In 2001, back when many of us were on our first email accounts and nobody had yet dreamed of Wikipedia, a new e-learning company was incorporated in Toronto.
, the company was founded to "help improve personal and team work effectiveness by offering situation-based solutions"--that is, with a focus on practical problem-solving strategies. The company's work was based on research conducted by two professors at York's Schulich School of Business, Gareth Morgan and Jean Adams.
Now, NewMindsets has been acquired by Waterloo-based e-learning company ClevrU
, which wants to take the insights and content developed by NewMindsets and introduce them to clients internationally.
ClevrU is "in the space of providing a global online learning platform," explains CEO Mark Arnason. Its focus on emerging global markets requires ClevrU to ensure they have everything from servers in their countries of operations to multi-lingual services to mobile-friendly technology that can be easily used by users who may not have ready access to desktop machines. And what they are hoping they can offer those users elsewhere, in the wake of this acquisition, is insight into North American business practices.
NewMindsets' business focus, "especially around leadership learning," Arnason says, is particularly useful in this context. One of ClevrU's markets is China, where they have more than 58,000 users and 130,000 social media followers so far--and where, he goes on, "there is a thirst for North American business content." It's not, Arnason explains, an interest in traditional courses such as accounting, but rather in learning to navigate North American markets. It's the type of softer skill that can be especially important for business leaders who are accustomed to working elsewhere.
NewMindsets and ClevrU were connected in part thanks to MaRS Innovation, which introduced the two companies and helped them work out the details of the acquisition.
Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Mark Arnason, CEO, ClevrU