I remember the first time I met Udacity’s founder, Sebastian Thrun. It was almost three years ago to this day, at Udacity’s first global meetup. At the meetup Sebastian announced that we could buy Udacity T-shirts online and joked that the T-shirts represented their only business model. At that point all of the Udacity’s courses were still free.
Group Photo from Udacity’s first Global Meetup. I am the Indian guy behind Sebastian Thrun.
Three years later, in August 2015, Udacity became the first MOOC provider to reach profitability.
Udacity announced Nanodegrees last year. They’re 4-12 month programs, which are designed to teach relevant tech skills. Nanodegrees cost $200/month, and they can be done at your own pace, but Udacity gives you half the money back if you complete your Nanodegree within 12 months.
In an interview with The Economist, Sebastian Thrun announced that Udacity has 4 million registered users, and that at any point in time there are 60,000 people taking Nanodegrees.
Currently there are six Nanodegrees available, and a new one is due to start on September 15 2015.
Tech Entrepreneur Nanodegree
The Tech Entrepreneur Nanodegree, co-created with Google, is Udacity’s seventh Nanodegree. It will be the first Nanodegree that does not involve any kind of programming. According to the Nanodegree’s page, “This Nanodegree mixes theory and practice to help you see your apps develop into market-ready products at the center of a sustainable, revenue-generating business.”
The Nanodegree combines entrepreneurship with product design. It includes interviews with entrepreneurs from successful Silicon Valley startups like Optimizely and Y Combinator, as well as interviews with authors and venture capitalists.
Video of Kevin Hale, Y Combinator partner from Udacity’s App Monetization class
Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.