The most comprehensive guide to classes, workshops & certificate programs
When Nihal Parthasarathi discovered that people were giving up on taking local classes because there was no organized method to search for them, he co-founded CourseHorse. The company, which recently announced that it has raised $4 million in Series B funding, powers a local discovery engine connecting students and classes (and taking a commission on every registration).
Red Ventures is investing $4 million in a New York-based company that helps fill empty seats in classrooms for mostly general-interest courses in three major U.S. cities. Currently, Manhattan-based CourseHorse connects students with classes primarily in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. But the additional investment from Red Ventures will likely allow it to fill seats in other cities.
CourseHorse, one-stop shop for classes on topics including cooking, acting, languages and businesses, launches Wednesday in the Chicago area. CourseHorse.com centralizes class and course offerings of local schools, businesses and other organizations.
CourseHorse is a full listing and booking platform solution. It recently won an 8-month long NYU Stern competition, beating out 220 other startups for a $75,000 prize. 221 teams competed in the 12th Annual New Venture Competition; the 8th Annual Social Venture Competition, or the 1st Annual Technology Venture Competition. CourseHorse won the New Venture category.
New York has always been a big town for adult ed, of course. The seats of Screenwriting 101 and Conversational Italian are invariably packed with the newly divorced, the recently retired and the freshly fired—folks who are cheerfully determined to make a new start. New York overflows with such characters. No wonder we spend almost a half-billion dollars a year on "personal-interest education." And the market's only growing. Nihal Parthasarathi, co-founder of CourseHorse, an online directory of the city's continuing-ed options, says his site lists 35,000 classes from 700 local providers. Since 2008, the number of schools offering cooking classes grew to more than 200 from a dozen, while the number offering art classes increased ten-fold. "It's crazy, right?" he says.
At its core, CourseHorse is about self improvement. Whether it’s becoming a better cook, a better guitar player, or gathering the skills necessary to start a new career, CourseHorse is meant to be the bridge between potential students and their teachers. In that instance, New York and Los Angeles are perfect choices, as both cities encourage a culture of constant self improvement and evolution.
CourseHorse, a New York City-basedstartup that runs a platform that curates the best classes from local education providers along with a centralized booking engine for prospective students, has raised $500,000 in a seed funding round led by a group of investors including New York Angels, NYC Seed, Pinterest’s first investor Brian Cohen, and others.
A marketing and finance major and creative writing minor at NYU (’08), Nihal Parthasarathi joined the hired Telecom, Media and Entertainment group of Capgemini as an education and technology consultant. He was placed on a strategy project to determine the future of online education for a large provider of test-prep classes in the US. He then helped lead each phase of the overhaul of the student facing web platform that enabled students to research and buy classes, as well as the development and implementation of a Learning Management System that made managing classes and schedules easier for the company. Nihal graduated Magna Cum Laude from NYU.
A double major in economics and journalism at NYU (’07), Katie joined the founding team for Biz2Credit, a startup that connects small businesses with credit. Katie architected and managed the development of an online small business marketplace that connected entrepreneurs with lenders using a proprietary financial analysis algorithm. Within a year, she had developed the website concept, hired and managed the development team, and conducted all marketing and partnership efforts for a site that generated 5,000 unique monthly visitors and 500 paid subscriptions within the first six months. Katie graduated Magna Cum Laude from NYU.
Evan manages business development for CourseHorse, including both school acquisition and consumer marketing. Most recently, he led the local sales strategy team at Patch, a nationwide network of community news and information sites owned by AOL. Previously, he co-founded Deals For Deeds (since acquired by Recoup) and worked in management consulting in Washington, DC. Evan graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Pennsylvania.
Application & Data Architect at Timehop & Gilt. Hired / led 7 devs building deals site w/millions in monthly visits. B.S. Cornell, Magna Cum Laude