This article is cross-posted from edtechtimes.com, where I currently serve as editor-in-chief.
TechCrunch, the site for startup news, is breaking through the proverbial 4th wall and getting into the start-up business.
TechCrunch is partnering with online learning marketplace Udemy to offer readers self-directed, TechCrunch-curated courses featuring business luminaries and grey beards such as Eric Ries, Dave McClure and Jack Welch. Ned Desmond, COO at TechCrunch says: “CrunchU offers tech-driven learners around the world an exciting opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds in today’s tech and startup world.”
CrunchU will couple its big-vision course offerings with practical next-step courses such as “Creating Responsive Web Design” and “Sales and Persuasion Skills for Startups” to “Android Apps in 1 Hour: No Coding Required ” and “Raising Money for Startups”
When asked about the unusual alliance between a news outlet and a MOOC, Dinesh Thiru, VP of Marketing at Udemy noted that TechCrunch readers are particularly driven by the need to reinvent themselves: “The world is changing for the busy professional and it’s changing really dramatically. Now more than ever, entrepreneurs need to keep improving their skillset, and have to keep learning throughout entire life…to stay relevant, get promoted make a career change, start a business. TechCrunch has been at the forefront of informing and equipping the world. This is an amazing yet natural extension in their ability to deliver a ton of value to their audience.”
Thiru believes that CrunchU targets are, by definition, TechCrunch readers and Disrupt attendees or followers whose natural inclination toward growth hacking makes the news outlet’s partnership with Udemy a natural fit, and that TechCrunch’s expansion beyond news to include other start-up related content serves its readers well.
“Maybe they’re working for Google or Facebook as engineers, marketers or operations talent, and they want to know what their next skillsets should be. What should they be learning about, and from whom? Together, Udemy and TechCrunch intend to answer the question with mobile courseware, which may be the only way many of their targets can find the time to get and stay current.”
Udemy and TechCrunch are natural partners for the company they keep: both have access to movers and shakers in the start-up and global business worlds, and will translate that access into courseware and strategic counsel. The TechCrunch and Udemy teams will work together closely on identifying and addressing trending issues and needs.
Thiru declined to offer a projected uptake for the first year, and said that TechCrunch and Udemy’s initial focus was courseware quality. He did share that course costs probably won’t break the backpack: sign-up is free and most courses will retail between $19 – $99. A full list of courses is available at www.crunchu.udemy.com, and users can enroll by visiting CrunchU‘s site or or TechCrunch.
Sheri Cheng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maureen MacGregor also contributed to this article.