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From Australia to Afghanistan: how this eLearning tech startup made it to the Business News 40Under40 awards


Lawyer and co-founder of WA tech start-up CourseGenius Sarah Mateljan was recently named as one of the winners of the prestigious Business News 40Under40 awards.

Ms Mateljan is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of educational technology companies LawCPD and CourseGenius – an all-in-one online learning platform designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses, which enables business users to easily develop and deliver bespoke, cost-effective eLearning courses that meet their businesses’ unique training needs.

Ms Mateljan brought the CourseGenius learning platform to Afghanistan in 2014 to help an international NGO facilitate localised training. Ms Mateljan used the platform to roll out an eLearning pilot program for the NGO’s Leadership School in Kabul during a particularly unstable political period.

What is the story behind CourseGenius?

In 2008, as a 26-year-old solicitor, Sarah Mateljan started Australia’s first mobile provider of online continual professional development (CPD) courses for lawyers – LawCPD – from her front room.

The idea for LawCPD came to Ms Mateljan as a newly-graduated solicitor when she saw the difficulties her friends in regional WA faced as they had to travel to Perth to complete their mandatory CPD training. Ms Mateljan joined forces with co-founders, husband Vincent Mateljan and friend Lee Goldsworthy, to develop a platform to enable easy access to CPD for lawyers regardless of location.

WA-based company CourseGenius is the scalable evolution of LawCPD’s successful technology – the world’s simplest online training platform, CourseGenius was developed in 2012 to meet the needs of Australian SMEs and allows users to easily create and deliver their own custom online training, either to train their staff or sell to customers, on any device.

CourseGenius Directors - Lee Goldsworthy, Sarah Mateljan and Vince Mateljan
CourseGenius Directors – Lee Goldsworthy, Sarah Mateljan and Vince Mateljan

What is Sarah Mateljan looking to achieve with CourseGenius?

After successfully bringing CourseGenius to Afghanistan, Ms Mateljan said the company’s mission is to be the leading cloud-based online learning platform in the world and to make online learning easy, efficient and cost-effective for everyone.

“The experience in Afghanistan taught me it’s possible to build something great even in incredibly difficult circumstances,” Ms Mateljan said.

“I firmly believe that economic development and education have the potential to create stability in countries that currently have none – running these programs showed me how eLearning could be used to allow education to continue successfully in countries experiencing conflict.”

Ms Mateljan said she was honoured to be recognised alongside Western Australia’s leading young entrepreneurs and business people in the Business News 40Under40 awards at Crown Perth recently.

“Being named in the Business News 40Under40 is a great achievement and it’s recognition not only for my work over the past nine years but the hard work of my team as well,” Ms Mateljan said.

“Hiring the right people has been critical to my success, as has building a positive and productive work culture – I surround myself with a team who complement my skills and together we achieve great things.”