We’re so excited to continue our leaders who inspire us through change series, highlighting business leaders and entrepreneurs we’ve worked with, who continue to lean into change and innovate!
This week we are excited to feature team members Natalia Bishop, Hannah Estes & Erica Sartini-Combs from Level Up. Our consultant Stacey Servo, provided Level Up with technical support and project management to help build and launch a new online teaching platform. She worked as the liaison between the leadership team and the web development team to manage website updates and test functionality prior to launch.
Why did you create Level Up and who do you serve?
Level Up started as a marketing arm for Story Louisville, a coworking and community space located in Louisville, KY. We knew I had to figure out a way to bring people together into the space and had a large community of creative friends from my photography days. At first the idea was to host pop-up events at Story Louisville, but quickly realized that there was a need to get people out of their neighborhood “bubbles” and explore other cool spaces in the city. So we decided to ask community small businesses and restaurants to host classes, showcase their business and space.
Then we realized most of the people attending the classes were women. They were eager to learn, try new things, and explore their community. So about 6 months we shifted our focus and programming to cater to women, to give them an outlet for creativity, growth and community, and the rest is history!
Level Up is a modern education company helping women gain skills through live classes and a subscription platform designed to deliver burst-learning content to your phone (in beta).
What challenges does Level Up face post-COVID?
COVID-19 proposed quite a few challenges for Level Up. With our emphasis on in-person classes, we had to quickly pivot, and pivot we did! In April, we launched live-online class offerings and began the creation of our burst-style membership model, Level Up Bright. Bright allows learners to access Level Up content on their smartphone and can engage in micro-lessons that are 10 minutes or less and continue to build upon each other. Bright is still in development, but will be in beta by fall.
To allow for more live-online content, we had to expand our teacher roster beyond our local in-person markets. We launched a recruitment process and have grown from a roster of 40 active teachers to 130 teachers and continue to grow daily.
What changes are you making to address these challenges?
Our team had to really buckle down and shift our approach to obtaining teachers and learners once we paused in-person learning. We developed systems for national teacher recruitment/outreach strategies, for new user acquisition, and are still constantly making updates to our platform. Feedback from our learners and teachers has been an integral part of our pivot and updates all across our company.
Most people are scared to make big changes or launch new things, so what encouraged you to take the leap?
COVID forced people to prioritize many things, a couple being mental health and community. What better time than now to create an outlet for people to connect with each other while growing creatively? We are breaking down the barrier of accessibility for people to learn from experts all around the country with immediate feedback. Seeing confidence flourish within our learners gives us the confidence to make big moves!
Who (person or company) inspires you?
There are so many companies out there inspiring us daily. Right now, we would have to say Bumble. Our values align with their work in so many ways and are making big changes for women socially, professionally, and systemically. We are inspired by their unshakeable mission, driven business choices, and aspire to do the same as we continue to grow.
How can people learn more about Level Up and bring Level Up to their market?
We are always on the lookout from more teachers and learners to join the Level Up community. There are a few ways to learn more about what we’re doing in the community. You can find us online at www.levelupwithus.com, on Instagram at @lvlupofficial, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lvlupwithus, and Twitter @levelup_withus.
Come be a “learn-it-all” with Level Up!
Since 2015, Open-i has been collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs and business leaders like you to positively navigate change. More than lending a hand over this turbulent period, we want to help in the best way we know how, by providing you with clarity, confidence and concrete tools to embrace the seasons ahead.
If you are experiencing challenges and need help navigating changes, Open-i is offering FREE 60-minute strategy sessions with our senior consultants. Simply click on the link below to schedule your session.