A group of 20 young international graduates has received $1.6m in venture capital from the EU, the federal state of Brandenburg and BMP media investors, which will enable global expansion for their digital campus concept called iversity.
An online collaboration network, iversity allows lecturers to easily organise courses, research projects and conferences, all for free. It also provides students with tools for interaction and collaboration that standard e-learning systems do not provide.
According to Jonas Liepmann, co-founder, iversity offers "what I always felt was lacking during my own studies – possibilities for real student collaboration outside the classroom.
“This funding provides us with a sizeable launch pad. It enables us to present a world-class product this fall,” he said.
More than 11,000 users registered at www.iversity.org during the beta phase. Their feedback is now driving the redesign process. The new iversity website will go live in September 2011.
Good timing for iversity
Co-founder Hannes Klöpper believes iversity is launching at “exactly the right point in time”.
“For example, in Germany, not only is the number of incoming students rising year over year, but changes in the high school system in some federal states means that two full year groups will enter universities this year. Rather than just sitting alongside each other in anonymous lectures, iversity enables students to learn from and with each other online,” he said.
Based in Berlin, the iversity team come from a variety of academic backgrounds. They have studied, amongst others, at the Universities of Cambridge, Columbia, Duke, Princeton, the Humboldt Universität, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris and the National University of Singapore.