We are incredibly proud to announce our seed financing and the official launch of CoRise!
CoRise exists to break down the barriers that hold people back from mastering high-demand skills. We’re pioneering a new model of online learning—one that’s just as effective, motivating, and fun as any in-person class, but that also takes advantage of all the technology can offer. Our mission is to upskill the world’s workforce and unlock every learner’s potential.
The problem: Ongoing learning is critical, but existing solutions aren’t keeping up
I’ve worked in education for over 15 years. I started my career with Teach for America, teaching fourth grade in San Jose, California. In 2012, I joined Coursera as one of the first ten employees and first business hire. As I started and then scaled Coursera’s enterprise business over the next six years, working closely with Learning & Development and People leaders across a wide range of industries, I noticed two things:
- The need to upskill employees is massive and growing. The World Economic Forum estimates that a billion jobs will be transformed by technology over the next ten years. Technology is creating entirely new industries and fundamentally changing the way we work—and technology itself is changing all the time. This means continuous learning is no longer a luxury. To be successful, companies and employees need to learn constantly.
- Existing learning solutions aren’t working for learners and companies. In-person learning is expensive, hard to scale, and challenging in hybrid work environments. Meanwhile, while asynchronous learning has done an amazing job of getting content out into the world, it continues to be insufficient for most learners as evidenced by completion rates that hover around 4-6 percent.
All of this puts companies and learners in an impossible position. Learning & Development and People leaders are forced to choose between highly scalable but less effective online training, or costly in-person training that is impossible to roll out across a large organization. Individual learners are caught between prohibitively expensive degrees and professional programs, and online courses that they will never complete.
Our solution: A new model for online learning
Teaming up with my incredible former Coursera colleagues and now co-founders, Jacob Samuelson and Sourabh Bajaj, we created CoRise because we believe these tradeoffs don’t have to exist.
CoRise is a place where anyone and everyone can level up on learning—no matter how busy they are or how brand-new the skill is—with online courses that are practical, efficient, and engaging. It’s a place where industry-leading practitioners show learners how to tackle real-world problems; where learners master in-demand technical skills that make an immediate impact on their careers; and where cutting-edge pedagogy, inspiring instructors, and peer-to-peer support come together to make real growth accessible to us all.
What does all that look like in practice? CoRise offers:
- Courses. Live, cohort and project based courses taught by industry experts from leading-edge technology companies.
- Community of practice for ongoing peer to peer learning, advice, and support.
- Personalization. CoRise will leverage technology and advances in AI to ensure student success—identifying who needs help, when they need it, and in what form.
CoRise is just over a year old, and we’ve already had successful learners from more than 500 companies—including Lyft, Electronic Arts, Spotify, Walmart, and Nordstrom. Our average completion rate is 78 percent—more than twelve times the industry average—and 94 percent of our learners say the skills they learned from their CoRise courses will help them succeed in their jobs.
We’re proud of those numbers. But what’s most meaningful are the stories behind the numbers—stories from students. Students like Ben, who got a new job and a 50% raise after taking our 4-week Analytics Engineering course, or Emily, who paused her prestigious masters in ML degree to focus on our Deep Learning Essentials course because “it did more to move the needle” in her career.
Where we’re headed next
As we head into the final months of 2022, our top priorities are:
- Building more courses, tracks, and verticals in high-demand technical fields.
- Releasing new product features that promote personalization and social
- Launching more enterprise customers—we are currently working with innovative companies to arm their technical talent with the most cutting-edge skills. We’re excited to expand our work with companies.
Working on this critical mission with such a talented, kind, and fun team is the opportunity of a lifetime, and one that we are profoundly grateful for. We want to take a minute to recognize our partners in building CoRise:
- Our amazing investors: Greylock (Sarah Guo and Reid Hoffman), GSV Ventures (Deborah Quazzo and Michael Cohn), Cowboy Ventures (Aileen Lee and Amanda “Robby” Robson)
- The exceptional CoRise team: Amber, Zayd, Frank, Stefan, Jin, Dragan, Judy, Barbara, Steve, and Anna
- Our spectacular instructors, who care deeply for their students and pour so much of themselves into every single class
Finally, thank you to our incredible learners. Your success is what drives us, and your tenacity inspires us every day. We are so lucky to be part of your journeys.
Julia, Jake and Sourabh