-based Massive Open Online Courses platform for absolutely anyone to teach anything. The site was launched yesterday, with topics ranging from pen and ink drawing for beginners to learning card tricks. There is even a course catered to those looking to practice naked yoga while removing “shame, fear and other limiting self perceptions” from the equation.
While most courses available on eduPOW are priced at an affordable US$5, a number of courses are free for consumption. Seventy per cent of earnings will go to the author, while the startup will retail the remaining 30 per cent to cover all processing fees, hosting and delivery costs.
At the moment, there are 100 courses from 500 authors on eduPOW. Many of the authors on the platform have not contributed or uploaded teaching materials, but Tan foresees more videos being uploaded daily.
For the record, eduPOW has not received external funding. Tan said, “We bootstrap all the way, and we want to show that even an Asia startup can become a global game changer.”