Capstone – Project

Helping a Children’s’ Literacy Platform Scale Internationally

A Collaboration Between

Project Synopsis

Using data and research to assist CommonLit with expanding internationally. This will include assessing the market fit of CommonLit’s platform in several countries and providing recommendations on how CommonLit should move forward with international expansion.

Project Context

While the CommonLit team is passionate about exploring opportunities for product-based and/or international expansion, much of our day-to-day focus must remain on improving our current supports for U.S. teachers and students and ensuring that we meet the requirements of our U.S. Department of Education IAL grant. As such, it would be greatly beneficial to work with student consultants to carry out market research and data analysis. 

This work would include an analysis of CommonLit’s key metrics to help establish our Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for the 2017-2018 school year, and the use of that framework to explore markets and opportunities for CommonLit’s international expansion. 

There are two strategies that CommonLit could take for international expansion: expanding to countries with the highest need or expanding to countries with the best market fit for our resources. 

For expanding to countries with the highest need, we would most likely select from the nine countries cited in the Google.org Education Initiative grant application. Google.org is offering grant money for companies developing scalable tech solutions to close gaps in education outcomes in these countries, and we are considering applying for this funding. 

For expanding to countries with the best market fit for our resources, we would want to assess market fit and determine which countries CommonLit could most easily penetrate. This would include research questions concerning major players in the reading education market and their offerings, penetration of 1:1 computing (one laptop or device per student) in schools, prominence of English education in schooling, and more.

Project Topics

Data Management

Growth Strategy

Marketing

Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis

Company Information

CompanyCommonLit
HQD.C.
RevenueUnlisted
Employees25-50
StageHigh-Growth Startup
Hiring PotentialFollow-on Projects, Formal Internship, Entry Level Full-Time
Websitehttps://www.commonlit.org/

Company Overview

CommonLit is a nonprofit edtech company dedicated to ensuring that all students graduate high school with the reading and writing skills necessary for success in college and career. Request sent to owner.

Experiential Learning Program Details

SchoolUniversity Of Maryland
Engagement FormatCapstone - Small Team Consulting Project - Students work in small groups of 2-6 directly with faculty and host company project champions on developing real solutions to real-world challenges.
Course
LevelGraduate
Students Enrolled4
Meeting Day & TimeMonday-Friday
Student Time Commitment1-3 Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment2 Hours
Duration10.29 Weeks

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Type

Key Project Milestones

  • February 1, 2017 - Part 1: Competitive Analysis

    • Complete a thorough analysis of CommonLit’s direct competitors. 
    • Create profiles for CommonLit’s competitors so you can compare and contrast their offerings
    • Pay close attention to companies that are domestic but operate globally

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Create a presentation or other-format deliverable to display the information requested for Part 1.

  • February 15, 2017 - Part 2: User Data Analysis

    • Review CommonLit data and help the CommonLit team establish and visualize their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
    • Use CommonLit data to gain insights about the international market opportunity

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Create a presentation or other-format deliverable to display the information requested for Part 2.

  • March 1, 2017 - Part 3: High Priority Country Deep Dive

    • Using the info from Parts 1 and 2, come up with a list of 3-5 countries for a more thorough market entry opportunity assessment 
    • How do these tie into global initiatives that are government/third party funded? 
    • What competitors/potential partners exist locally/regionally? 
    • What distribution channels are accessible?
    • Contact/interview local education leaders to collect relevant insights

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Create a presentation or other-format deliverable to display the information requested for Part 3.

  • March 15, 2017 - Part 4: International Growth Strategy Design

    • Using insights from Parts 1-3, develop an international growth and development plan to take place over the next 5 years 
    • Decide which countries present the best opportunity 
    • Make recommendations on how to enter and scale within these markets 
    • What are the cost and revenue implications here? 
    • Does this growth strategy include fundraising opportunities
    • Recommend KPIs to measure and set reasonable goals for the term

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Create a presentation or other-format deliverable to display the information requested for Part 4.

  • April 14, 2017 - Part 5: Final Presentation

    CommonLit is looking for a comprehensive overview of the work that was done


Project Resources

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Industry Mentors

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Academic Mentors

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Assigned Students

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