For Nellie Wartoft, CEO and founder of micro learning platform Tigerhall, education has been a lifelong pursuit. From her time in school and even in the workplace, she’s noticed a pertinent gap between having a formal education and the soft skills required in the outside world.
That’s where the Tigerhall app comes into the picture. Developed with the intent of bridging said gap, the app works as a repository of content — in the form of podcasts, reads, and more — that teaches everything from how to handle big egos in the workplace and beyond to eating healthy.
Every piece of content comes with actionability – practical steps users can immediately take in order to work towards a particular goal.
One of the app’s largest draws is that the content is sourced directly from Tigerhall’s ever-growing stable of “Thinkfluencers” – which comprise experts in their field, industry leaders, which includes regional heads of MNCs, CEOs and even celebrities.
Users also get the chance to sign up for face-to-face sessions with some these experts, which could be over meals, drinks or small group mentoring sessions.
Having launched in February 2019, the company has since raised US$1.8 million (S$2.54 million) in seed funding, and has expanded to Malaysia and India. We sat down with Wartoft to find out more.
A lot of these business leaders are obviously very busy people. What do they get out of contributing to Tigerhall?
A lot of them actually have a very big heart. They want to give back. These are people with very successful careers. At some point, they start thinking about how they want to give back. The second thing is personal branding and the networking opportunities. It’s an invite-only network — you can’t apply to be a Thinkfluencer — where you get to meet leaders in other industries. We reach out to all of them individually, and only after extensive research. For them, being positioned as a thought leader gives them very strong personal branding.
Is it difficult to get these people on board?
The hard part is getting access to them in the first place. But when they hear about what we are trying to do, many become very interested. It’s something that resonates with them. Of course, their limited time is a factor but they only need to share a piece of knowledge with us once – in the form of a podcast or a power read. In fact, it’s the face-to-face events they enjoy the most. They get to meet the individuals who signed up, and they can see they’re really helping someone. That’s a big part of the motivation.
How does the entire content creation process work?
We have a large research and content production team. We started off with research about people’s aspirations. We spoke to 200 business leaders — in senior positions in places like Facebook, Unilever and Google — about the most pertinent challenges they and their teams faced in the workplace. A lot of our research is anchored in the real world and the app is there to help users achieve their personal goals.
Then we look into the data to see what kind of knowledge people want or need, how we should structure this knowledge, and how people can learn a particular skill best. Afterwards, we invite the Thinkfluencers in and interview them. All the information is structured into a standard Tigerhall format, ensuring the quality of content there.
Tell us more about the applications of Tigerhall in a corporate setting.
A lot of our corporate clients, including large tech companies and banks, use us for leadership development. We can tailor entire learning solutions. Depending on what their goals are as an organisation — whether they want to be more sustainable or grow in certain markets — the entire Tigerhall app can be customised. From this, corporate users have access to the normal Tigerhall content, but also the internal learning journey for their company. We can even have a company’s internal leaders be Thinkfluencers on the app and create content that is visible only to the employees.
The company itself gets a comprehensive dashboard complete with analytics. Team leaders can get insights into people’s goals and challenges as well as the kind of content employees are interested in, and take action from there. It’s sort of like making the learning bottom-up.
What’s behind the name?
The tiger is an Asian animal that symbolises overcoming obstacles in life and achieving strength, and a hall is where you meet people. Tigerhall is where you meet and connect with people to overcome obstacles in life and achieve strength. It’s also easier to pronounce when compared to obscure Latin words!