Here’s my interview with Geoffrey Raposo, CEO and Founder of TeachCycle, a startup from the Canton of Vaud. The website is currently only in french. The video interview is in french, but you can find a transcript of the interview below and the video at the end.
Can you please tell us what TeachCycle is about? What problem are you trying to solve?
Today if you want to share your passion and/or your knowledge in a course, you have no choice, either you go to the specialized agencies, but you need a certification or educational training. That’s a lot of investment. Either you go to anibis.ch to put your ad here and you have to manage everything and you spend more time organizing your course than to actually give it. TeachCycle is a simple and ergonomic platform that enables everyone to offer courses in their city. It’s simple, you register, you offer your course, you fixe a date. Students can register on your course page in one click. They pay online and the money comes directly to your account. TeachCycle, to summarize, is a platform helping the organization of teaching local courses in your city, share your passion and your knowledge and discover unique courses.
Who are your target and users?
Currently, TeachCycle’s teachers are people between 25 and 40 years who teach their profession or passion, but we would also like people aged 15 to 60 years to participate because everyone knows something or is passionate about something and can teach it to somebody else. The learners, mainly between 20 and 40 years, either use TeachCycle to improve in a professional field or for fun and discover a new hobby.
Who’s in the team, where are you from & what are the different roles?
Behind TeachCycle, there are 3 young entrepreneurs, from the Canton of Vaud, we met at the startup weekend in Lausanne in 2012 and during the studies. Mauro Fellmann is the designer, who takes care of the graphic design, visual communication and user experience. Sébastien Roch is in charge of web development and IT infrastructure. And myself, Geoffrey Raposo, I take care of the web development and community management. We all still currently have a professional activity next to TeachCycle.
Who do you consider to be your competition and what are you doing different?
Our two largest competitors are trouver-un-cours.ch and Ecole Club Migros. What we are doing differently is that we offer new courses such as classical singing lessons, how to manage your identity on the web, a carrying children course, etc. They’re only practical course, that means that on teachcycle, when you take a course, you can apply what you have learned directly after. and since our tool is super simple, anyone can offer a course. It is our goal that everyone can share his passion. After the course, you also get feedback and it can help you to improve your course.
What’s the two-year plan?
Our goal in the next two years is to become the main website for local and ponctual courses. In Switzerland first and then we would like to expand to France. And we also have another big surprise that we’re developing, but we can not reveal it today. Suspens!
Do you think the raise of free online learning and education might be a concern for TeachCycle?
No I do not think that online courses are really an obstacle for TeachCycle simply because it is often very theoretical. Eg computer courses or personal finance. We offer practical courses where people can ask questions to the teachers that they have during the course, and it is an experience where you meet people who have the same passion as you, who share the same interests and you can’t find that in a course on internet.
What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
The biggest obstacle we had in creating TeachCycle was time management, it really wasn’t easy to create the site in addition to our professional activities, and synchronize ourselves with our different schedules. Also on the side of the marketing strategy, we’re trying to make ourselves known, it really is a big problem we have. About that, we would need help. If you know someone or you are interested in working with us for the marketing. We’d be happy to have you!