Online learning is a great way to pick up crucial skills to get ahead in life. But where do you turn when you want to try your hand (or feet, as it were) at dancing the tango? What about finding an in-person painting class happening in your town?
Answering those questions is the goal behind CourseHorse, a recently funded (as of a few hours ago) startup that is basically a personalized search engine for online courses. But those courses aren’t just your typical edX, Udacity, or Coursera options. They’re classes on a myriad of topics that you’d want to learn in the ‘real world.’
I chatted with Katie Kapler, Co-Founder of CourseHorse, who outlined a few big steps they’re taking starting now. Thanks to a $500,000 seed round, they’re busy developing the next version of their product and looking to expand into new metro markets. Currently, they’re focused on New York City and expanding into Los Angeles later this month.
But that focus will likely change very soon thanks to a new partnership with Time Out North America. You’ve probably seen Time Out magazines whenever you visit a major city. The partnership marks a big step for both partners. Time Out is looking to make big moves into education resources and CourseHorse will be seen / used by Time Out’s 18 million annual readers. Win-win.
So what does CourseHorse actually offer? Kapler explains that it’ll enable you to discover, compare, and enroll in more than 20,000 courses with local education providers.
For example, you can find your next yoga class or tango lesson there. Schools include non-profits (e.g. 92Y, JCC in Manhattan, Lincoln Center), global brands (e.g. Le Pain Quotidian, Standard & Poors, Cactus Language Centers), major universities (e.g. CUNY, Pace, Institute of Classical Architecture) and hundreds of small businesses.
Class topics include recreational, professional and kids programs – everything from free workshops to semester-long courses.
Earn Points, Get Active
One of my favorite bits about CourseHorse is the rating system and the points you can earn. Like all good gamified classrooms, you can earn points for taking classes and basically taking advantage of what’s around you. So if you live in New York City or Los Angeles, check it out and let us know how it goes!
Personally, I think this is a great tool and wish it was already in Boston. For now, all I can do is start practicing my tango and yoga poses.