After four months, SHub Classroom of Nguyen Dang An (23 years old, in Ho Chi Minh City) and his colleagues reached 100,000 users, making it into the top 4 popular educational applications on Google Play.
One day after the industry’s highest award of VND 100 million of the ” Young knowledge for education ” program in 2019, Dang An took the earliest flight back to Ho Chi Minh City to share joy with relatives and members of the SHub Classroom project.
“As the first to be named in the top 5 outstanding works, I broke up, my hands and feet trembled. The award as a landmark, recognition of my hard work and passion for the members of the group. for more than two years, “Dang An, founder of the SHub Classrom project, recalled the moment when the award was received.
Dang An’s startup group consists of 10 people from 19 to 23 years old, who know each other because they study together the University of Science, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City. Prior to the implementation of SHub Classroom, the group had been together for more than two years with three other startup projects but failed, losing about VND 50 million.
Dang An aims to find new products and new directions for the group. The idea of implementing SHub Classroom comes from the experience of high school during high pressure. Dang An said that students must learn a lot of knowledge, today did not fully understand the lesson but had to learn a new lesson tomorrow.
“I came up with an idea to help students find support, answer questions and replenish missing knowledge on a continuous, timely basis instead of having to wait until the next class to ask teachers, friends “, An said.
Nguyen Dang An, representative of the group, received the 100 million award of the “Young knowledge for education” program in 2019. Photo: Thanh Hang
At the end of February, An shared this idea with the members and was well received. Borrowing a room at the Technology Park of Ho Chi Minh City National University, the whole team went there to focus on research and project development.
SHub Classroom operates in the same connection model as current motorbike taxi applications, when there are any difficult problems or exercises, students post questions or take photos, the system will automatically find suitable support. well suited. Before that, users need to register information about their strengths and weaknesses in which subject to the system has a connection basis. The difference of SHub Classroom is that one can just post questions and help others solve problems if they can do it.
The target application is targeted at secondary and high school students because they can use smart phones at this age.
After a period of development and testing, SHub Classroom is available on the app store and users are free to download. The number of users after four months of launch of SHub Classroom is about 100,000, increasing so quickly that Dang An and the unexpected members.
At the beginning, Dang An planned that the group would have to pay 10 million dong per month for server rental and information technology platforms for the application to run. However, in the last two months, this number has risen to 30 million because the number of users increased so fast. Team members must call for support and investment and use the money earned from other jobs to compensate for the excessive amount.
For more than seven months of project implementation, Dang An and colleagues’ biggest difficulty was the lack of maintenance funding. “There are many days when you run out of money you have to stay in the office to eat instant noodles, work until 9-10pm, sometimes sleep again and continue in the morning,” recalls An.
In addition, the great challenge for members is to find a way for SHub Classroom to compete with domestic and foreign rivals when there is no potential like them. The question of how to turn up and live without funding, without representatives and advisors made Dang An and the headache group find solutions.
At one point, the SHub Classroom project seemed to be stopped because “the road was obscure, money was not there”, Dang An was so stressed that he almost fell into depression. “I had nothing at that time, but the will and passion. If you want to get out of this situation and continue to pursue what you like, the passion must be greater than the difficulties ahead,” An encouraged himself. members.
Members of the SHub Classroom project. Photo: Character provided
In order to have money to sustain the project, the group took turns asking for funding from a number of small investors, alumni and received support from their families. Once more capital is available, SHub Classroom members continue to have to settle for a foothold in the market. Thanks to both parents being elementary teachers, Dang An has a lot of contact with teachers, understands the difficulties and learning pressure of both teachers and learners, thereby setting a goal to create a practical application. , Easy to use.
“Every day, we call 20 users who are teachers, students to get ideas, to base on editing the smallest details of the product such as colors, fonts so friendly and easy to use. “, Dang An said.
Nguyen Thuy Linh, representative of the author of the project “Ministry of publications contributing to the elimination of gender prejudices of high school students in Lang Son province”, also participated in the program “Young knowledge for education” 2019. However As a opponent in the final round, Thuy Linh rated SHub Classroom worthy of the highest award.
“The project of the Dang An group has very high applicability. It is the teachers and students of the high school I’ve studied that have used this application for some time and feel very interested,” Linh shared.
Currently, SHub Classroom receives a lot of positive feedback from the community of teachers and students across the country, ranking 22 best apps on the App Store, top 4 popular educational apps on Google Play, 90,000 students and 5,000 registered teachers with over 150,000 submissions and questions asked.
With 100 million awards from the “Young knowledge for education” program, the group will use it to reinvest production, pay server rentals and technology platforms for applications in the next two months. Dang An said the whole group will accelerate and complete the project so that they can bring SHub Classroom to call for capital from some big investors.