When investing, your capital is at risk.
Mindstone is a platform that enables you to learn faster and remember more by taking certified courses built from the best articles, podcasts and videos available online. The learning platform has had over 50k sign-ups since the start of the year and provides courses from Bitcoin basics to how to research true crime cases. The internet made information universally accessible, Google organised it, and now Mindstone helps you not just consume, but really learn from it.
Now raising on Seedrs, we sat down with the Founder Joshua Wohle to learn more about the inspiration for Mindstone.
Can you tell us a bit about your career so far and what brought you to start your own business?
I was born in the Netherlands and moved to Geneva at age 13. I started my first business when I was 16, building websites for my father’s friends and friends of friends, after teaching myself how to code. That business quickly grew to 30 part time students building websites for private banks. I then moved to London at 22 and started my Computer Science degree. I started SuperAwesome straight out of university when the startup ecosystem was exploding. I got to financial freedom 5 years and so then thought about where I wanted to spend the next 20 years of my life.
I believe education is an industry that has a great potential for impact, with ripple effects that are hard to match in other industries. So I started investing in the space (excuse to sit down with other founders and investors, observe the macro & the micro), put a team together and started Mindstone. The first 6 months were interesting as we started the company while my other one was being acquired, but now I am 100% focused on making Mindstone a success.
Can you tell us a bit about the Edtech landscape and the opportunity for growth?
Edtech has been under-developed for years. The product experiences being offered by today’s environments are nowhere near what people are used to with apps and sites like Youtube, Instagram, etc. – there is lots of room for improvement.
The market itself is predicted to grow to over $400B by 2025, which is more than double the size it is today.
At the same time, we live at a time where access to information is totally frictionless. If anything, we went from a world of information scarcity where “lecturers” needed to stand in front of many people to read a book because access to books and reading was limited, to a world where we are overloaded with information and there is too much of it. 500 blogs posted every minute, 50 YEARS of youtube video uploaded every day. That’s what we’re dealing with now. The problem is not scarcity, it’s curation.
What differentiates Mindstone from competitors in the market?
It’s built on the science of learning. We actually help you learn faster and remember more as you go through the courses on the platform. Our social engagement model means our courses get better over time. Every question, answer, comment and discussion on our courses stay behind for future learners, enriching the course bit by bit. We leverage the information already available online instead of reinventing the wheel and asking people to produce yet more content when there is more than enough amazing content in the world already.
One of the hardest things when looking for courses online is choosing the best without knowing the quality of the courses, how do you give users the confidence that they can trust Mindstone to be the best resource for all their learning?
Just like Youtube surfaces the best quality content to the top based on user engagement, so does Mindstone, based on a combination of metrics such as ratings, comments, questions, etc. The more users the platform gathers, the more valuable those signals become.
What part of Mindstone’s journey are you most proud of?
We have some completely amazing course creators on the platform today, from Melinda Nicci building a course on Women’s Health, to the Bitcoin Association talking about Bitcoin fundamentals. The spread and quality of these courses and their creators has been a great achievement. We have also put together a world class team, built entirely remotely, which was not an easy feat.
What can we expect next in the way of product development or partnerships?
Doubling down on the mobile experience and enabling people to take advantage of smaller chunks of time to learn. Lowering the barriers to entry for anyone to create a course. Dramatically increasing the number of courses available. Continuing to improve the underlying aspects around the science of learning, enabling people to learn faster and remember more.
What do you anticipate your route to exit will be?
We’re in this to change the way people learn. I’ve had a great exit with my previous business, but we’re not necessarily looking for one here. The intention is to build a category defining company that enables anyone in the world to learn as fast as is humanly possible and remember as much of it as they want.
A few personal ones:
When you’re not working, what do you do in your spare time?
I love whisky, good food and reading.
What has been your biggest lesson in being an entrepreneur?
Effort and resilience are the biggest differentiators. It’s hard to say if you’re somehow “more intelligent” or more able than other people building companies, but the parameters you have control over are the effort you put in and the resilience you show in not giving up. I’m a big fan of the saying “success is going from failure to failure, without loss of enthusiasm” and that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned.
Also, trust is hard to earn, but easy to lose. You can do the right thing 99% of the time, but then mess up once and lose the trust of your entire team. It’s important to keep that in mind.
If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would it be?
It’s ok to not be liked by everyone. Doing great things means going against the grain sometimes and that’s totally fine. Double check your logic and get advice from people for sure, but at the end of the day, trust your judgement and make the best out of it.
Mindstone has already passed their target of £700,000, invest now to join their journey! Check out the pitch.