Augment offers an MBA-like program, but exclusively online

French start increasing has seen the incredible rise of online courses and edtech companies, as well as their potential to reinvent education at scale. That’s why the startup is working on highly polished online courses that are sold as a package. Augment envisions its flagship program as an alternative to the traditional Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

Augment recently raised a $6 million seed round led by RTP Global with other funds also participating, such as Motier Ventures, Origins Fund, Kima Ventures, Bpifrance and Financière Saint James. Many angel investors also invested in the startup, such as Thibaud Elziere and Roxanne Varza.

The main startup program is called Increase the MBA. It’s an opinionated and diverse take on MBAs because everything takes place online with a mix of videos from inspiring business leaders, case studies, quizzes, written assignments, downloadable handbooks, etc.

I haven’t enrolled in the Augment program so I can’t tell you if it’s an effective way to learn new business skills. A few months ago, the Augment team showed me some of the videos they created, such as a video with Eventbrite co-founder Renaud Visage. It’s very well written but looks great, if you’re wondering about video production standards. It is also worth noting that the Augment MBA is a non-accredited MBA.

But it seems to be going well with Augment telling me that the course has been live for six months with over 500 students enrolled in the Augment MBA from around the world – 80% from the US, followed by the UK and Middle Eastern countries.

The add-on is not a subscription-based product. Instead, you get access to the platform with a one-time payment. The Augment MBA now costs $1,750.

A faculty of tech founders

In many ways, Augment feels like an alternative to Master Class with a specific focus on business education and a structured curriculum that goes beyond video courses. Some of the early entrepreneurs who became mentors included Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, YouTube founder Steve Chen, and Shazam founder Chris Barton.

A successful MBA also offers you some networking opportunities so you can help each other in your career after graduation. So Augment also tries to create a community around the MBA-like program with some opportunities to network with fellow students.

Augment co-founders Roy Wellner and Ariel Renous

Augment co-founders Roy Wellner (L) and Ariel Renous (R). Image Credits: Addition.

While the company’s first MBA-like program will remain the flagship program going forward, the startup is already working on other formats and subjects. Augment told me there are some shorter, cheaper courses in specific subjects, or “mini-MBA programs,” as they call them.

The startup hopes it can cater to three different types of professionals – aspiring entrepreneurs who want to go beyond a simple idea, managers who want to improve their leadership skills, and technical professionals who are looking business skills to become senior leaders.

There are some high costs of creating programs, so it is important to offset some of those costs to expand the startup business with more programs and new marketing channels (corporate offerings, bundles, and others). It will be interesting to see if Augment is able to sell its programs to a larger audience now that it has nailed down the core program and some funding.

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