We have passed into 2014, and besides the great wishes for the upcoming year, it is an opportunity to reflect on what happened with us in the past year.
The year 2013 was a breakthrough for us. The side-project we started doing as a hobby turned into an actual business that engaged us fully and showed we have the potential to make an impact on the world.
We started with having a simple landing page, a logo, and a team with many plans. Now we are looking forward to 2014 after we launched a new landing page and our blog, had awesome meetings all over Europe, moved to Tallinn, founded a company, learned a lot, designed and coded a prototype and pitched to the first potential customers and investors. We are few steps away from the beta release of TrainedOn, and we cannot wait to make a dent in the universe of education!
2013 at a glance:
- The first 9 months of the year was spent building our business through evening & weekend remote work next to our jobs & studies, with occasional live meetings in Stockholm, Rotterdam and Budapest.
- We applied to several startup accelerator programs, received useful feedback along the way, and finally, we got accepted to the prestigious programme of Startup Wise Guys.
- We got a real momentum by moving to Tallinn and getting the support from the Startup Wise Guys programme.
- We got connected to more than 70 awesome mentors (from renowned companies like Skype, LinkedIn, PayPal, GrabCAD, Toggl and many other) across Europe and North America, that gave us great advice, connections and support.
- We took part in interesting workshops and learned about all the ins and outs of startup life, and the beauties of lean startup methodology.
- We established our company in Estonia: TrainedOn OÜ now provides the official foundation for our work.
- We conducted interviews with more than 40 trainers across Europe and US while validating our hypotheses and getting a deeper understanding of what trainers need.
- We built the first prototype and it was super exciting to have more and more trainers testing it as weeks passed by and new features were added step by step.
- The feedback we received from testing was invaluable and it provided us direction and encouragement. Our favourite comment was: “This is the best schedule designer I have ever seen! Ok, I haven’t seen any before, but still, that does not make this less cool :-)”
- We had fun all along the way. Among many other memories, we’ll never forget cleaning up the remains of a blown up beanbag – of course, only after recording our New Year greetings video that you can see below 🙂
- We experienced the excitement of trying to condense everything about our business in 6-minute pitch and presenting it on a stage in a fully packed room.
- As our accelerator programme finished with demo days in Tallinn and London, we got back to remote work in December: focusing to finish the public beta, bring it to a wider audience and engage in even more conversations with our users!
Of course, it wasn’t always as sweet as a chocolate cake (though we did make some): we were juggling between live and remote work, had stressful moments to prepare for the demo days, and needed to figure out how life will continue after our accelerator programme finished in Tallinn. We are really grateful for many people who helped us along the way with their advice, experience and connections, and not to mention the wives and girlfriends who kept supporting us all along the way.
We feel that we managed to elevate TrainedOn in the past 12 months, and we have even more ambitious and important milestones for 2014. We are excited to launch the first public version of TrainedOn in the next weeks, and get closer toward the future we envision: where educators across the globe work together and share their knowledge, as a standard practice for creating better quality training.
We wish your plans and goals for 2014 will flow as smooth as bean bag fillings do in our video: