Entrepreneurship Interviews Start-up stories

Maik Fuellmann on Online Learning and Fight Covid19

Maik Fuellmann

CEO and Co-Founder of QUIZZBIZZ Ltd
Consultant at The Institute for Knowledge and Innovation – South-East Asia (IKI-SEA)

We are currently using our concept of smart mobile learning to fight the corona virus (www.fight-covid19.com) but so far we couldn’t win strong partners in NGO’s or government to support our movement. In comparison to all the other information around we would be able to create a personalized, fully mobile learning tool for young people (8-16 Years) who could safe society with an optimum of hygiene and better knowledge about the impact of their behavior.

ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP
What is your Story as Entrepreneur? How was your moment when you decided to create your own company?

I worked more than 20 Years in the management of international organizations in Europe and Asia and then decided to open up my own consulting company focusing on strategy consulting for NGO’s and for-purpose businesses. I joint the Institute of Knowledge Management and Innovation at Bangkok University and lectured on knowledge management, innovation and entrepreneurship. In one of my classes we discussed about the future of learning and we became so excited about that topic- particular because my student didn’t like the way knowledge is distributed via e-learning and courses – we started a research project at the faculty on gamified smart mobile learning which opened up various business opportunities. We were able to find corporates for case studies and started with our first commercial projects – that was the time when the company was founded – first in Hong Kong and then later we opened up an entity in Thailand.

What is your company about? How did you come with the idea?

We build smart mobile learning solutions and help companies, organizations and schools to engage and train learners with bite-sized knowledge on their mobile phones. The system sent out personalized notifications and chase people to learn and repeat. A little bit like a fitness tracker -but for our brain. Relevant information and rich media are included and a gamified mix of learning and fun engage users and make it easy to learn anytime “on the go”. Actually the perfect solution for today’s busy professionals to learn in the bus or subway a few minutes every day.

“We believe in a human-centric society that embrace lifelong learning and balance economic advancement with the resolution of social problems for a better world”

 

What is your purpose behind the startup? What is your business model and impact model?

Education and Knowledge are gamechangers. Our vision is to inspire and empower individuals, families, communities and business with shared tools, shared resources and shared knowledge delivered with Smart Mobile Learning Technology. We believe in a human-centric society that embrace lifelong learning and balance economic advancement with the resolution of social problems for a better world.

We currently work in co-creation projects in which we develop customized “white label solutions” on mobile learning for our clients. Our UNIQUIZZ platform allows us to create branded mobile training solutions for companies who want to qualify their people, increase sales and support their traditional workshops with blended learning modules but we also created exam preparation and learning solutions on a subscription / freemium basis.

Recently we won grants from the National Innovation Agency in Thailand and from intergovernmental organizations to support initiatives on plastic pollution (UNESCO) or circular economy (UNEP) with our mobile engagement concept.

Our team is very passionate about environmental and social education and awareness building. We now focus on this area and started a projects on the sustainable development goals where students create content for other students – which is fun and very educational.

“Basically we train and engage everyone with a smartphone in learning and corporate training. This can be the sales personal in a duty free shop at the airport who got trained on product knowledge about a whisky brand, an employee of dunkin donuts on customer service and hygienic standards, a banker on risk management and Anti Corruption Regulations or a student who want to prepare for a exam in school”

 

How are you promoting your startup and product? What is your PR and Marketing strategy?

Most of our projects are with government organizations or NGO’s and within the last Years we build trust and a network in which we get new projects via word t o mouth. As we have build our expertise during the last Years and are able to create standard solutions – e.g. a learning platform on ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) or SDG’s we plan to raise funds to build a business development, PR and marketing team – that we currently don’t have.

What kind of extra services your company is providing for your customers? Who is your potential customer?

We consult on knowledge management and develop and implement mobile learning solutions based on training need and knowledge management assessments. Basically we train and engage everyone with a smartphone in learning and corporate training. This can be the sales personal in a duty free shop at the airport who got trained on product knowledge about a whisky brand, an employee of dunkin donuts on customer service and hygienic standards, a banker on risk management and Anti Corruption Regulations or a student who want to prepare for a exam in school.

Our uniqueness is that we are engaging people in a daily, gamified learning routine and they can improve their knowledge with 3-5 minutes every day. Behavioral change can be supported by technology – as your smart watch reminds you on calories and daily health activities – our concepts reminds your brain on the things important to remember and learn. If this is for a better planet, secure jobs and a better future for people count on us and our passion, knowledge and our ability to co-create and to find innovative solutions.

ABOUT INNOVATION
What is innovation for you? What is collaboration for innovation?

Innovation is for me personally a journey of discovery in which I learn from and together with others to create effective solutions that solve real-life problems.

Innovation is having impact, and bringing the new product to the market. How are you selling your product and services to the established companies?

There is a high demand on training solutions but organizations often do not have an overall knowledge management and training strategy that not only include but engage different departments in knowledge exchange. That’s why we approach companies and organizations by offering them solutions to overcome knowledge silos and to involve people – not only as “listeners” to powerpoint presentations – but as “co-creators” and “knowledge champions” in a learning organization that understand knowledge as the key to competitive advantage.

To be less academic – and very practical: Companies understand two things
1) With Smart Mobile Learning make training more effective at less cost.
2) You can measure the training success and get quantifiable KPI on your training costs with mobile gamified assessments and training solutions.

Regarding your funding, how did you finance your startup at the beginning? Did you receive external investment?

We are completely bootstrapped and currently prepare for our first funding round to build a professional business development team and a infrastructure to grow and scale in different markets with standardized smart mobile products e.g. mobile training courses on Environmental Social Governance (ESG), Sustainability (SDGs) or work safety.

We want to raise up to 2M USD from impact investors, family offices and larger organizations who might be interested in utilizing our knowledge and technology in their own organization.

Talking about finance, what are the best practises you learnt until now and you would like to share with other entrepreneurs?

As we started as an University project we did not think much about financing our activities in the beginning – which was – looking back – a mistake. Approaching investors and VC’s with the idea and a business-plan would have smoothen our start. On the other hand we gained a lot of experience being a lean startup in which everyone knows everything being a part of an entrepreneurial team.

“Innovation is for me personally a journey of discovery in which I learn from and together with others to create effective solutions that solve real-life problems”

 

ABOUT LIFE
What are you doing during your spare time and weekends?

I love cooking and invite friends for my home-cooked dinners (o.k. some people say that I always have to find new friends because of that) but there are still some who come back). I use to play table tennis and badminton and spend time with family and friends.

What is your morning routine? Coffee or tea?

Tea person – German Herbal Teas usually, early-bird (5.30am) usually.

What is your favorite place for holidays?

I love Spain, Barcelona, Canary Islands and Italy.

Recommended books by Maik Fuellmann:

We are currently using our concept of smart mobile learning to fight the corona virus (www.fight-covid19.com) but so far we couldn’t win strong partners in NGO’s or government to support our movement. In comparison to all the other information around we would be able to create a personalized, fully mobile learning tool for young people (8-16 Years) who could safe society with an optimum of hygiene and better knowledge about the impact of their behavior.”

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