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Eazl Digital Degree Project

Making the New Economy Work for Everyone
INVEST

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Time left to invest

Minimum target reached (accepting oversubscriptions)

min$10k

max$530k

funding goal 

Reg CF

exemption used 

$2,400,000

pre money valuation 

$100.00

min investment 

$21,600

amount raised 

15

investors 

Security Type
Class A Voting Shares
Shares also entitle you to cash distributions from the Company's Revenue Sharing Program.
Bonus

Shares of Common Stock for Purchasers of 40 or More Shares

 

Funding Phases

 

        Bonus

  

        Open Until ($) 

 

 Open Until (Shares)

 

Phase 1: Momentum

+100%

$20,000

800

Phase 2: Foundation

+60%

$110,000

4,400

Phase 3: Inspiration

+20%

$235,000

9,400

Phase 4: Impact

+10%

$450,000

18,000

Phase 5: Legacy

+5%

$530,000

21,200

 

Pitch

Who are we
  • This is a new higher ed joint venture led by Eazl, a bestselling publisher in the e-learning industry that has served more than 100,000 students worldwide.
  • The team is building a revolutionary undergraduate degree program that enables students to earn general business degrees issued on the blockchain for a total cost of $500.
  • The Digital Degree is being funded by selling ownership stakes in the Company. All investors receive cash splits from revenues and equity ownership.
  • This program intervenes to help independent, undocumented, and low-income students worldwide become career-ready at a fraction of the cost of traditional US universities. 

Today, the #1 source of work-related stress is the loss of jobs to new technologies. Imagine what students without an undergraduate degree must be feeling as they read about AI, robotic workers, and space companies in the headlines. Today, people need affordable and accessible higher education more than ever but the cost of college is skyrocketing.

 

In 2013, Eazl started working on problems like this. Because the existing American college system leaves many students in debt and unable to find a job, Eazl created what is now the world’s bestselling online career course for recent graduates. Now, along with Picture Show Films and innovative legal expert Jim Falvey, this group is launching the Digital Degree, a project that aims to provide a $500 undergraduate degree alternative for students around the world.

 

These degrees will be issued and verified with blockchain technology, give students lifetime access to their coursework, and help ensure that the economy of the future works for everyone.

 

A few of the people building the Digital Degree:

 

Faces of the Digital Degree Project

 

Watch short interviews with some of the Digital Degree's founding team:

Problem

 

Rising Cost of CollegeWe need affordable, accessible, effective higher education solutions now more than ever. However, the cost of college is skyrocketing. In 1979, someone could pay for a year’s worth of college tuition by working a part-time, minimum wage job over the summer. Today, it takes a student almost 1,000 minimum-wage working hours to pay for that same tuition (before paying for books, rent, and everything else. 

 

Meet Mariana (pictured right). She works two jobs--one of them at a coffee shop near Eazl’s offices and another at Dunkin' Donuts. Mariana is friendly and she works hard. Today, it is impossible for Mariana to earn a degree. She’s looked into it, and even with scholarships she’ll owe $10,000 per year at the most affordable university she can find. Without personal credit or sufficient student loans, the dream of a degree is impossible for her.

 

Photo of MarianaSo let’s take a trip to the future. If Mariana doesn’t ever earn a degree, she’s likely to be stuck in low-wage work, to have a lower sense of self-worth, and to have a difficult time making a living in the new economy.

 

But what if Mariana is able to earn her degree? The statistics say she will:

  • live 9 years longer
  • have 75% higher wages and earn $2.7 million more over the course of her life
  • be 20% less likely to have major health problems
  • increase her chances of having a life-long marriage by 20%
  • be 40% less likely to interact with the criminal justice system

 

Solution

 

Digital Degree Credential QuoteUsing Eazl’s experience teaching more than 100,000 adults, the Digital Degree team is pioneering a revolutionary approach to the undergraduate degree. The Digital Degree is a collection of 50 fun, interactive, video-based learning experiences that collectively offer students a well-rounded undergraduate education. These courses cover topics like statistics, humanities, life sciences, economics, reading, and writing. Every Digital Degree student’s experience includes:

  • verified completion of a collection of 50 undergraduate-level interactive courses
  • completing projects that demonstrate what they’ve learned in each course
  • receiving feedback on their projects as they build a work portfolio
  • using modern online tools like the Google Apps for Work
  • access to Eazl’s worldwide network of more than 100,000 alumni

The Digital Degree is unique relative to traditional college programs:

