It’s been almost 2 years since Jay Goyal, CEO and Co-Founder of Actively Learn, went on stage, made a pitch and won $142,500 for the 1st place Investment Fund Award for a For-Profit and $10,000 for the Microsoft Award at the 2013 SVP Fast Pitch at McCaw Hall. Since then, a lot of things have happened.
Actively Learn is an online e-reading platform that empowers teachers to increase students’ comprehension and retention. The company was founded by Dr. Deep Sran and Jay Goyal in 2012. Since then, the company has been making an impact to education by helping students engage in reading. The company’s engagement framework is based on the premise that reading engagement depends on 3 factors: prior knowledge (including vocabulary), skills, and motivation.
At present, Actively Learn has been able to engage almost half a million users across the country. Right now, “Things are good” says Jay. Students and teachers use the platform either through “Freemium”, “PRO Teacher”, or “PRO School/District” subscriptions. The company has been growing by expanding into different school districts nationwide and they are forging partnerships with publishers to make more resources available on the Actively Learn platform.
Jay also shared that the SVP Fast Pitch experience helped them consistently check their story telling. As their story evolves, they reflect those changes within story telling while delivering the message they need to communicate to their audience. The 2013 SVP Fast Pitch was actually the second time that Actively Learn competed. In 2012, they were also part of Fast Pitch as a quarterfinalist.
When asked for advice for the 2015 Fast Pitch participants, Jay shared two:
First is “Tell the story they need to hear, not the story you want to tell.” It is critical that the message is delivered in a way that the audience understands. Second is “Highlight your strengths.” Any value proposition needs to be supported by qualities that make a product and organization stronger.
When Jay started this venture with Deep, he wanted to do more social work. In his 2013 pitch, he said that “our country has not improved reading achievement in over 40 years,” and Actively Learn is changing that. Through their platform, they are empowering teachers to engage better with students and helping students engage better in reading so that they can live a life with endless possibilities. Jay did more than social work, Actively Learn is making an impact on education and our future.