The ‘Netflixisation’ of executive education

A recent Financial Times article has discussed “gamification” and other eye-catching alternatives to classroom training. A myriad of start-ups wants to fulfill the demand.


Executive education is moving on from being taught solely in the classroom or through online sessions. Multiple tech start-ups are now offering attractive and fun educational tools that are often aimed at younger generations.

An example is the Swiss company Coorpacademy which describes itself as the Netflix for the corporate learning market. Similar to the television streaming service, Coorpacademy offers a subscription package available in several languages. There is even an element of “gamification” as the Financial Times (FT) reports. “Courses are available in ‘battle mode’ so different users can compete for faster completion times and higher scores in tests,” the article states.

Another startup is Skillsoft, which offers courses in 30 languages and concentrates on the healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals sectors. The London-based SmartUp delivers its training through an app and uses peer-to-peer learning, where employees can test themselves against other users as the FT describes it. SmartUp has a focus on bigger companies, that need to train and educate several employees at the same time and also need a quick turnaround. These companies can develop their own training, often in skills such as blockchain technology and sales.

Coorpacademy, Skillsoft and SmartUp are three examples of how startups are trying to enter the market for executive education, potentially taking away a revenue chunk from business schools if these are late reacting to the topic. It is also a development away from the seriousness of studying more to a learn-while-being-entertained way of education which might play in well with younger generations that are used to entertainment available to them around the clock.


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