BizKitchen is proud to launch its newest firm: Mobile Academy!
Founders Macky Cruz, Howard Go, myself, and my STORM co-conspirator Paolo dela Fuente built Mobile Academy with one thing in mind: to give creative-minded and ambitious people tools in building the next great mobile app.
We see no absolutely no reason why the next Angry Birds or Instagram couldn’t come from the Philippines!
I want to take you a bit through how this company was made, in the hope of somehow providing some insight.
The need: We saw a pretty clear need in the market: there was a dearth of good mobile developers, in particular iOS developers. Not surprisingly, there was also a dearth of iOS training providers.
Idea Development: The need was clear, but we wanted to be something much more than a run-of-the-mill training provider. First, we decided we wanted to get the absolute best faculty we could have. The best of the best. Ultimately, this was going to be the difference maker, so we needed to roll our sleeves and recruit like the Pied Piper. Second, we noted a number of modern learning theories we wanted to incorporate in the curriculum. In particular, we wanted to incorporate theories centering on learning by doing and learning through community. Third, we wanted to help not only the programmer, but the non-programmer as well.
Idea Refinement: Our recruitment efforts were rewarded. We ended up with 6 great, great iOS faculty members with varied backgrounds: startup owners of successful mobile development firms, a couple of CTO’s of larger companies, successful indie app creators. Most importantly, these guys can teach. We were calling them “iOS Avengers” at one point. What a blessing.
Working closely with the iOS Avengers, we developed the curriculum carefully. Designed with lesser lectures and much more exercises, the curriculum slowly took form. We incorporated a “demo day” at the end of the course, where participants would get to present their “app-thesis.” We incorporated a mentorship program. It took awhile with very passionate founders and faculty, but soon, we had a rough curriculum – our minimum viable product.
Idea Testing: Would the curriculum work? Woud the non-programmers mix well with the programmers? How many days would it REALLY take to deliver the material? One way to find out. We released our MVP to a limited number of people. We spread the word with some of our friends in the mobile development industry – we were going to do a pilot! In just a couple of days, we filled the 12 slots with participants. Our Batch Zero. Starting July, we held classes every Saturday in STORM’s conference room. We were very conscious of surveying the each participant at the end of every session.
Funding: At first, we went around trying to raise money from different sources. If you could imagine, fixing up a nice-looking Apple training facility would require a significant sum. However, investors wanted a grand portion of the equity, and as entrepreneurs, we just couldn’t agree to the terms being handed out. So we did some creative financial planning and got the number down to a more palatable amount. Then the founders just plopped the sum. Mobile Academy is a totally bootstrapped startup.
Iteration: We tweaked and iterated the curriculum after gathering data from every session. We are still tweaking and iterating the curriculum. We will always tweak and iterate for the better. It has come to a point though where we feel quite comfortable with what we have for a soft launch.
Like all startups, Mobile Academy will need a lot of care, time, and feedback. I’d appreciate any help and/or feedback regarding this new baby. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you got some. Also, if you like the concept and think its a good idea, please do give us your support by liking MA on Facebook and following us on Twitter.
Thank you so much.
So…Are you interested in making the next great mobile app? Whether you are an experienced programmer or a total newbie, Mobile Academy is the game-changer for your career! Apply now! Classes will start on September!