Our guest today is Adlet Eleusov, a master’s student at the Graduate School of Education. Adlet is the co-founder of Teachers Lab, a marketplace for teachers.
– I have always been interested and close to the topic of education. In 2015, I founded an educational startup – the Neutron Science Laboratory. Then I headed the online training department at Ustudy.kz. During this time, I finally fell in love with the field of education and realized that I want to continue working in it, making my own contribution to its development, – said Adlet.
Tell us about your project? How do you see the prospects for its further development?
In June, I stumbled upon the American Teachers pay marketplace, which has existed since 2006. Now it is used by more than five million teachers from the USA and Canada. This project showed that in many countries the problems in education are similar, and we decided to create the same marketplace with an eye on the entire CIS market. And this market has about 3-5 million teaching staff.
We were lucky from the very beginning to form the right team. We have an academic director and co-founder of the project, Ayash Myrzabekova, a teacher with five years of experience. She now works at IQanat School.
Later, project manager Ayana Seisekulova (NU student) and SMM manager Aelin Seksimbayeva joined our team.
And not so long ago – on September 29 – the official opening of the Teachers Lab marketplace took place. In short, the Teachers Lab is a platform through which teachers can sell, buy, and post their copyrighted teaching materials for free. In our marketplace, we prioritize respect for teacher copyright. Therefore, we decided that we would not publish their materials for the teachers, and we would sign all works with the name of the person who created it. This is how we want to help promote their personal brand. To do this, when the author is being registered, a unique address is created – and can be shared with others.
We want teachers to develop and build this community themselves, and our task is to make them comfortable with the platform. We plan to reach 16,000 users on the marketplace by April 2021, and 100,000 users by September.
Our team is constantly improving the marketplace. We pay great attention to improving the personal page of the authors so that it is as convenient and attractive as possible. Therefore, we will still work on improving the interface so that users can subscribe to authors, leave comments, reviews, rate, ask questions, and receive feedback.
What did NU give you? Have the skills/abilities you acquired here helped you in your current job?
Pursing a master’s degree at NU means, first of all, a large community and networking opportunities. Especially considering that I am studying for a master’s degree in education. I am surrounded by people who have worked in this field for many years – these are school directors, teachers and employees of private educational companies. Now I have a circle of good friends, each of whom has extensive experience in the field of education and is very competent in their field.
In addition, a very important point for me is the scientific component of NU – the university provides excellent access through the library to various databases, journals, and publications. The resulting knowledge can be applied both in business and in project implementation. In addition, I read many articles related to the motivation of teachers, what drives them, I study their opinions on various aspects of the problem of educational development, which allows me in the end to understand not only the “business” part of the project but also the motivation that drives teachers.
Another of the important skills that I acquired at NU is the ability to conduct research, specifically, how to prepare and conduct surveys and interviews. I believe that this skill is important for any student, as these are interdisciplinary things that relate to both academic moments and business.
What can you recommend to students / young entrepreneurs who want to develop their project/startup?
First, of course, I would advise you to be brave, not to be afraid and do it. But nevertheless, before doing anything, you should definitely read a lot of available information regarding startups, and participate in incubators like the ABC incubator. Don’t assume that you can invent some super new approach. Many beginning startups have a good experience that you can learn from such as the importance of good team building. This should be the first priority, because the idea, although often important, still plays a secondary role. With the right team, almost any idea can be successfully implemented.