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Wizenoze: Metamorphosing Traditional Education for Generations to Come


The internet is the king’s ransom of data. Since its inception, people have piled up articles making it possible to find just about anything in one place. However, rummaging the internet for needful information can be a tedious task.

To simplify data researching and reorganize the net into one repository, Diane Janknegt developed Wizenoze. A learning platform fit for younger generations - children, teens, and young adults - Wizenoze generates filtered content that facilitates the concept of learning online.

Wizenoze singles out the most relevant and appropriate content for children and teenagers. It also encourages the youth to use the platform’s digital library that delivers filtered EdTech resources to every eager learner. To top that off, Wizenoze allows willing students to assess their reading abilities and research for relevant content based on their educational ripeness.

Beginning with a far-fetched idea, here’s how Diane managed to overcome the obstacles of traditional learning and take Wizenoze on a digital level!

Born to Be Bold

Diane was born and bred in the Netherlands in 1968. As a child, she loved going out with her friends, hanging out, and socializing in every which way. There was certainly something special about the way Diane carried herself, with utter confidence and assurance.

When Diane started school, she was really interested and eager to learn things she never tried before. In her teenage years, Diane was seriously interested in computer science, and she showed the first affinities as a polymath person. Aside from computing, Diane’s childhood days were mainly filled with the sound of classical music and the mandatory cup of tea.

When the time to choose a college came, Diane made the decision to study at Utrecht University, where she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Dutch Literature. Armed with the proper education, Diane entered the next chapter - conquering new challenges.

Not a Damsel in Distress

After college, Diane wrote the most relevant chapter of her life as she started to work for Microsoft in 1996. This period, at the turn of the century, was imbued with a culture of technological entrepreneurship. Many entrepreneurs were onto something new and unseen before. They were also keen on erring and learning from their mistakes whilst adjusting to the newly imposed technological marvels. For the most part, this culture was undoubtedly established by Bill Gates, the owner of the company.

One of the key things Diane cherished about working at Microsoft was its then-incognito status. The company was small and still in its development, which gave Diane the chance to grow alongside it. However, as the company scaled, the professional obligations kept piling up. Although it seemed like crossing an ocean at the beginning, Diane enjoyed the fact that she is making the world a better place. The staff she worked with was amazing and eager to make a societal change in an impactful fashion. Thus, her main role models were these colleagues who dared to make mistakes and push forward toward improvement. It was, in fact, Diane’s eager colleagues that served as her greatest role models and business inspiration.

After 13 years working at the company, Diane got to know the business world better and realized she is not using her full potential. Come 2012, Diane decided to quit her job, and pause for a year to figure out where she was headed next.

A Crossroad for Two

Diane realized she wants to be part of the technological industry, but in a more productive way. In 2012, there was a big academic research project that proved the internet was challenging for children to use. This is what really inspired Diane to begin a new business along with Theo Huibers. Theo was a computer science professor at the University of Twente, specialized in information retrieval. When Diane met Theo, he had just finished his academic research on whether or not the internet could be applied to education and have a proper impact on young adults.

This research turned out to be very successful as both Theo and Diane knew they wanted to put their business abilities to the test. But, neither one of them had ever wanted to fly solo. Theo and Diane realized that children had the internet at their disposal, and yet, there was this huge influx of unprocessed information. In other words, inappropriate language, false information, unreliable references, and unreadable elevated language was served to children, all of which created a negative effect on their learning process. Even if children wanted to research the internet for resources, the information provided was intelligible. Therefore, Wizenoze became a viable way to create a virtual yet functional library for children. Their solution came in an age-appropriate language for children, so they could both enjoy doing research and learn at the same time.

Rolling the Sleeves & Clearing the Mess

The implementation of the virtual library known as Wienoze has begun. The content at Wizenoze satisfies the criteria of age-appropriate content in every domain. To make it even better, Diane decided to gather a team of researchers and educational experts to handpick the content for their page.

Although Wizenoze is dedicated to every child of any age, the clients using the site are also teachers and teenagers.

Officially an Online Company

Wizenoze was officially established in 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

On this journey, 2 initial investors were supporting Diane’s mission: Partners in Equity, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Soon, the company expanded to the UK and moved its headquarters to London. This was a smart move as Diane believed the British curriculum was the most dominant of all. She also knew that all children could benefit more if learning from the very core of the educational system. Aside from the UK, Wizenoze also has offices in New Delhi India.

Challenges Along the Way

Entrepreneurship is never only about the idea, the enthusiasm, nor the education level. Besides landing investors and promoting the brand on the market, the hardest rock to push from Wizenoze’s way was the legal paperwork in the UK.

When Diane moved to the UK, she struggled to put the company’s financial ducks in a row. Without fixing the platform’s financial issues, Diane could not hire any employees. But as the banks were less than friendly in supporting Diane, she struggled even more to find a suitable team to take the platform forward.

For nine months, Diane was going from bank to bank, fishing for a solution. Eventually, she had to arrange a one-on-one meeting with one bank’s CEO, to whom she explained the hurdle in detail. Finally, her prayers were heard and she got the approval to run the business in the UK. Moral of the story? Good things come to those who hassle.

The COVID-19 Triumph

The pandemic changed living as we know it for good. All relevant industries were on temporary lockdown. Schools began to teach online. The entire world paused for a moment and waited for a resolution. Once the lockdown entered into force, around 1.5 billion children were obliged to embrace the change of remote studying. Eradicating the frustration of adapting to the new ways of learning, Wizenoze turned out to be the handiest platform students could ask for.

The Wizenoze team immediately saw remote learning as an opportunity to implement a more concrete platform; this time around, aimed at homeschooling. Thereafter, Theo and Diane’s team created the educational platform called Web for Classroom which offers content generated from over 16 million teacher-approved sites. During the remote schooling period, Web for Classroom helped numerous students and teachers to enrich their knowledge from a single-handed virtual library - and straight from their home screens!

Thanks to Diane, Theo, and the entire team working behind the scenes, Wizenoze landed $3.4 million in funding, completed over three rounds.

The Game’s Not Over Yet

Soon after its funding, Wizenoze aimed for international recognition. It planned on providing efficient and high-quality content to every child that needs it. In a game as competitive as quality education, Diane figured that the only way to go forward is to go international. It’s not a question of if Wizenoze would get the international market - but when. And whenever that may be, Wizenoze’s success would have Diane’s name written all over it.

Diane is the leading educational leader the online world craved for. She overcame all stereotypes and adopted a shark mentality that keeps driving Wizenoze forward and proves that quality learning is just around the corner for those who know where to look!