Nathan Nwachukwu wants over 50 million students to benefit from academies on Klas

Dennis Da-ala Mirilla
Nathan Nwachukwu wants you to start an academy on Klas

When the founder of Klas, Nathan Nwachukwu, was growing up in Port Harcourt, he thought he would become a professor of Physics. He wanted to impart knowledge and teach young Nigerians what he had learnt, just like his mother, a professor of chemical pathology.

An accident that blinded him in his right eye put him out of school for six months, but it laid the foundation for the disruption in virtual education that Klas would cause. Nathan wanted to teach while recovering but said he could not find a platform to share what he knew with people. So when he grew older he created one; a live-class platform for content creators.

Klas is a website where tutors, creators and anyone with anything to teach can create classes and share the link with their followers. Classes can be free or paid. On Klas, there are three plans for creators; the free plan permits them to admit a maximum of fifty students, and Klas takes a ten per cent cut off their enrollment fee if it’s a paid class.

Then there is the pro plan, giving creators an hour of teaching time, a three per cent cut for Klas on paid enrollments at twenty-nine dollars per month. Then there is the plus plan at ninety-nine dollars per month, giving creators unlimited hours of teaching and, with that price tag, no cuts to Klas.

Klas, the journey

It all started a few years back. Nathan had gotten a scholarship to study computer science at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, and then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and he saw an opportunity. His mind kept flicking to those days in Port Harcourt, looking for a platform to teach people.

“I just noticed that so much was going on in tech. I saw zoom explode and I remembered the idea again. There were two things that became clear. First of all, millions of people were now looking to upscale themselves in a lot of in-demand skills, like tech, crypto, AI, Web3 and all of that,” he said in a recent interview with Technext. “There just aren’t enough legacy academies to train them all. That was when I realised that this is what we need to do with Klas,” he added.

So he started Klas, a platform where people can set up classes with the hope that those classes turn into academies and users or students are regular on the website, which currently doesn’t have an app.

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“Klas is not just a simple tool that allows anyone to just set up an academy and teach live classes. We are essentially empowering experts, people like me and you that have knowledge to share, to set up your own academy and upscale the future workforce.”

Nathan Nwachukwu wants you to start an academy on Klas

Then in September 2021, he took the bold step to drop out of Carleton. He went on the Y Combinator matching platform for founders, the YC Co-Founder Matching Platform and found Lekan Adejumo, who would become his co-founder. With his scholarship money, he set up a team; a designer and an engineer to build the platform and launched Klas. Then he took an interview with Techstars Toronto.

“I actually never applied for Techstars, it was through referral,” he said, “If someone refers you and you are a really good company, you can actually jumpstart the application process.”

He said he didn’t know what he was building in the first few months. The interface was not the best, and he had no idea how to run a business.

“I didn’t even know what I was doing in the first few months. I never studied economics or business in secondary school. I’ve never been an intern. I’ve never had a job in my entire life now being put into this all of a sudden. It was crazy. But we eventually settled and we started growing,” he said.

But like many tech platforms, Klas has struggled to attract people outside the tech ecosystem. According to Nathan, the majority of the classes on the platform are coding classes.

“Today over 50 per cent of all our academies are coding academies, so we see a lot of javascript, python, AI classes and all that. The second is design, and the third is marketing,” he said.

But the website has also seen some classes that are not tech, random niche classes.

“We have an academy on entertainment law. We have a Sri Lankan that started an academy on sustainability for Sri Lankan oil workers. We have about two academies that do stuff on parenting. It’s basically anything,” Nathan said.

What’s next for Klas?

Nathan hopes to diversify the classes and bring more creators to build their own academies on Klas. He has started buying cameras and recording gadgets. He wants to start a podcast interviewing top-performing creatives and interesting academies. He hopes it will make the platform more visible and attractive to creatives from other industries.

“I personally don’t like how more than half of our academies are just coding. The dream, when I started Klas, is that it’s a place where anyone can be able to start an academy on anything.”

Nathan Nwachukwu wants you to start an academy on Klas

Where does he see the company in the next five years? What will growth look like in this changing tech landscape?

“In the next five years, the upscaling economy is going to be one of the biggest things happening on the internet, and it’s all going to be powered by Klas, no matter where you look. I see us powering up to a hundred thousand academies in the next five years that will allow us to reach over 50 million students globally,” he said.

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