Markus Hardt (Co-Founder), Tobias Ilg (Co-Founder), and Julian Fürstenau (Co-Founder) © Anne Schönharting
What inspired you to found your startup?
We have been coaching vocational trainees offline in Berlin even before we founded veedu. At some point, the success of these projects led us to the question how we could meaningfully spread our ideas to a larger group of users. Veedu was our answer.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
As a social enterprise, we are not only focused on our financial success, but equally on our social impact. At the moment, 25% of all vocational trainee contracts are terminated prematurely, many because of problems with the vocational school content. We want to help our users improve their school results and ultimately reduce the number of terminations.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
What problem does your product solve?
Many vocational trainees need help with their school work and the content of their education. Of course, there are traditional tutoring methods, but not every company is able to organize these due to financial and/or logistical constraints. Using an online and digital approach, we can reach many more students and coach them through their education while at the same time freeing up time and money in the companies they work for.
How are you different?
Because of our social mission, we have to make sure that we do not only help the self-motivated learners but also those trainees who are frustrated and close to giving up. We combine the subjects of our courses with entertaining videos with scripted scenes and a deep level of gamification. On Veedu, you will never find a lecturer holding a monologue in front of a green screen or whiteboard.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
Every student is different, but ideally, he or she will spend 30 minutes to an hour learning with veedu each week. On this basis, he or she should not have any problems passing his/her exams at the end of the year.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
Our social mission is what drives us (although we are not opposed to earning money). We want to have a lasting effect by helping each individual user reach their goals for their vocational training. By reducing the number of drop outs, we not only help prevent unemployment for the trainees, we also play a part in reducing the skills shortage that is hurting German companies and our economy.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
For our products, the pros are far more relevant than the cons. Between the two worlds of education and film-making, we can easily reach every resource we need for a great product. Be it an aspiring teacher from one of the three big universities or a young scriptwriter or actress from Babelsberg, we can always count on great talent being right around the corner.
Veedu was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.