  • Lifetime Access: Students have lifetime access to their courses. Each includes bite-sized lectures, interviews with experts and practitioners, and practice activities. Many of these learning experiences also include templates, step-by-step guides, and sample collections. For example, as a Digital Degree graduate, if Mariana needs statistics at work in 12 years, she can go back to her class, take the lectures she needs, and apply it.
  • Learning from a Network of Experts: Because students are learning in a video-based environment, they’re able to learn from experts and practitioners with diverse backgrounds, geographies, and worldviews in each course.
  • Engaging Learning Experiences: Eazl has won awards for outstanding production quality. This has resulted in a 70% increase in engagement with Eazl students (see Figure 1) over other higher ed content companies.
  • Blockchain Degrees: each Digital Degree is issued and verifiable using blockchain technology. That means that employers or any other person or organization can verify a student’s degree using a unique blockchain-generated ID.

Digital Degree Credential Quote

 

Achievement & Traction

Eazl Repays Investors in Full

 

In 2013, Eazl started fighting for students. Because the existing American college system leaves many students in debt and unable to find a job, Eazl created and launched what is now the world’s bestselling online career course for recent graduates. The course helps recent graduates write resumes, use modern job searching technologies, and develop interviewing skills.

 

Since then, Eazl has launched dozens of innovative online learning programs that have helped more than 100,000 students fit into the modern economy. Some of Eazl's accomplishments have included:

  • Publishing the bestselling career management course in the history of the online learning industry (35,000+ alumni worldwide)
  • Publishing the bestselling growth hacking course in the history of the online learning industry (30,000+ alumni worldwide)
  • 4x winner of the Udemy.com award for innovations in the online education industry
  • Earning the Skillshare.com top 5% of instructors award
  • Establishing cirriculum partnerships with two campuses in the California State University system, with multiple community colleges, and with EDHEC Business School
  • Repaying Eazl's seed-round investors in full and making thier investments profitable
  • Achieving up to 70% more engagement than competitors by investing in online course quality (see figure below)

Eazl Engagement Numbers

 

Market

 

There's a Booming Market for New Approaches to Higher Education

The Market for Undergraduate Education in the US is Projected to be $579 Billion by 2026

Eazl -- Projected Size of US Undergraduate Market

The above figures are taken from the National Center for Education Statistics and place the average cost of an undergraduate degree at $30,000.

 

Note that the Digital Degree program will be available to any student on the planet with access to the Internet, so the total size of our potential market is much larger still.

 

Total Enrollments in US Colleges Have Started Declining, but Digital Enrollments are ClimbingEazl -- Demand for Digital Course Offerings is Growing

These figures were published by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education using data from the US Department of Education. 

 

Most Students Feel They Learn More through Digital Learning Experiences

Eazl -- Student Preferences in Education

This research, published by the Babson Survey Research Group, show that digital instruction has become the most powerful method of teaching students.

 

Putting these pieces of information together, we know that:

  1. The market for undergraduate degrees is enormous and growing
  2. Tuition and fees at traditional colleges have skyrocketed, causing students to look for alternatives
  3. A growing number of students prefer to learn digitally

Digital undergraduate degree alternatives clearly have a big role to play in the future of undergraduate higher education. Knowing that the average graduate spends $30,000 on their undergraduate degree, imagine how strong the demand for a program that revolutionizes the undergraduate degree experience and costs a student a total of $500!

 

It might be enormous.

 

Competition

The ultimate measure of a higher education organization is whether its alumni succeed in both work and life. That's why we compare the Digital Degree to competing offerings based on enabling alumni to find employment and helping them become well-rounded people.

Eazl Digital Degree Competitive Map

You'll quickly see that the Digital Degree beats every alternative on affordability other than self-education, but the more affordable option isn't lower quality in this case.

With respect to finding employment, a few key points:

  • Because students will be completing projects while earning their Digital Degree, they will have a significant leg up in the job market. This is validated by data compiled by Gallup which reports that students who had the chance to apply what they learned in their coursework are much more likely to be able to succeed at work.
  • Some people might question the value of a degree from a non-accredited higher educational institution, like Eazl. However, economists have estimated around 80% of the value a degree has can be attributed to "signaling"--the idea that the degree holder has shown employers that they are capable of completing a long course of study like the Digital Degree program.

 

By focusing on creating value for students through innovaiton, and because Eazl's organizational mission does not put profit over purpose, we can deliver exceptional outcomes for students at a level of affordability that has never been seen in American higher education. Importantly, the long-term goal of this project isn't to compete with traditional colleges. Instead, our long-term goal is to revolutionize higher education broadly by demonstrating that, through sustainable innovation, quality higher education can be made to be affordable and accessible to all.

