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Accredible – Establishing New Partnerships Towards Global Success

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Startup Accredible has raised $150,000 in venture capital funding to make information age certificates for the online learning world. Accredible has recently announced partnership with Saylor Academy (purveyor of free online courses) and Udacity (online courses built by AT&T, Google, etc.). Here is our recent chat with Danny King, CEO of Accredible:

danny-kingQ: Last year when we caught up your main focus was credibility, in what direction did that lead you in the past 12 months?

A: We have always focussed on ensuring non-traditional courses (and the students taking them) are just as credible as the more old fashioned routes. On a student level, we want their best attributes to be presented in a concise but insightful way – no service has achieved this yet and that is what drives us. The biggest thing we’ve done in this direction is allow any online or offline course provider to issue our Accredible portfolio certificates for their courses without having to partner with us first, which has been fantastic!


Q: Interesting, what does your product look like now compared to last year?

A: There have been some exciting changes. We have really expanded our feature set so that organizations can issue certificates effortlessly. We have also made sure you can customize our certificates to your heart’s content. We have partnered with some amazing organizations, including Udacity and Saylor Academy to issue these on their own platforms, so Accredible portfolio certificates could be coming to you after your next online course, right from your favorite learning provider.

Q: How did the developers go about implementing those changes?

A: We have an agile programming style where we build numerous prototypes and request feedback. The big challenges were in making sure our systems could scale to the number of users and certificates that large providers like Udacity and Saylor required, which was challenging, but fun!

Related: Civitas Learning – Brings Together The Best Of New Technology And Data Science

Q: You have secured a couple of major partnerships recently, how did you identify potential matches and make contact?

A: A lot of it was networking, talking at conferences and nurturing relationships with the big online course providers. We met or Skyped hundreds of edtech companies and have been pretty good at keeping in touch with them all. I think that’s really important.


Q: Are there any challenges you had to face in the past year, how did you overcome them?

A: The first major one was fundraising, we obviously needed to have enough funds to achieve our vision. Second to that was growing the team, we doubled our team in a very small amount of time with the aim of growing together. Dealing with the biggest team we have ever had was a significant new experience. We are also a largely remote team, heavily inspired by the folks at Buffer, which has it’s own host of challenges, as well as benefits. We built a team working over five time zones, four countries and three continents. There isn’t much literature on doing this as a venture-backed startup, so we had to learn as we went. We’ve come through really well on all counts, I’m happy to report!

Related: Edmodo – The World’s Largest Online Community For Students And Their Teachers

Q: How did you overcome them?

A: Trial and error, it really is the only way. I’d say trial and error, being communicative and thinking deeply about each problem. Products like Trello and Slack made a huge difference in the ways we communicated. We developed our culture, values and aims together as a team. One rule close to my heart is the crucial conversation rule: whenever a crucial conversation needs to be had, make sure you do it, and do it right away.


Q: What are your plans for this year?

A: We are partnering with more and more MOOC and online course platforms, which is really exciting. We’re working hard to continue the success we’ve had here so far. We want to expand into traditional brick and mortar universities too, as well as professional development offline within companies. Exciting times ahead!

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