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Be persistent, find the right partners and learn from experts

StoryPack is a microlearning platform that helps young professionals learn through stories

Please introduce yourself and the Startup StoryPack to our readers!

I am Shuhrat one of the founders of StoryPack. Around 10 years ago I was telling short stories in my seminars and talks in my home country Tajikistan. Those short stories came mostly from business books that I read. Later, I used stories successfully in my B2B sales roles. Without knowing that there is actual science behind stories and storytelling:

  • How it affects our brain
  • Why it helps us learn
  • How it inspires us to take action

During the last five years, I became extremely busy with my job and family. I really wanted to learn and advance my career but I was not reading as much. Finding time was a big challenge. That is how the dots between storytelling, learning from experts through short stories got connected. 

StoryPack is a micro-learning platform that helps young professionals learn, especially managers become inspiring leaders and organizations train their modern workforce through external and internal expert knowledge. All in the form of short stories, each under 5 min reading or listening. We select stories from business books and experts and through the power of stories we help our target group learn. Also, we believe the more business stories you get exposed to the better storyteller you can become.

Why did you decide to start a business?

I’ve always been entrepreneurial. During my studies, I have had multiple projects on the side. Once I got together with friends and imported a packing machine from China to start a packing business. Ran it for some time and learned quite a lot. Another exciting venture I had was founding and building a youth NGO in my home country which conducted seminars and training on personal development, leadership skills, time management for youth. We were a team of 5 on payroll and around 25 volunteers.

Specifically starting this venture comes from my passion for education, storytelling, and technology. I believe we can leverage technology and storytelling to help people learn faster, be inspired to take action and emotionally engage with the person sharing stories/knowledge.

What is the vision behind StoryPack?

Our vision is to democratize corporate learning and knowledge sharing through the power of storytelling and technology in organizations. Down the road using voice and AI technology, we can help not only employees learn from experts and colleagues but also help companies understand the health of their organizations through stories shared within that firm. 

From the idea to the start what have been the biggest challenges so far and how did you finance yourself?

For me, the biggest challenge has been finding the right founding team members who are as passionate about the space and as excited as I am to build this company. I believe we now have the right team. As about financing, we have been bootstrapping and now we will be onboarding our first corporate customer soon. We will be looking into raising money to grow in the near future. 

Who is the target group of StoryPack?

Although we do have an app for consumers, our focus is B2B. For regular consumers, our mobile app helps young professionals and managers to become inspiring leaders through expert knowledge and stories. We are now covering the topics of Leadership, Sales, and inspiration. From companies, we are targeting growing organizations that need to develop their employees, manage culture, and share knowledge. We help them do it in an innovative way by providing a platform that can help them capture knowledge and stories in an easy way. Also, help their employees learn through stories from experts. 

How does StoryPack work? What are the advantages? What makes you different from other providers?

StoryPack has a mobile app and a web platform. From external experts (business authors) we feature up to 3 short stories in our app. You can read or listen to those stories. When we say a story, we don’t mean another article or text or any other format. For us, each story has to have a hero, a problem they faced, a journey, and how they solved it and what they learned. That is how readers/listeners can remember the lessons because stories with the hero and their journey connect with the audience emotionally.

For enterprise clients, our web platform helps employees to tell/share short stories about their work/experience. Then on the mobile app, every employee will have Stories from colleagues section that is only for that organization. Another uniqueness of the app is that the user can search for stories on a specific topic from different experts. Let’s say you’d like to learn about creativity or how to have a brainstorming session. You can find stories from different authors on the topic. Each story is only under 5 min reading or listening time. 

StoryPack, where does the road go? Where do you see yourself in five years?

A futurist and a bestselling author of The Future Leader Jacob Morgan, in his recent article identified 14 principles of a future organization. Two of them are telling internal company stories and democratizing learning. We envision ourselves to be at the forefront of those two, helping companies tell internal stories and help them democratize learning.

At the end: Which 3 tips would you give to future founders?

Be persistent. If you’d ask me what is one quality that has helped me in life in general in where I am today, I’d say persistence. It is a very important part of starting and building a company. Most of the things you try for the first time are not going to work. So you need to keep learning and trying again. 

Choose the right partners. You need to choose the people who have not only the same passion about the idea but also have the same drive and startup mentality as you do. 

Learn from experts. By speaking to experts who have been working in the same industry for years not only you can get new ideas but also figure out what could work or not. 

More information you will find here

Thank you Shuhrat Ashurov and David Vartanian for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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