Presentation on theme: "Training “Thousands of da Vincis” June 20, 2012. Agenda: Vision Corporate Summary Our organization The Team Partnerships Courses and Activities The Market."— Presentation transcript:
Agenda: Vision Corporate Summary Our organization The Team Partnerships Courses and Activities The Market Competition Size and growth Demographics Barriers to entry Financials Current and projected budget Ideal fundraising round Summary
Vision 1. Train an unprecedented number of interdisciplinary leaders. 2. Guide them as they change society. Mission: To promote a second Renaissance in the arts, sciences, and humanities and to unlock and reaffirm the full creative and intellectual potential of the individual by providing capable students with an advanced interdisciplinary education, training an unprecedented number of polymaths.
Corporate Summary Industry:Education Type:501(c)(3) charity (open to changing) Founded:March 2008 Location:NYC, Providence, Cleveland, Virtual Founders:4 Mission:Start a school to train an unprecedented number of polymaths. Advantages:Unique educational model (no majors), obvious student outcomes (students improve the world even before graduating), extensive student support, “incubator” mindset -> unique revenue stream. Defensibility:High reaccreditation barrier for established institutions. Success based on unique metrics. No similar leadership program in place, existing schools too invested. Customers:Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty. Revenue sources:Tuition, endowments, grants, equity in student-led companies. Barriers to entry: Regional accreditation, establishment of degree programs. Stage:~1,000 online students on our course portal. Establishing a geographic presence in Q3-Q4 2012.
The Team Michael Barnathan, Founding Director Michael holds a Ph. D. in Computer and Information Sciences from Temple University, specializing in machine learning with applications to artificial intelligence in medicine. He also has an extensive industry background in data science and software engineering, including a Senior Software Engineer position at Google. As a former Adjunct Professor and School of Science Advisory Council member at Monmouth University, Michael has hands-on teaching experience with courses such as Data Structures and Algorithms, Java Development, and Web Design. In addition to providing guidance towards the Polymath Foundation’s vision and satisfying the organization’s information technology needs, Michael oversees the foundation’s course development and academic affairs. email@example.com James Norris, Director James Norris is a social entrepreneur who specializes in social change, emotional intelligence, time management, and personal development. He graduated with a triple major/quadruple minor from the University of Texas at Austin and is the organizer and host of our highly successful Polymath Juntos. firstname.lastname@example.org Kristi Attwood, Director Kristi Attwood joined Project Polymath from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and has been a key contributor to our strategic planning and market research. She also runs a charity known as Made To Serve, which provides food, shelter, and aid for the needy in the Kansas City area. email@example.com (J Craig Venter) Laban Johnson, Director Laban Johnson has an extensive marketing background, and is responsible for many of the foundation's PR and marketing decisions, including how to invest our Google Grant. He has diverse industry and entrepreneurial experience, and currently writes for Yahoo! firstname.lastname@example.org
Partnerships Dell Hines, Founder of Axiom Capital Dell is the founder and managing director of Axiom Capital, a firm with $120 million of capital under management, as well as the Treasurer of the Brain Sciences Foundation. The Polymath Foundation is working with Dell and Axiom to launch the Brain Sciences Summit: a multidisciplinary gathering of the world’s leading neuroscientists, psychologists, computational biologists, and artificial intelligence researchers with a focus on curing currently intractable diseases of the brain and nervous system. The summit is taking place on Brown University’s campus in the summer of 2012, with a longer-term collaboration to follow. Jeff Peace, Founder of Halcyon Charities Halcyon Charities is a debt-free 501(c)(3) organization based in Cleveland, Ohio with a large amount of real- estate under management, including the Cleveland West Side Community Center and the Halcyon Masonic Lodge. They additionally have strong ties to Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, and Harman-Kardon, Inc. Halcyon has offered us a large amount of classroom space as well as access to their partner institutions, from which we can launch industry collaborations and source faculty and students. Google Grant Google has granted us $10,000/month in free AdWords advertising. We are currently utilizing 35% of this grant for promoting organizational outreach and the remaining 65% for promoting our course offerings. The AdWords grant also comes with analytics which allow us to derive insights about online course popularity.
