“We don’t just want the elite to be able to access business education. We think it should be open to the 24-year-old in Bangalore looking to start a company himself who is nowhere near a business school but has a smartphone.”
Who said it: Frank Meehan, Partner SparkLabsGlobal
In Context: Helping entrepreneurs to fill the gaps in their business acumen has typically been the job of VCs and angels. Sometimes that kind of know-how doesn’t get transferred and that is where SmartUp, which is developing a platform for educational Apps, sees an opportunity. SmartUp itself has some famous founders behind it, Henry Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman who worked together at LastMinute.com. Hoberman is also a super-angel. Meehan is currently the chief executive, according to FT. He has an impressive venture track record too, particularly in mobile. He describes SmartUp as “BuzzFeed for learning”. It delivers lessons about common business challenges, which Google also claims for its recently launched marketing educational App (Primer), as do some other competitors mentioned in the article. The claim is not necessarily that this can replace an MBA from Harvard or Stanford — because online cannot create the “network” of colleagues and friends one gains at a top B-school according to Meehan, but they believe there’s a niche market, one serving a global opportunity.
Where we found it: FT