Team 16. ToRead / Hany Anan

Hello All!

I’m still working on the presentation video and I’ll edit the post and add the video once I am done.
However, for now please check by estimated budget and ASK below.

Estimated Budget:
My budget mainly was focused on getting the tools that will allow us to boost the work we are doing.
We already have the needed skill in our team but missing the tools that will facilitate and boost our work in the next 4 months and after…

How can you help ToRead?
Help us by filling the form on acsi.toreadlb.com so we can take your feedback and suggestions and talk more in details!

ToRead Slides on Google Drive:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1cVQovR105b73iFVVm5imWYOBVUAssLKx72pKkMe9jFg/edit?usp=sharing

ToRead 3 min Pitch:

NOTE FROM ACSI TEAM
Thank you for watching the video. We invite you to give feedback to this team by filling the form on this link: https://www.pitchworthy.org/acsi-sprint-demo-day-judging-form

5 Likes

looks amazing, but don’t forget that more laptops and materials will need more people to operate, so you may want to hire someone.

Other things for laptops you need only one powerful laptop to render videos or you can build a small render farm with even less money. and if you really can finish 2 full animation videos a day then you should start a video startup and be rich XD.

the point is to focus on the quality and you can work on any laptop and then use the super laptop to render the final video. so that cut the first budget from 3000$ to 1000$

3 Likes

Thank you Fadi for your reply!

As for the rendering, as for what I know that we don’t need rendering for our videos because we are making them 2D animation and not 3D. However, I will double check with my partner who’s working on editing the videos since he’ll understand these technical stuff more than I do.

Regarding making 2 videos, it’s not that we are super humans :joy: The videos are done using Adobe Character Animator and the characters we are going to use and the template we will use are already done. The process of creating the video will be more sort of just adding the audio, the content we need on board and moving the camera view in adobe. That is why it’s possible to finish 2 videos per day.

Having a rendering farm is not what we are currently in need for.

Additional requirement is being able to edit and develop the mobile application. For this purpose we were using the computer labs at AUB to do that, but now with the university closure I am not being able to edit the app from my pc and this is one of the issues that is delaying our work because even without the closure we were obliged to work only during the labs opening hours.

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Here are your questions from demo day, please try to answer them as best as you can. There are some overlapping questions so make sure you read through them all and create broad answers for the different categories

Anonymous: Questions around copy rights come to mind.
Anonymous: It would be good to narrow down your niche. Have looked at what Forsa is doing?
Anonymous: how you will ensure the sustainability of your business model? whats the plan for scalability?
Mark Dickinson: What do you need?
TJ: - What’s the difference between this and Scholarship Owl? (https://scholarshipowl.com/)

  • Why is it better?
  • Is it insight into the Lebanese market in particular? Maybe that’s a good niche

Sandy Fahed: What is your outreach plan?
Jad Bejjani: Ever saw something called Atlas Rubicon? how do you compare to that? add it to your presentation as competitive analysis
Alaa Zahab: What is the link between the challenge solution and problem you addressed ?
Anonymous: How do you view your competitive advantage compare to other similar platforms like studyfree.org ?
Alexandra Kodjabachi: How are you going to reach out to high-school students?
Anonymous: Connection to both HS curriculum and universities in Lebanon. Which universities? All curriculum? Too broad, it seems.
Anonymous: Do you think schools and universities to help you expand?

1 Like

Thank you for all the attendees who sent me their questions and feedback. With this type of support and comments I can learn and improve the most.
Below are my clarifications regarding the questions:

At ToRead we are taking copyrights very seriously. Our content (including graphics) are all created by our team, ambassadors, volunteers.
We thought about registering these content as copyrighted for ToRead but legal assistant is still needed to understand more the procedure what are the things that can be copyrighted and what are the things that can’t.

In ToRead we are focusing on the services needed by highschool students in Lebanon. What makes it special than other existing competitors like Forsa is that we are focused on the Scholarships offered to Universities in Lebanon and to highschool students in Lebanon. Being very specific about our scholarship target helps us provide detailed support (sometimes even one-on-one support) for students on how to apply, providing them with hints, connecting them with existing scholars who received the scholarship.
I also double checked Forsa today, and I guess they are focused more on university student by offering them internship, job, conferences opportunities but was not able to find any of the scholarhsip that highschool students can benefit from to get into university.

