Ginkgotree – An Education Start-up That’s Growing eLearning By Quantum Leaps
Ginkgotree is an innovative tech-company based in Detroit that is enabling professors, teachers and all kinds of instructors to easily create their own web-based teaching materials. The company is a former start-up of Ann Arbor’s Tech Brewery, and was founded by Andrew Colchagoff, Scott Hasbrouck and Lida Hasbrouck. These trio spent several months callings hundreds of stakeholders ranging from; college faculties, college students, publishers and instructional designers, while working tirelessly to fine tune and debug the Gingkgotree app that is elevate eLearning by quantum leap.
Ginkgotree allows users to assemble all of their teaching materials into a single digital Bundle TM and is setting itself up to be the leading source for learners to get all their course materials easily. Ginkgotree selling point is that it has a better appeal to learners compared to the conventional etextbooks and other digital course pack solutions. This is because Ginkgotree can unify a wide variety of teaching materials into a single unified digital Bundle TM; enabling learners to get copyrighted books and other open educational resources (OER) such as webpages to streaming online media.
Scott said, “We’re not the first team to think of this idea of assembling a collection of educational content from multiple sources… We believe that now the timing is right, and our execution of a network of atomized content is right”. The trio, founders of Ginkgotree also appreciate the opportunity given to them by Tech Brewery especially considering its resources for new businesses, which enabled them to get in touch with a lot of Southeast Michigan’s network of founders.
Scott added, “When you’re bootstrapping, working at home can get depressing… you’ll lose energy, and forget to celebrate the wins – which is absolutely necessary. Starting a company is probably the hardest and most insane thing you can decide to do. You’ll need like-minded friends to survive.”
The Ginkgotree operated at the Ann Arbor for a few years, then, later relocated to a space of their own and the best place they could think of was downtown region of Detroit. “We felt as though Detroit offered a unique opportunity to shine – by leading a region to build itself, rather than establishing ourselves in a sport with 1000 other start-ups,” Scott said. This move proved quiet fruitful for the company, they are now serving many clients ranging from Spring Arbor University to Blackboard. One thing most users appreciate about the Ginkgotree is its versatility.
Lida said, “Individual instructors can choose to adopt Ginkgotree independently, or they can adopt it as part of a larger campus initiative, in place of just assigning a physical textbook.” Users simply start by opening an account, after that, instructors start creating “Bundles” of teaching materials as part of their course content. They do this by selecting from the available publisher contents, uploading their own teaching materials and inserting URLs to open online sources. On the other end, students can log into their accounts and view their course reading materials from their instructors; the platform also allows them to interact with their classmates. “At any time, instructors can update course content and students can access and annotate their materials securely.”
As Ginkgotree continues creating online educational materials, they are also aggressively working on growing and developing a team of competent coders, designers and business partners. Scott said, “By far, the biggest challenge has been finding the right people to execute… The only way to survive, is to find people with that magical ability that know how to pick the 3 or 4 wildly important details to focus on, out of the 1000 things they could be worried about. When you find someone who can do this, you hire them immediately, and never look back.”
Currently the trio founders of Ginkgotree and the rest of their team are confident in their product and are optimistic about a bright future for them and users of Ginkgotree. As Linda put is, “I’m excited for Ginkgotree to be an agent for change in the education space… A company people rely on for meaningful innovation that improves the lives of educators and learners.”
For more detail on Ginkgotree, you can follow this link to get a view of their website or have a look at their blog post by clicking here. You can also interact with them via Facebook: facebook.com/ginkgotree and Twitter: @ginkgotree.