May 7, 2014
The co-founder and CEO of Open English, Andres Moreno, shared some of his personal experience in proving a concept and dealing with competition with Tech Cocktail’s Frank Gruber during the Miami Sessions event at Venture Hive.
Open English has raised $130 million in funding to date, but Moreno reminded the entrepreneurs in the audience that in the beginning, he had to pivot and change for the company to work.
“When we started we had a different name and a different business model. We were going to make English classes available to everyone and collect money from advertisement,” explains Moreno. He quickly realized that it wouldn’t work because people do not spend as much time learning, which wasn’t enough for advertisers.
“Prove what you do quickly. [This] allows you to raise money to build the perfect product,” said Moreno.
Moreno detailed how Open English was able to scale:
“Building an MVP for us [involved] building a platform where teachers communicated via Internet with students and taught English. Having 100 classes was the proof that people actually wanted this. That got us to raising an angel round. The next step was to prove a conversion funnel. Does it have depth?” explained Moreno.
Moreno explained that Open English will potentially file for an IPO in the upcoming year.
“What is the comparative advantage you have over your competitor? If you can’t find one, then you shouldn’t be in the business,” said Moreno.
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