Extension Engine, a leading provider of Custom Learning Experiences, announced that it was selected to help create Kauffman FastTrac®, an innovative online learning program. FastTrac equips aspiring entrepreneurs with business skills, resources, tools and insights, and enables affiliate groups to create peer networks and provide community members with the confidence and information they need to start and grow businesses. FastTrac is a program of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation in the world devoted to entrepreneurship.
With FastTrac, entrepreneurs decide how they want to learn: online and self-paced, in a classroom with peers or in a blended format. The innovative program is designed to be immersive and flexible, and enables entrepreneurs to access practical course material and navigate directly to the most relevant content at their own pace. They can take the course as one comprehensive program or access specific content and tools for their unique issues.
“Most online courses force learners to go through the material in a standard, formulaic progression, dictating the format, pace and content, but that’s not how entrepreneurs operate,” said Ben Bradley, Senior Program Manager, Kauffman Foundation. “We took a custom approach to the development of FastTrac to ensure that the learning experience worked for entrepreneurs as well as affiliate groups, which are an extremely valuable resource for entrepreneurs.”
FastTrac also provides access to entrepreneurs that have taken the course and built successful real-world businesses. The 30- hour interactive course, previously only available via an in-person classroom format, includes bite-size, digestible content, surveys, video, and relevant entrepreneurial insights. Specific modules educate entrepreneurs on key elements of creating, launching and growing businesses, including how to:
- Align business concept with real market opportunity.
- Find target market and discover a competitive advantage.
- Determine the unique features and benefits of products/services.
- Set realistic financial goals.
- Develop a marketing strategy.
- Manage business functions and develop an organizational culture.
- Determine the steps to profitability.
- Identify potential sources of funding.
Open edX was selected as the development platform to ensure content can be easily customized and tools can be added to meet entrepreneurs’ specific needs. Extension Engine created a customized user interface, navigation, workspace and affiliate functionality. The program is accessed directly via the FastTrac website, www.fasttrac.org, or through affiliate groups that customize the program for specific community needs.
"Kauffman wasn't content to 'film a play and call it a movie;' instead they wanted to leverage everything that has been successful with their earlier program yet also leverage the benefits of an online program,”said Furqan Nazeeri, Partner, Extension Engine. “Kauffman is a great example of an organization investing in a world-class learning experience that’s tailored to the learner - in this case, busy entrepreneurs who need real-time insights and tools that deliver immediate value.”
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