Title: Helping students ace their matura (A-levels in Poland). The creator of cyfrowehistorie.pl talks about his startup.
Prepare with us for your matura in history. Check your progress every week. These are your slogans. Where did the idea for these stories come from?
Rafal Szymczak, creator of cyfrowehistorie.pl: From an opportunity. That is, from an EU project three years ago. The project rewarded innovation, primarily educational innovation. With a small team, we produced over a dozen multimedia resources on the history of the twentieth century for the website. Additionally, there were interactive maps, tests, etc. The number of people using it showed that there was a demand for such materials, especially since it all happened during the pandemic.
New opportunities. − A year later, a new subject was introduced in Polish schools: History and the Present. And there were no materials for it; teachers were not prepared for it. In fact, there was the so-called textbook by Professor Roszkowski, but perhaps the mildest thing to say about it is that it is journalism. Therefore, social initiatives arose to create content for this subject, to make an alternative to this “textbook.”
Where did the funds come from? − As a group, we reasoned that if people truly needed such content, they would pay for it. We held a public fundraiser because those who saw this textbook wanted something else. We raised enough money for nearly ten solid materials.
What about CyfroweHistorie? − Following up on these two experiences, it is time to demonstrate our worth in the market, and not just with free materials. We wanted to create a self-sustaining project. We already had some experience and a solid foundation of excellent teachers and academics. On top of that, we were familiar with the target audience, which consisted of approximately 20,000 students preparing for their final history exam. The most important premise was to create an effective platform for exam preparation. We reasoned that since parents spend a lot of money on tutoring and special test books, we could do something to help them prepare more cheaply and efficiently.
How? − Digitally. On the one hand, this is knowledge and its validation through tests, but on the other hand, something equally important in exam preparation is a tool that will „keep an eye,” that is, a kind of calendar that reminds students what needs to be done and plans their work.
Business-wise, you are involved in one of the projects associated with the DISCO program − Developing Innovative Sustainable Cooperation Opportunities. What is, then, your business model? − Yes, we want to commercialize this project. In business terms, we plan to make money from access to substantive content, multimedia, tests, etc. At first, naturally, we show what we can do and encourage people to sample our materials for free. However, the full path to passing the matura requires a fee.
What stage are you at? − We have a working platform and free and paid content. The content appears according to our proprietary matura preparation program. By the end of November, we will have seven sections of the core curriculum ready (there will be a total of 34 such sections). We are just getting started with sales and marketing. By December, it should already be clear whether the idea has worked for us. It’s a project that organizes exam preparation, a relief for parents, also in financial terms. It has the potential to develop in new areas.
CyfroweHistorie The startup aims to create digital educational materials, particularly history textbooks and tests, for secondary and elementary school students. These tools aid in self-study and help users prepare for final exams at the elementary and secondary levels.
As an individual, the company’s CEO has extensive experience in developing comprehensive and well-tested digital products, as evidenced by his work at www.cyfrowyhit.pl and successful collaborations with prominent academics and school teachers.
The startup’s primary goal is to develop, scale up, and successfully launch the product. Leveraging knowledge and experience from the CEO’s past successes, the startup aims to produce high-quality digital tests and textbooks that provide engaging and effective learning experiences for students studying history.
By providing accessible and comprehensive digital resources for self-study and exam preparation, the startup aims to support students in gaining a deeper understanding of history and achieving excellence.
Through meticulous development, strategic scaling and a well-executed launch, the startup seeks to establish itself as a leading provider of digital learning materials in history. The venture has the potential to have a significant impact on the education sector and help improve the academic performance of students preparing for final exams.