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Coursera: Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng

 Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, co-founders of Coursera

The education sector is ripe for data-driven innovation. Online learning, or blended learning environments of traditional and digital instruction, has been identified as an area in which disruptive innovation can not only break the cycle of traditional learning models but also open up education to be more accessible, inclusive, and customizable.

Coursera, a massive open online course provider founded in 2012 by Stanford University professors, works with organizations to offer online classes, certifications, and degrees. Coursera has partnered with businesses through corporate e-learning, and governments, and earns revenue through selling certificates that verify successful completion of courses. However, the company subsidizes paid programs if the learner has a financial need, and its courses can also be accessed online for free without the paid certificate.

Coursera, offering over five thousand courses and working with over two hundred universities and companies, went public in 2021 with a valuation of over $4 billion. Coursera is not alone. The education and skills learning sector now has several worthy competitors, including EdX, PluralSight, Linkedin Learning, Udacity, Cloud Academy, Udemy, and SmartUp, that offer compelling alternatives to traditional classroom learning models.

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