Welcome to Startup of the Week. A column highlighting BC’s most innovative and exciting tech startups. Today, we’re featuring Vancouver’s Castofly Technologies (Castofly).
Increasingly, educators are asked to use technology to create digital content for their students — a trend that was exacerbated by the events of the past year. Not everyone is a natural at digital content creation, especially when it’s intended to serve the purpose of educating its audience. Castofly is here to empower educators to do just that with their innovative platform.
We spoke to their CEO, Iman Moazzen, about the source of his passion for education, his inspiration for the name Castofly and exactly where his favourite study spot is.
Q: Pretend I’m your Grandma, explain what your company does.
A: Castofly is a software platform for educators to seamlessly create, share and collaborate on video content. We eliminate the need to use multiple software programs and streamline the content creation process by automating video and audio editing — reducing the time-to-creation by up to 70 per cent. Furthermore, the files created are very small and easy to change, which unlocks collaboration synergies between educators and learners.
Q: What was the impetus to start this company?
A: At 16 years old, I started working as a math tutor and discovered my passion for teaching. Since then, I have acquired a PhD in Digital Signal Processing and have also gained software development and content creation skills. During my time creating educational videos, I experienced grievances with the content creation process that educators around the globe face every day. I wanted to create a company that solved these problems and enable educators to become the best version of themselves.
Q: What don’t people know about Castofly that they should?
A: We are often asked where the name “Castofly” comes from. The “Cast” in Castolfy comes from an actual cast I had when I broke my leg in the summer of 2016. Being stuck at home with a cast and crutches, I decided to start my YouTube channel to teach the foundations of audio and video processing. Since then, I’ve created 50+ videos that have a total of almost 1 million views. The “fly” in Castofly comes from the desire to help other educators create the best content that they can so they can fly to a new level of potential.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Working on an early-stage startup is rewarding but the journey is bumpy, which can cause lots of stress from time to time. I have these nights thinking about our runway, how we can go faster, what our next move should be and many other things, which all entrepreneurs are constantly struggling with.
On the flip side, it’s not always the stress that keeps me up, but my excitement for the future and envisioning what we will unlock for educators across the globe. There are millions of people out there who are extremely talented at teaching, but not necessarily good at online content creation as the existing process is complicated and time consuming. Our vision is to remove all technical and social barriers for educators and empower them to quickly create content and share their wisdom with their community of online learners.
Q: What advice would you give to others in the startup community?
A: Stay focused on the core problem that you are trying to solve! It is extremely easy to get distracted with recommendations that you hear from different stakeholders. I suggest to carefully listen to all feedback (especially negative feedback) with an open mind — but make sure you act on any advice that is perfectly aligned with your mission.
Q: E-learning has exploded since the pandemic and has helped companies like Thinkific secure $22 million. Do you see e-learning continuing to increase its market as we come out of the pandemic?
A: Yes, the global e-learning market is projected to be a $325 billion dollar market by 2025. Key drivers for market growth are massive open online courses, digital certifications and courses, and flipped classroom models.
COVID-19 has significantly accelerated the demand for digital content due to the behavioral shift toward online classes. As a result, teachers everywhere are looking for a simple solution like Castofly to easily create online content.
Q: Where’s your favourite local study spot?
A: At my home office with my amazing view of False Creek!
Castofly has just released the first commercial version of their solution and are offering a special promotion: Three months for free for the first 1000 early adopters. Check it out at www.castofly.com.
Want to be featured as a Startup of the Week? If you are a BC-based tech startup that we should know about, or would like to suggest one, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.