Courses and Student Body 1034 registered students, 68% from the USA (next slide). Current courses: How to Create Your Own Website. Data Structures and Algorithms. Introduction to the Creative Economy. Code Like a Rockstar. Brain Sciences Foundation workshops (Providence, RI): Building a Brain-Computer Interface. Functional Neuroimaging and Digital Diagnosis. Simulating a Brain – How close are we? Upcoming courses: Illusions of Control. Interdisciplinary Critical Thinking. Human Factors and Functional Aesthetics. Talks: How to Learn Everything: Learning Skills for Becoming a 21 st Century Renaissance Person. Replacing the Radiologist: Popular and Actual Concepts in Artificial Intelligence (NYC).
Existing Non-Course Activities Polymath Conversations / Junto: Biweekly Mastermind group: bring together polymathic individuals to share their ideas, challenges, endeavors, and progress. Modeled on Benjamin Franklin’s 1727 “Club for Mutual Improvement”. Highly successful for us and the participants: Precipitated the Brain Sciences Foundation partnership. Large amount of feedback from students and faculty. Made many valuable and well-connected contacts. Polymath Survey: bottom-up market research on student demographics and interests, 52 Responses in 30 days. Polymath Columns/Essays Fundraising: >$2,000 in public donations. Causes (>1100 registered supporters) Causes Facebook page (>300 supporters, even after Facebook wipe). Facebook page Brain Sciences Foundation Summit Polymath Summit in Cleveland: A planned conference and problem-solving gathering themed around an interdisciplinary “grand challenge”. Experts from a variety of fields and backgrounds. Trying to recruit J. Craig Venter as the keynote speaker. Will partner with Halcyon Charities for space and access to academic resources.
Markets Undergraduates Expected majority of our students Most between 17 and 24 years old. High school graduates who seek a school that will accommodate their individual pace and purpose. Other exceptionally talented students, demonstrated by significant accomplishments or high test scores. Past accomplishment, purpose/drive, and fit are the primary acceptance criteria. We have a self-assessed “Is Polymath a fit for you?” instrument to help students decide. Graduate Students Expected to be a sizable minority of our students. Real-world accomplishment or strong potential for it are expected. Alumni may sit in on courses for free so long as space is available (students have preference). Faculty Most between 27 and 80 years old. Must love teaching: considered as important as research. Opportunities for faculty members to develop increasingly inspiring and stimulating teaching methods, further their communication skills, and make a difference in each student’s life individually and uniquely.
Competition Soka Liberal arts college (est. 2001) which emphasizes contributive, prosocial leadership. Concentrates two or three studies together to form semi- interdisciplinary departments. Unranked. Olin Engineering college (est. 1997, first class 2002) Strong interdisciplinary component, primarily exercised through industry collaborations. Consistently ranks in the top 20 by Princeton Review and US News despite its youth. Harvey Mudd STEM college (est. 1955). Strong emphasis on the general education component of its curriculum, both in and outside of the sciences. Consistently ranks as one of the strongest undergraduate colleges in the sciences.
Comparison Polymath InstituteOlin CollegeSoka UniversityHarvey Mudd Tuition annual cost $13,125 (year 1) $32,812 (est.) $40,000  $27,214  $42,140  Room/board annual cost Estimated $12,000, depending on area $14,500  $10,628  $13,858  Curriculum Focus Multiple and Interdisciplinary EngineeringLiberal Arts Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Location Online, then Providence, Cleveland, or NYC Needham, MAAliso Viejo, CAClaremont, CA Leadership Training? Yes, students choose and manage their projects. No, SCOPE students are strictly workers. Yes, through volunteer / study abroad. No, Clinic students are strictly contractors. Integrative? Yes, cross-cutting approach unified by student projects. Concentrates two or three studies together to form semi- interdisciplinary departments. No, lacking study in the sciences and even the capstone is unidisciplinary. No, traditional departmental model. Project Driven? Yes, a customizable student-designed approach guides the entire curriculum. Yes, through its SCOPE program: many students do projects driven by academic and industrial needs. No, traditional model. Limited, through its Clinic capstone program: the college contracts teams of students out to companies for ~$40,000 (the students are not paid). 1 http://www.hmc.edu/admission1/costsandaid.html 2 http://www.soka.edu/admission_aid/tuition_and_fees.aspx 3 http://www.olin.edu/admission/costs.aspx http://www.hmc.edu/admission1/costsandaid.html http://www.soka.edu/admission_aid/tuition_and_fees.aspx http://www.olin.edu/admission/costs.aspx
The Market (USA) As of 2010, the USA has a total of 14.6 million students enrolled full-time in higher education (source: US Census Bureau). 14.6 million* average yearly tuition of $21,189 for a 4-year college = rounded to $309 billion 14% of students interested in multi-disciplinary studies (12% of bachelors degree students overall, and 16% of students at 4-year nonprofit colleges in 2009 chose >1 major, and the number is increasing. Source: Department of Education study) We expect to eventually capture approximately 15% of the local market (students in the New York area with an interest in interdisciplinary studies).
