Silicon Prairie News

Humongous education problem’ fuels Skillshare founder (Video)

Omaha July 5, 2012 by Michael Stacy Only 14 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

Video by Three Pillars Media of Lincoln. Post-production by Evolve of Des Moines.

The entrepreneurial story Michael Karnjanaprakorn shared May 11 at Big Omaha 2012 was one that grew out of disenchantment with the status quo in education.

Karnjanaprakorn's frustration with education took root when he was in college and came to the conclusion that he'd been duped. College had always been portrayed to him as a place where he'd be equipped with the tools for a successful career. Instead, he found himself cramming for one exam after another and learning little.

“All I'm doing in college," he thought, "is drinking, eating and memorizing things for exams that have nothing to do with real life.”

Karnjanaprakorn's desire to change education continued to germinate when he moved to New Orleans and lived with the principal of a charter school. His roommate provided insights into the shortcomings of the educational system in a city where 80 percent of students dropped out before high school graduation. 

“I really saw firsthand a humongous education problem in our country," Karnjanaprakorn said, "and I started thinking about what are all the things we could do to solve that.

“I really didn't know what I wanted to do, but I just knew it was a problem I wanted to solve.”

Fast forward to today, and Karnjanaprakorn's growing frustration has blossomed into Skillshare, an educational marketplace that aims to allow people to learn anything from anyone, anywhere. Skillshare was founded because Karnjanaprakorn believes there's a disconnect between education and learning. 

While Karnjanaprakorn believes education "forces square pegs into round holes," he says "learning has no roadblocks, has no prescribed paths, no tests, no quizzes, no outdated majors and no degrees. Learning is about staying curious.”

To hear the entire story of Karnjanaprakorn's journey to Skillshare and his work with the company to help the curious learn, check out the video above, the 15th and final in the Big Omaha 2012 Video Series presented by Microsoft BizSpark.

Read our recap: "Michael Karnjanaprakorn: 'You should be a lifelong learner.' "

About Michael Karnjanaprakorn

Karnjanaprakorn is the CEO/co-founder of Skillshare, which is a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone, anywhere. Prior to Skillshare, he led the product team at Hot Potato (acquired by Facebook) and developed products and services that organized the creative world at Behance. He is also an advisor to Collaborative Fund and 2012 TED Fellow.

Find Karnjanaprakorn on Twitter: @mikekarnj



About Big Omaha & Thinc Iowa, SPN Premier Events

Silicon Prairie News hosts two premier annual events, Big Omaha in May and Thinc Iowa in October. Both events bring together entrepreneurs, innovators, creative individuals, investors and others for a lineup of inspiring speakers, a schedule of unique networking opportunities and a community of support.

To sign-up for alerts regarding Thinc Iowa, which will take place Oct. 10-11 in Des Moines, visit thinciowa.com

 

Credits: Photo of Karnjanaprakorn by Malone & Company/Big Omaha. Headshot of Karnjanaprakorn courtesy of Karnjanaprakorn. 


About our sponsor, Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business. BizSpark will fast-track the success of your startup with software, support an visibility.

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