‘Netflix meets Harvard Business Review’: This Austin edtech startup uses video to teach entrepreneurship

by Kelly O'Halloran
March 15, 2019
g51 edu behind the scenes
image via g51 edu

In line with its mission to democratize entrepreneurship, Austin-based capital firm G51 launched G51 EDU in 2016 to provide college professors with educational, entrepreneur-focused videos via an online course for students.

Each video presents a startup case study by highlighting the six tenets of entrepreneurship through an interview with an executive at the company.

G51 EDU’s hope is that students from any department — not just the business schools — will get inspired to embark on their own entrepreneurial journeys.

Think Netflix meets Harvard Business Review.”

“We break down the business based on problem, solution, market, team, business model and competition,” said Brigitte Johannessen, director of universities at G51 EDU. “Think Netflix meets Harvard Business Review.”

The cloud-based videos are interactive, with embedded chapter markers and quizzes, and shortened to 10 minutes to quickly deliver a lesson based on real-life examples. Bundled as a course, the videos also come with teaching resources like lecture slides, lesson plans and discussion topics to help.

While G51 EDU markets the courses directly to professors, it’s not the professors who actually purchase them; it’s the students. And any student or interested entrepreneur can purchase the course online, regardless of university ties.

“These are available to anyone,” said Johannessen. “Our strategy is to touch as many people as we can, but by focusing on professors, it helps get the word out.”

G51 EDU has existing partnerships with the University of Texas at Austin, Concordia University and Baylor University, and has agreements in place with Drexel and University of Pennsylvania to begin this fall.

This isn’t the first time the firm has ventured into the education sector. After launching in 1996, G51 created the G51 Venture Scholars Program in 2001. The two-month-long internship accepts between 20 and 30 MBA students from the top business schools in the country and teaches them about startups, venture capital and fundraising.

We would love for companies and professors to recommend cases.”

But when a UT professor from the Fine Arts Department requested G51 to open its internship program to his department, G51 founder Rudy Garza came up with the idea for G51 EDU.

To date, G51 EDU’s library consists of business case studies from eight companies, including Austin-based FloSports and TrendKite and San Antonio-based Easy Expunctions.

“In addition to awareness, our goal is to expand the library,” said Johannessen. “We want collaboration, and we would love for companies and professors to recommend cases that we should produce videos on... We want to know what you want to learn.”

Johannessen added that the best way to get in touch with them is by dropping them a note or stopping by G51 EDU’s office at Concordia University.

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