We are offering free services for students. However to be sustainable we are focusing on:

  1. partnering wit universities to get paid for every student referred by us.
  2. Selling books online for students
  3. Paid Ads

Our future plan is to be able to cover the curriculum of school level not only grade 12 and to be selling other types of books.

In our team we have the expertise that allow us to launch. However, one of the challenges we are facing is not being able to get some of the needed tools that allows us to best invest in the team experience instead of wasting efforts and time on side things that can be avoided if we had the tools.

I checked the Scholarship Owl. One of the main thing is that we are offering free support. Additionally, Scholarship Owl is not based on the Lebanese Opportunities which is excluding the local scholarships in Lebanon (which are the main scholarship resources in Lebanon). We also offer student with one-on-one support and linking them to current scholar in the scholarship applying to.
The scholarship topic is still a bit tricky in Lebanon especially in public schools because first there is a lack of importance of the available opportunities, and there is always a fear of applying thinking that the scholarship provider will need something in return. It is a culture that lead to having access of funds in one of the universities we partnered with because of not having students applying.
In the last year we were able to help around 150 students to apply to scholarships where 50 of them received full university scholarship to study at AUB or LAU which each scholarship is worth 70K$ to 130K$.

We are planning our outreach through social media. But we also depends on reaching students by giving workshop sessions in program that involves highschool students like the one we previously had with MMKN Workshops, AUB Youth Summer Camp, Touch Innovation programme etc.
And to keep students always aware of what we are doing we are planning to have ambassadors who are highschool students where they become their school’s representative in ToRead and they inform their friends through the social media groups they have. In return these ambassadors will have special recognition, receive certificates, and most importantly feel that they are part of community that is improving the learning experience in Lebanon.

The main problem is that students do not have available resource that guide them about available opportunities and resources in Lebanon. There isn’t any available resource for example about available universities in Lebanon and how to apply to each of them. (all lists you may find are either outdated or missing universities). And this is what we are trying to provide for students: List of universities and guidance to apply, list of scholarships…

ToRead is more based on the Lebanese curriculum and available opportunities taking into consideration the familiarity of using e-learning platforms in the Lebanese Society.

We will not be covering university curriculum. The academic part will be only related to the highschool level. However the university program is just about telling students what are the available options they have and how they can apply to universities.

We previously contacted schools and universities and they are willing to help. Schools need some orientation session for their students but they lack the resources that allow them to do such sessions so we’ll offering that for them. However, universities do need someone to help students to apply to them and in some cases as I mentioned in one of the questions above that one of the universities had access of funds for scholarships because there wasn’t eligible students applying.

Finally, I want to thank you all for your feedback. It was beneficial to rethink about all the questions and feedback you gave us.
Thank you @bilal, @DMN, @daramouracade for all the support you gave us in all the sprint period and for making this experience as amazing as it is.
Thanks to all the mentors and especially @M_Fadi_Ashy for being a great supporters! Without your support I wouldn’t have reached this stage and benefited from all your experience.

2 Likes

Hey @hanyanan - great job at the pitch! You got a lot of inquisitive questions :slight_smile:

My name is Dana and I work with the ACSI / PW team. I’ve had the rewarding pleasure of working with hundreds of startups… and now with edtech startups and it’s exciting.

I love seeing academic support for students in Lebanon. It’s a major undermet need. Especially where high school is bridged to university.

I went into some of your pages… they turn up in Russian and other languages haha that’s never happened to me. I wonder why?

I’ve been able to work with some startups in Lebanon in this space - one being Nooreed. Have you heard of them?

1 Like

Hello Dana,

Thank you for your reply!

Actually we are still not published and planning to publish soon.
It seems you checked different pages.
toreadlb.com

Yes I previously collaborated with Nooreed, they are more focused toward career guidance, which is a part that I don’t cover, while my work is more oriented toward helping them how to apply to universities and scholarships (filling the application, meeting with current students, some tips on how to write their essays etc…)
Previously I did a workshop with Nooreed were they helped students to choose their majors and then we continued by guiding them on how to apply to scholarships.

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Hello @hanyanan

I went through your website. Check the picture below and have a look into your settings because it’s not happening with our Insta pages.

Okay, that’s wonderful to hear. Thanks Hany! You’re prime for partnerships with universities, highschools. I think a major part of the validation we need to think about is revenue modeling.

Thank you for pointing this out. It is the first time I see this and I’ll check why it happened!

1 Like