 

Business Model

How does the Digital Degree program make money? When a student buys lifetime access to a digital course that’s a part of the Digital Degree program. Each course costs students around $10 and is sold through Eazl’s platform and other distribution partners like Udemy.comWe have modelled three "success scenarios" using internal data from previous e-learning initiatives:

 

Success Scenarios

 

Note: The "Very Successful" scenario projects that 5,000 students enroll in the Digital Degree program each year. This is 50% lower than Eazl’s most popular courses like Career Hacking, so it is a real possibility that the Project will do much better than the "Very Successful" scenario.

 

How do investors like me make money from my investment? When you buy shares in the Digital Degree Project, you’re buying an ownership stake in the Eazl Digital Degree Project, a corporation registered in Illinois. Ownership legally entitles you to potential money in two ways (1) equity ownership in the company and (2) participation in the Project’s revenue sharing program. Below is an example of each.

 

#1 Your Ownership Stake in the Company Becomes ValuableLet’s say that the Digital Degree Project changes higher education and becomes a big hit like Eazl’s Career Hacking courseLet’s also say that a socially-responsible company offers $50 million to buy the Project. If this happens, they might buy all the shares of the company, including yours. Here’s how that would work:

 

(# of Shares You Own / Total # of Project Shares) * 50,000,000 = Your Share of the Buyout

 

In the scenarios listed above, the total number of Project shares issued is 68,701. If you supported the Project by buying 40 shares, your share of the buyout would look like this:

(40 / 68,701) * 50,000,000 = $29,111 cash for you from the buyout

 

#2 You Get Money from the Project’s Revenue Sharing Program: Eazl Digital Degree Revenue Sharing Program5% of every dollar made by the Project is put into a Revenue Sharing fund and distributed to owners like you each year, forever. Here’s a fun example. In the “Very Successful" scenario $52,657 is projected to be shared with investors like you in 2028. So, let’s say that you invest $1,000 and buy 40 shares in the Project. This is how the amount of money you receive in 2028 would be calculated:

 

(# of Shares You Own / Total # of Reg CF Shares) * Reg CF Distribution = Your Share for the Year

 

The forecast we’re using assumes that 5,400 total Reg CF Shares are sold. So, your share for 2028 would look like this:

(40 / 5,400) * 52,657 = $390.05 cash for you in 2028 

 

Note: You can look into these financial projections at this link. Also, the law requires us to tell you that nobody in from the Digital Degree or from truCrowd can guarantee any results for you if you buy shares in this project. Losing money on your investment is a possibility.

 

Team

The Project is being built through a collaboration of two successful media companies: Eazl and Picture Show Films.

 

Eazl is a Bestselling Publisher in the e-Learning Industry

Eazl Logo 300 Pixels Wide Eazl was created in 2013 when the Company's founders decided to convert their frustration with college career services into action. The two founders had observed countless students struggling with writing resumes, scoping career plans, and presenting themselves to employers. All this as large student debts started coming due. To help solve this problem, Eazl decided to create an online course that leveraged the experiences of Davis Jones, a founding team member who was a former Fortune 500 recruiter in San Francisco.

 

The online course they made, called Career Hacking, took a new, fun approach to online education and became a smash hit. Today, it’s the best-selling career management course in the history of the online education industry. Noticing the success of Career Hacking, the Eazl team was approached to make courses on in-demand topics by Udemy, the world’s leading distributor of online courses. Between 2014 and 2018, Eazl’s courses attracted more than 100,000 students in 122 countries.

 

Picture Show Films is an Emmy Award Winning Production Company Based in Chicago

Picture Show Films Emmy 400 px TallPicture Show Films is an award-winning production studio based in Chicago. The Emmy Award pictured left was awarded for Newton Minow: An American Story, a documentary that originally aired on PBS in 2016. The studio has produced features for PBS, ESPN, and other news outlets. You can see a recent video that Picture Show created for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry right here.

 

In 2016, Eazl and Picture Show films began collaborating to create video-based learning experiences, some of which have gone on to be bestselling courses on Udemy.com. 

 

For the Digital Degree Project, Picture Show Films will serve as executive producers who bring experience managing the creation large media projects. Additionally, Picture Show will contribute their ability to schedule, film, and edit interviews with high-profile thinkers and public figures. By bringing these skills to the creation Digital Degree learning experiences, students will be immersed into an educational experience that includes a broad range of view points, taking what's possible in educational content to an entirely new level.

