E-learning is already a $200 billion-per-year industry, but Natalia McElroy saw a niche that hadn’t yet been filled: there aren’t any major platforms where adults can take live—not pre-recorded—classes on a range of topics.
So she founded the online learning marketplace IQ Everest to fill the gap.
The Asheville-based startup is in the second tech cohort of CED’s GRO incubator and will pitch at the GRO Demo Day on June 30 in Raleigh.
The platform launched in January and is a marketplace of group classes and one-on-one consultations covering a wide range of topics. Past and current class topics have included: dog training, learning Spanish, baking a Cuban flan, genealogy and creating a family tree, editing photos and even setting up a drone business.
“Instead of spending 10 years to master a topic,” McElroy said, “you can spend 10 minutes to learn from someone who has gone through all of the hurdles and learning curves already.”
Unlike other platforms like YouTube where videos are primarily pre-recorded, classes on IQ Everest are live, which gives them a personal touch and makes it more convenient to ask questions and get answers immediately, McElroy said. Connecting to people who have already mastered a topic also skips what McElroy called the “trial-and-error” phase of learning.
The cost of each class is determined by the teacher, who retains 75% of the revenue (IQ Everest keeps the other 25%), McElroy said. Anyone who has knowledge they want to share on a certain topic is welcome to join the platform—it’s free to do so—but there’s a screening and interviewing process that teachers must go through so IQ Everest can gauge if their skill level is adequate.
Whether someone is changing careers, pursuing a new hobby, or just simply looking to expand their skills, McElroy believes IQ Everest can provide that opportunity for people to explore something new.
With a full-time job, side photography business, and being a mother of three kids, McElroy said being a part of GRO has helped her focus on IQ Everest (which she does by herself) amidst the million other duties in her life. McElroy also said she’s grateful to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, which ties into exactly why she’s so passionate about learning and the foundation of IQ Everest in the first place.
“There’s no limit to the amount of learning and knowledge that you could ever acquire if you apply yourself and look to learn from others who’ve been there and done that,” McElroy said.