Revenue Streams Tuition Incubator Grants $246 million/year: 7,500 students. $32,812/year per student. Research program prerequisite. Eventual endowment into the billions. Portion of faculty grants (~$250 million) Alumni Donations a minor and inconsistent source of additional revenue. $66 million/year: 7,500 students. 10% turn their projects into businesses. E[net worth]: $1.76 million per business 1. 5% equity stake in each.
Progress (Past) Formation Website up in December 2007. Incorporated in March 2008. Recognized as a 501(c)(3) charity by the IRS in September 2008. Team Building Recruited first cofounder (James Norris) in January 2008. Recruited founding team (Michael Barnathan, James Norris, Alan Dunne, Kristi Attwood, Laban Johnson) by March 2008. Bootstrapping Raised first $1,000 of donations by March 2009. Launched first course, “How to Create Your Own Website”, on April 4, 2009 to 44 students. Gave first standalone talk, “How to Learn Everything”, on June 13, 2009. Curricular Planning “Knowledge web”/course clusters: November 2009. First formal curricular plan: August 2010. Curricular and sequence charts developed: Fall 2010. Funding and Facilities Secured preliminary classroom space through Halcyon and Axiom in January 2012. Find funding to build out first physical classes – currently pursuing.
Progress (Future) Degree Program Implementation Q3-Q4 2012: Refine curricular charts to meet accreditation requirements. Q1 2013+: Ramp-up course offerings, hire permanent faculty. Q1-Q4 2014: Get one full department up and running. Accreditation 2014-2015: Build core curriculum. 2015: Partner with an accredited school to fill any holes in core curriculum. Q3 2014-Q3 2015: Submit degree program for regional accreditation (Middle States). First Year: 2015 2013-2015: Begin recruiting students and families for first class. Fall 2015: Welcome first matriculating class (~50 students w/similar concentrations). 2015-2019: Assess outcomes, iterate on model. Self- Sustainability By 2017: Develop research program, pursue research grants. Q2 2015-Q3 2016: Build 2 additional academic departments. Fall 2016: Second class of ~100 students. 2018: Begin developing non-academic services.
Near Future Plans Brain Sciences Collaboration: June – August 2012. “Building a Brain Computer Interface” “Machine Learning and Functional Neuroimaging” “Simulating the Brain – How Close are We?” Polymath Summit: Planned for Summer of 2013. Oriented around an interdisciplinary “grand challenge”; e.g. “turn the insights from the cancer genome atlas into targeted treatments”. Bring together intellectuals in variety of fields to collaborate and work on problem-solving. Lead to longer-term networking, projects, and connections: we’ve committed space in Cleveland to hosting these collaborations. Recruit inaugural class: Target is 2015. Ramp up courses and talks: BSF Workshops: June 25 – 28, 2012Instructor: Michael Barnathan Computational Intuition: June 27, 2012Instructor: Michael Barnathan Education and Creativity: Fall 2012Instructor: Vahram Diehl Discrete Mathematics: Fall 2012Instructor: Bill Shillito Tech. Entrepreneurship: Winter 2012Instructor: Jacob Way
Fundraising It will cost about $2.5 million to build out our first class. Major investment 2014-2015, return expected 2018-2019. Use Cleveland and Providence space provided by our partners until 2017, then a campus as we outgrow it. Mostly operational expenses: Payroll Facilities Student Housing Importantly, this will also get our research program started. This makes us eligible for research grants and endowment funding. It greatly increases the prestige of the institution. Ideal investment: $5 million
Summary Goals: Give students an education which unlocks their full potential. Train polymaths on a large scale and ignite a Renaissance. Curriculum: Ambitious project-based focus built on student goals. Real-world projects are inherently interdisciplinary. Projects dictate courses, research, etc. A college that is also a startup incubator! Leadership training and advising Startups grow naturally from projects, and we incubate them and support their growth. Revenue stream built around success of student-led companies. Measuring Success: Tests are a proxy, not an end metric. Evaluate a student’s contribution to the world by the quality of his creative output! Students act as creators, and their creations advance society even before they graduate. Degree value is self-evident: the world would recognize projects even without the degree. This will grant the university significant standing.
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