 

 

Use of Funds

The sale of shares for the Digital Degree Project is broken up into 5 phases, each of which supports a more ambitious goal for the Project. They are:

  1. The Momentum Phase: The first $20,000 raised will be used to build a basic organization around the Digital Degree Project.
  2. The Foundation Phase: The second phase of funds will be capped when the Project reaches the goal of selling $110,000 worth of shares. The next $90,000 will fund the minimum budget necessary for Eazl and Picture Show Films to build the Digital Degree Project. 
  3. The Inspiration Phase: The third phase of funds will be capped when the project reaches the goal of selling $235,000 worth of shares. The next $125,000 will be used to significantly enhance the quality of the Digital Degree Project's online learning experiences for students. These funds will enable the Project to hire additional producers and animators, which means that students will have access to more expert interviews and more engaging learning experiences.
  4. The Impact Phase: The fourth phase of funds will be capped when the project reaches the goal of selling $450,000 worth of shares. The next $215,000 will enable the Digital Degree to have a student outreach budget that will dramatically increase the impact that the Project can have. Only when potential students know about the existence of the Digital Degree can they choose to take the journey.
  5. The Legacy Phase: The final phase of funds will be capped when the project reaches the goal of selling $530,000 worth of shares. The next $80,000 will be used to increase access to the Digital Degree by hiring the staff necessary to create subtitles in multiple languages so that the Digital Degree becomes a globally-relevant program.

     

    Eazl Digital Degree Bonus Shares

What are Bonus Shares and How do I Qualify? Bonus Shares are exactly the same as the shares held by the founders and other investors and they entitle you to the exact same rights (voting rights, cash distributed through Company’s Revenue Sharing Program, and equity ownership). You can earn bonus shares by:

  1. Committing to a purchase of 40 or more shares.
  2. Successfully verifying your investment truCrowd, the investment platform.
  3. Funding your investment.

 

How Many Bonus Shares Will I Receive? Each Funding Phase offers you a different Bonus Share Formula that determines how many Bonus Shares you’ll receive. The Bonus Share formulas are listed below:

 

Eazl Digital Degree Project Bonus Share Schedule

 

Here's an Example: Don Purchases 50 Shares During Phase 2

In this case, Don will be entitled to 30 bonus shares, ultimately causing him to own 80 total shares. The Bonus Share Formula during Phase 2: Foundation is +60%. 50 * .6 = 30, so Don’s total ownership is 50 Base Shares + 30 Bonus Shares = 80 Total Shares. You can read more about Bonus Shares and Lead Investor Benefits right here.

Updates


Q&A


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Samantha Gohing
Samantha Gohing - Investora week ago
Hi we are excited to be investors! Do you all know how employers will regard this degree credential?
Davis Jones
Davis Jones - Issuer    
@Samantha thanks for investing and for your question. There are two datapoints that I'd like to share with you regarding the use of the Digital Degree in the general labor market.

First, there is an emerging body of research that suggests that a majority (up to 80%) of the value of earning an educational credential is that it signals to the labor market (e.g. employers) that the candidate who possesses the credential is capable of committing to, and completing, a long-term endeavor such as earning a degree (see some discussion at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-caplan-education-credentials-20180211-story.html).

Second, there have been some quantitative studies regarding how employers regard "alternative educational models" and, so far, the early studies have shown that employers are very open to "alternative" credentials. For example, Indeed.com surveyed 1000 employers to ask them how prepared candidates were who had attended "technology bootcamps" and the overwhelming majority of employers (84%) said that the candidates were "just as prepared" or "better prepared" than candidates who had earned traditional undergraduate degrees (see blog.indeed.com/2017/05/02/what-employers-think-about-coding-bootcamp).

Anecdotally, as we work with companies to potentially take a stake in this venture, they seem to be very interested in a program like this that has a particular focus on creating career-ready candidates.

a week ago

Documents

Details on Bonus Shares and Lead Investor Perks View Download
Form C View Download
Eazl Digital Degree Project Offering Memorandum View Download
Project Financial Forecasts View Download
Eazl Digital Degree Business Case View Download

Other Disclosures

Read the Form C filed with the SEC for other important disclosures, like financial statements, Directors, Officers, shareholders with more than 20% of voting rights, and more
Irregular Use of Proceeds
The Company may make Irregular Use of Proceeds. Such Irregular Use of Proceeds, which may be in material amounts in excess of $10,000, may include by way of example and not limitation: Vendor payments and salary made to management, business associates, relatives, related parties and/or affiliates thereof; expenses labeled "Administration Expenses" that are not strictly for administrative purposes; expenses labeled "Travel and Entertainment"; and expenses that are for the purposes of intercompany debt or back payments.
Without limiting the above, the Company may elect to vary from the proposed use of funds as circumstances or assessments of circumstances following the closing change.
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