Case Study: Beluga Bean Academy

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About Beluga Bean Academy

Beluga Bean Academy equips people with business and life skills through in- person and online courses, connection and support. 
They work with people who want to achieve their goals, create ease and find happiness, but may not have been taught what they need at school or learned
everything necessary at home.
 
To live a happier, fulfilled and more prosperous life sometimes requires new learning. The Academy provides this learning, exploring critical areas of your wellbeing such as physical, occupational, economic, psychological, social and spiritual.

1. The challenge

Beluga Bean always had the long-term goal that one day they would be able to deliver their face-to-face course learning to a wider audience.
They knew that the material they delivered in person was of interest to wider audiences and that an online community would be the best way to do this. However, they were very realistic that the production of online content could be resource heavy. They really wanted to deliver the same personal vibe which happened in classrooms online, providing learners with an opportunity to interact, and not just broadcast information at their audience. But this came with challenges. To capture the magic of their sessions they would need to manage a large amount of filming which would take time and money. Rather than unnecessarily waste resources on something that didn’t work, they took their time to evaluate their goals and find the best solution. In reviewing platforms, they came across a lot of complex solutions, most of which were very expensive. So they temporarily parked their aspirations and continued delivery in person.
Then they met SmartUp.

2. The solution

Beluga Bean joined forces with SmartUp to roll out their learning experience platform in order to deliver training online.

Learn
  • They could easily upload content to the platform. Give their people access so they can learn, share and develop together. They particularly appreciated the ease of content creation, allowing them to easily set themes and structure online content. Grouped topics can be discovered simply, a critical point for their audience. In the future, Beluga Bean plan to open up and allow people to create content within the community. Along with a team of content creators, the platform will enable them to empower their community to collaborate.
Share
  • They loved all the social community features. Polls, comments, chat and quizzes assist two- way communication – and gave them the ability to create the community around their content which they had always desired.
Develop
  • Beluga Bean plan on making full use of the analytics capability once the community has matured further. 
For example, they deliver a programme for entrepreneurs, helping them to review each segment of their business plan. Using the poll feature, they will ask the community where they are struggling and deliver targeted courses to help. For instance, if marketing was a problem area, then Beluga Bean will release a specific course to help. This community engagement allows people to reflect on their skill sets and upskill where needed, creating a stronger, learner guided course.

3. Why SmartUp

“Working with SmartUp has been great. We are very values led as an organization and wouldn’t work with SmartUp unless we were confident that their values aligned to ours. People talk a good talk in the tech space – but sometimes you find out that values don’t really align. What gave us comfort was the values we experienced from the first touch were the same throughout.
Nothing is too much trouble – the speed of development is fantastic. SmartUp have a genuine commitment to service. When we raise our challenge – the team just present a solution and reassure us. Their genuine enthusiasm comes across.”
– Sam, Beluga Bean
“We are developing a community with a team that has a genuine want for us to succeed.  Transparency has been something that we noticed and really valued. The premise of what SmartUp are doing is something more valuable than commercial reasons alone: it is a real purpose driven business.”
– Renee, Beluga Bean

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