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Accredible – Creates The Diploma Of The Future

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Accredible is creating the diploma of the future. For the first time students can establish expertise without the need for an institution to vouch for them. Accredible makes all education, including massive open online courses and self-education, credible on your CV by allowing learners to attach a portfolio of knowledge onto the credential itself for all to see. Earlier this week, I spoke with Danny King, co-founder & CEO of Accredible:

Q: Could you tell us your story and something more about Accredible?

A: We are trying to reinvent the way that people think about credibility. Right now if you take a look at our front page we let you apply for startup jobs, which is really exiting, but that is just first step of what we are trying to do. Our bigger vision for next two, three years is credibility. We think that it is really hard to express yourself with any credibility unless you have really good university degree or you have specific credentials. Nowadays it is quite hard make yourself look credible unless you have these kind of credentials. My cofounder Alan Heppenstall and I love those traditional credentials; both of us loved our university experience but we also love our continued learning and it’s really hard to make that type of learning credible.

What we want to do is create new way to showcase yourself professionally, which makes things outside of traditional credentials exactly as credible as those traditional credentials.

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We noticed lot of people doing online learning. There are millions of people getting highly educated but they are not getting credentials that employers trust. They have the knowledge but the PDF certificates they get at the end of online courses don’t carry much weight with most employers. It’s hard to put them on your resume or your CV with any credibility. What we want to do, is to invent new way for people to be able to express any type of learning as credibly as with traditional academic credentials.

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From our experience startups really value self-education which is why we are focusing on helping people to get startup jobs using their Accredible profiles. What we are trying to do is the build the way to showcase yourself with your university credentials but also with your self taught knowledge and then use that to apply for startup jobs.

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Our bigger vision is to eventually create a new standard, a new platform, for showcasing yourself professionally. The way it works is really simple, we allow you to make a claim, (e.g. I’m a good programmer or I speak Spanish) and we allow you to make that credible in two ways:

The best way is uploading evidence that you can do it.
For example the best way to prove you speak Spanish is not to have a certificate, but to actually speak Spanish! Record videos of yourself speaking Spanish or translate Wikipedia articles, for example, and use that as evidence you can do it.

The second way is to get references (e.g. from mentors, professors or colleagues) and verified it via LinkedIn. This way as long as you have knowledge or skills and you can showcase it than you can be credible, regardless of where, how or when you got those skills.

For most startups it is not important how or where you get your knowledge or skills; just that you do have them. They also want to see a lot more about you than you can fit on a résumé. Startups want to see what you can actually do and they want to see evidence of your work.

We are basically building a way to showcase all of that and then we will match you for startup jobs based on the evidence that you show.

Q: How long did it take you to get a final product?

A: My co-founder Alan Heppenstall and I co-founded Accedible a year ago. We’ve had a base in Silicon Valley (as well as one in the UK) for about 10 months after we were lucky enough to get accepted into the Imagine K12 education technology startup accelerator. Since then we’ve been working on Accredible’s first knowledge showcase prototype and we are now ready to take the next step – to use your Accredible profile to showcase yourself with credibility and to get a job.

Q: When do you plan to launch new version of Accredible?

A: We are planning to launch our new jobs platform at the end of this month. We already have thousands of people using Accredible to showcase their education and
skills – people have been doing that for about half a year now – but the next stage is to start helping them to use their profiles to get great jobs.

For the new version we have about 30 startups initially participating, which are almost all from Silicon Valley and we’ll be branching out to Europe and Canada soon too.

Q: How big your team is at the moment?

A: Right now we are two co-founders and one employee. We are looking for a web developer and graphic designer to expand our team in next few months, so it’s an exciting time!

Q: What was your experience from Imagine K12 accelerator, and what was biggest benefit for you?

A: It was a fantastic experience. Imagine K12 was started by some really amazing, experienced entrepreneurs and technologists with a deep passion for education. It is basically an intensive four-month bootcamp for startups with a focus on solving hard problems in education and we learned a huge amount. We also met some really wonderful people – both investors and other entrepreneurs. I can’t recommend it enough!

Q: How are you funded?

Initially we were funded from the founders’ personal savings and more recently we have raised some money from venture capitalists and angel investors. We’ve got some of the most exciting people and organizations in education technology backing us – a lot of people feel strongly about the problems we are solving. We are very lucky to have them on board.

Q: What are your plans for next 12 months?

Over the next year we are making some really big updates and improvements to the functionality and design of your Accredible profiles, making it easier to showcase and document your skills and knowledge to employers and other stakeholders. Our biggest focus will be on growing the number of startups you can apply directly to through Accredible as well as supporting the LinkedIn and AngelList jobs APIs, so that you can apply to other jobs too. We’ll also be growing our team and moving into a new, bigger office in downtown Palo Alto, which will be great!

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