CourseStorm, an Orono-based company, has a clever and useful value proposition: to connect class providers (adult ed, museums, hospitals, camps, etc.) with people taking classes. Think of CourseStorm as the “Airbnb of local education.”
People around the globe use Airbnb to explore an inventory of unique, local accommodations anywhere. Once you create an account, you can book a place to stay wherever you want in just a couple of quick clicks. CourseStorm is similar, except substitute “local classes” for “lodging.” In other words, you can explore local classes in your town or other towns, cities, or states. Once you have an account in the network, you never have to re-enter information like name, address, billing info, and ages of your family members again.
Let’s say your daughter plays soccer and you register her to play on a local rec team. When the soccer season is over and she wants to register for dance class, assuming both providers are in the CourseStorm network, you just log in, find the class, and sign her up in seconds. It’s that easy-peasy. Multiply that effort by several family members, and you save yourself a lot of time and effort in a year’s time.
On the flip side, if you’re a class provider, CourseStorm offers big benefits too. They’ll set up the entire online registration process for you in a single day for no setup fee. Depending on how many classes you have, you can usually get your entire catalog of classes entered online in a day or two. How do you pay? With just a small transaction fee per class signup. On average, CourseStorm customers experience a 30% increase in course registrations year over year, doubling in size in their first three years so the fees more than pay for themselves. (One hospital grew their online registrations by 400% in first six months.)
Diana McCain, Director of Merrymeeting Adult Education in Topsham, says “Using CourseStorm, our program has gone from taking 0 registrations online to processing more than $100,000 a year in online transactions. We’re regularly impressed with the continual updates and outstanding support provided by their team. It’s clear that they just ‘get it’.”
So far, CourseStorm has registered over 75,000 students for classes in ten states, seamlessly handling over $5.5 million in online registrations. The founders’ vision is to grow CourseStorm throughout the United States and beyond. All local programs, from around the globe, easily accessible in a single place.
Matt James, CourseStorm Co-Founder and Head of Product, says ““We have to give a major shout out to Scratchpad in helping us shape the future of our company these last few months. They’ve helped us to position ourselves for dramatic growth—the kind of growth I would have thought impossible just a few months ago.”
To meet the founders of CourseStorm and hear more about their vision, please join the Scratchpad Accelerator for “Demo Day” on December 11 at Season’s Restaurant, 427 Main Street, Bangor. Register now.
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About the Scratchpad Accelerator
With full time support and access to industry experts and mentors, the Scratchpad Accelerator is a pilot program dedicated to helping startup companies uncover answers to critical questions about their businesses. The Scratchpad Accelerator is a University of Maine initiative in collaboration with the Maine Technology Institute.
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