Home 30under30 2016 Chris Eigeland, 2016 Anthill 30under30 Winner

Chris Eigeland, 2016 Anthill 30under30 Winner

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Chris Eigeland

What is the 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians.

Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.

Chris Eigeland, QLD (b. 1991)

Name: Chris Eigeland
Age: 25
Gender: MALE
State: QLD
Known for: GO1

With the goal of making online learning globally accessible, Chris Eigeland created GO1 — the “TripAdvisor” for online education.

In the early stages of development, Eigeland and his co-founder Andrew Barnes failed to raise their first round of venture capital funding for their original business idea, a CRM solution. When they went back to the drawing board a lightbulb went off. Education — this was the field in which their technology could make a true lasting impact.

Eigeland’s background in education development made this an easy transition. Before launching GO1, he founded a student-run organisation that distributed over 100,000 school supply kits to remote and regional areas. He also consulted for the UN on education policy.

“The drive to understand and contribute to the rapid evolution of online learning has underscored the building of GO1,” Eigeland says.

Now, GO1’s website describes itself as a “course marketplace” featuring courses that have been added by various “content sharing partnerships.”

In the beginning, GO1 was a garage business, Eigeland says. Growing at a steady rate, the company now has offices in four different countries, 58 employees, generates revenues of $1.6 million annually, has aggregated over 100,000 online learning courses and has over 180,000 licensed learners using the platform.

A lot of this growth was made possible by funding from leading investors, including some that have invested in companies such as AirBnB, Dropbox and more. Since last year, GO1 has grown at a rate of 12-18% month on month.

Reflecting on GO1’s progress, Eigeland says in the early stages, he worked to generate buzz for his business by partnering with widely known organizations, such as the UN, on innovative projects. His aim was to push GO1 into the realm of unique global players, he says. Now, Eigeland says it’s as simple as walking up and down the streets with flyers.

In the midst of continuous growth, Eigeland says GO1’s most significant achievement was being accepted into Y Combinator, “the most prestigious technology accelerate globally.”

Eigeland says the nature of GO1 as a small Australian company made the likelihood of their selection slim.

“We had to use our geographic and team difference as a unique point, and sell the advantage of dominating the Asia-Pacific market,” Eigeland says.

Being selected into Y Combinator enabled GO1 to raise capital from United States venture capital funds.

Going from the garage to the globe, Eigeland says some may find his most valued asset “boring,” but he assures its significance.

“Empathy,” he says. “The worlds best entrepreneurs, in my eyes, have the ability to put themselves in so many different pairs of shoes and see a problem from different perspectives to come to a great, unique solution.”

Eigeland says though he values this ability with great weight, it doesn’t mean he’s the expert. He hopes to continue to grow in this area, leading to greater entrepreneurial ability overall.

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