Berlin-based start-up sets up digital campus
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Seven digit funding enables global expansion after a successful beta phase
Starting this September, professors and students will gain access to a novel online collaboration network called iversity. $1.6 million dollars of venture capital from the European Union, the federal state of Brandenburg and BMP media investors allow for a thorough redesign and development of the online platform.
“This funding provides us with a sizeable launch pad. It enables us to present a world-class product this fall,” says iversity's founder Jonas Liepmann.
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. Until then, it is possible to sign up for early access on iversity.org.
Using iversity, lecturers can easily organize courses, research projects and conferences, all for free. Moreover, iversity also provides students with tools for interaction and collaboration that standard e-learning systems do not provide. According to Jonas Liepmann, “iversity offers, what I always felt was lacking during my own studies – possibilities for real student collaboration outside the classroom.”
Thus, iversity addresses one of the key problems of universities in the age of mass higher education.
Co-founder Hannes Klöpper notes that “iversity appears 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.”
Twenty international young graduates from a variety of academic backgrounds make up the iversity team. 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. Together, they set their goal to develop an academic infrastructure fit for the digital age.
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