SIKANA: Learn.Share

SIKANA: Learn.Share: Improving lives through educational videos

Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

SIKANA was created to help people solve their problems and acquire skills to enrich their lives through thousands of free educational and vocational videos which are divided in 11 categories including: music, art, sports, health, DIY and nature. The three to seven minutes tutorials are shot in different countries and are delivered by top experts in 10 languages, making them accessible to 2.5 billion people. For every euro, we provide 1000 lessons

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

How do we manage the abundance of poverty and the poverty of abundance? The former is linked to the quality of life and the latter to the quality of answers to our queries. People are poor because they are ignorant. Many of the world’s issues (e.g., poverty, unemployment, environmental disasters, hygiene) are directly linked to a lack of education. Poverty is not necessarily economic. Life is stressful, even for the affluent, as they seldom have time to relax or focus on their personal hobbies: music, dance, cooking, arts or sports. Today it is hard to find an affordable and satisfying answer to our queries in one click. There’s plenty of information out there on the internet, but the lack of quality and pertinence is startling.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

At SIKANA, we believe that education will empower men and women across the globe. Our strategy is to educate the masses via educational and vocational video tutorials to ultimately help them acquire skill sets, be independent, and live a dignified and happy life. We plan to cater to the needs of the people from all strata of society and film down-to-earth videos such as how to grow vegetables, repair a leakage, filter water, make mud bricks, as well as general videos to teach how to play the guitar, dance salsa, cook chicken tikka or draw portraits. All out tutorials are lessons delivered by top experts, free, multilingual, efficient and of high quality.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Raghu came to France to pursue higher studies. His parents had taken a loan in India hoping that their son would find a part time job to finance his education. As he didn’t speak French, it was hard to find a job. But he didn’t lose hope and decided to acquire simple skills such as how to fix a leakage, paint an apartment, fix a cupboard, set up a kitchen, etc. Thanks to the efficient SIKANA video tutorials he was able to acquire a useful set of skills for free. He started helping a few friends fix their problems and his network began to grow steadily. He was not only able to make ends meet, but also save enough money to pay back the loan.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Talented engineers and designers from RISD are also working on an unprecedented online campus that will be launched during the 1st quarter of 2015. It will enable people to produce, translate, and broadcast local content within a collaborative platform. We are also working on a prototype, the SIKANA box, to provide access to our educational content for those living in remote areas that don’t have access internet. It will address the needs of the 4 billion people who don't have internet access and will cost only $49. All our videos will be available in the ten most widely spoken languages and hence they will be accessible to 83% of internet users worldwide. We add voice overs in the different languages to all our videos and this allows us to scale up the project and extend our reach to new geographies.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Direct and indirect Competitors: Howcast, Ehow, Videojug, Mahalo, Wikipedia, Google Today, well-known video tutorial companies such as Howcast, Videojug, and Mahalo film their videos in studios, and broadcast them exclusively in English. SIKANA shoots videos in different countries using natural settings and they are all translated in 10 languages. The videos are produced by professional filmmakers, with the voice overs added later to maintain overall quality. Our in-house production allows us to respect the high quality standards we have set for ourselves. Moreover we plan to develop with experts, artists, musicians, craftsmen and chefs a well-crafted pedagogy and program for each activity. The different programs will be available on an online collaborative platform which will allow experts to share their skills and individuals to learn and master a wide variety of skills.


The two co-founders, Gregory and Simon, have significant work experience in successful startups and the filmmaking industry respectively. SIKANA has a multicultural team with native business developers, professional filmmakers and translators from India, China, Brazil, Turkey, Colombia, Japan and Algeria who are striving to create local videos. Talented engineers and designers from Rhode Island School of Design are also working on an unprecedented online collaborative platform that will be launched during the 1st semester of 2015.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Réseau Entreprendre Nord
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Réseau Entreprendre Nord

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Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, J75, PARIS

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact

Royaume-Uni, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany

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New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet.

What awards or honors has the project received?

Réseau Entreprendre Nord

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-Partner 1 Google
-Type of partner - Business
-Short description sentence - Hosts user generated videos
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] High quality educational videos
-Key contributions in the co-creation project - We have a premium partnership with Google which has agreed to host our videos on YouTube.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

Today, SIKANA has provided 10 million lessons in 181 countries thanks to its talented, multicultural team and 300 community contributors (experts, filmmakers, artists, musicians, craftsmen, translators etc.). 3 billion internet users worldwide can now access our video tutorials for free, acquire different skills and live a dignified, independent and happy life.

We want our business idea to be open source and licensed under “creative commons” in order to get talented volunteers from all around the world to improve it every day and spread our idea as widely as possible. We would like to promote openness, innovation and active participation like in successful organizations such as TED, Wikipedia and Mozilla Firefox.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Loans, Investments.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

We have raised US$400000 through capital, loan, contests, subsidies and grants. We are seeking US$ 1 million in 2014 (we aim to sign 50 partnerships with lead sponsors (foundations, business angels, NGOs) around the world with an average “ticket” of US$20000). We are also looking for social business investors such as Acumen Fund.

Currently we are concentrating on building a strong community: experts, viewers, translators, partners etc. We have already delivered 10 million quality lessons and the feedback has been extremely encouraging. Our three pillars to ensure financial sustainability in the future are:

1) Affordable subscription
2) Paid mobile and tablet applications
3) Partnerships with foundations, companies, organizations willing to expand access to education

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Gregory did a world tour to study how companies could help alleviate poverty and remain financially viable. Simon, a passionate filmmaker, constructed a school for children in a refugee camp at the Laos border. He travelled across Asia, made short films, worked as a cinematographer, director, and producer. They happened to meet in a bar in Bangkok and discussed for hours the pressing challenges faced in the developing world. Coincidentally they were on the same flight back to Paris and they continued their discussion and concluded that education is the most powerful tool to eradicate poverty and ensure constant progress. They dreamt of leveraging the power of videos, internet and collaborative intelligence in order to transform education. Gregory worked in three successful startups and Simon worked on his first feature film. Three years later, one phone call, one glass of wine, one dream

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

Raising funds for a social business is a challenging task. Banks and other organizations expect a high return on investment. We provided concrete examples (TED, Wikipedia, Google) and explained in detail to our investors that the most important aspect of our project was to build a community and therefore it was important to provide free access to our high quality educational tutorials. Thanks to our approach and social business model we are able to attract the top experts to share their skills for free.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

Réseau Entreprendre Nord helps start-ups develop and manage their business. They have a vast network of successful entrepreneurs as well as corporations. We receive professional advice and personal coaching for the founders on a weekly basis. They have also helped us network and contact corporations for funding and consultancy and professional services.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

1) Our approach is based on intercultural interaction. All our videos are shot in different countries and are available in multiple languages. All experts share their skills to help people improve the overall quality of life. Our community is our greatest strength.
2) Résearu Entreprendre has helped us to learn, unlearn and relearn by putting us in touch with several entrepreneurs, investors and corporations. We have learnt immensely thanks to the invaluable inputs from people having worked in a wide variety of industries.

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