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Podcast Episode #17 – Influencers Helping Teachers + App Demo | Xavier Moretti – Koala Go

podcast-episode-#17-–-influencers-helping-teachers-+-app-demo-|-xavier-moretti-–-koala-go
Podcast Episode #17 – Influencers Helping Teachers + App Demo | Xavier Moretti – Koala Go

We’re thrilled to present the latest addition to Afluencer’s content lineup – our podcast series featuring insightful conversations with influential brand owners. In this inaugural article, we have the privilege of introducing Xavier Moretti, the visionary founder of Koala Go, as our esteemed guest.

Xavier Moretti, the innovative mind driving Koala Go, takes center stage in the Afluencer podcast series. With a wealth of experience in the world of influencer marketing, Xavier shares captivating insights, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped his brand’s journey.

Podcast Premiere: Delving into the Koala Go Universe

Join us in exploring the enchanting world of Koala Go through the eyes of Xavier Moretti himself. We’ve embedded the riveting YouTube podcast video below, offering an exclusive glimpse into the transformative power of influencer marketing.

Also, listen to the Afluencer Podcast on:

Transcription Insight: A Peek into the Conversation

Gain an insider’s perspective as we burrow into the transcription of our engaging conversation with Xavier Moretti. Discover the strategies, anecdotes, and wisdom that have fueled Koala Go’ success, all captured in this in-depth transcription.

In Conversation with Xavier Moretti, Founder of Koala Go:

Brett:

On this influencer podcast, we’ve got something for our teacher, friends, influencers and creators as well, in my opinion, parent Influencers, moms dad, this is a great product for children, ages five to 15. I wish they had it in my own school, and that may be our next project. So today we welcome Xavier Moretti’s, the co-founder of a company called Koala Go. We’re going to get into the product, how it helps students, how it helps teachers even into a product demo in a few minutes here, Xavier first, welcome and let’s get into your background before you started Koala ago.

Xavier:

Yeah, thank you Brett for having me. All right. My background before, never know where to start. So I’m French, as you can hear from my heavy French accents that is still there. After 12 years in the US I did an engineering school in Paris and then I moved from Paris to Apple in California where back when Steve Jobs was still around, so I used to sometimes get lunch not too far from Steve Jobs.

Brett:

Yeah, cool. What school in Paris?

Xavier:

Brett:

Yeah. Very good. Yeah, good school. Great school.

Xavier:

Yeah, and I learned a lot of things that I don’t use today, like electromagnetism,

Brett:

Right? Yeah. That’s college. Yeah.

Xavier:

Engineer. Yeah, so I moved to California for a six month internship and I basically never came back. So it’s been 12 years in the US and I became an American citizen last month.

Brett:

That’s awesome. Congrats.

Xavier:

Brett:

Congrats. That’s great. So was it working at Apple? I mean that must’ve been kind of a surreal time to be there with Steve Jobs and did that have you thinking this is really cool and also I want to do my own thing someday. I want to start my own, if not Apple, I want to start my own tech company.

Xavier:

Yeah, I actually never felt like I, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but at some point, I guess when I reached my thirties, I realized I was working on a project that was not necessarily something I was excited about. And I’ve always been excited about education. I think teachers are superheroes and I had a really good friend who I met at Apple who is a thousand times smarter than me, who’s a brilliant software engineer, maybe the best I’ve ever met. Both his parents are teachers and he was at a house party actually, and Ben and I were chatting and I would love to build an education startup with you to serve teachers. And we started this company and that was five years ago.

Brett:

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. I always felt, not to get too philosophical here, and I love capitalism as much as anyone, but I feel like it’s a great failure of the capitalist market, the fact that teachers are so underpaid, as you said, and that’s something where there hasn’t been a market solution for it. So it’s very cool that you’ve made that your mission and helping with Koala. So how does coming up with that mission of helping teachers and bringing their salaries up to market rate, how did that inspire a while ago?

Xavier:

I think it’s a combination of things. The one thing that we thought was also a big problem is that Zoom is used a lot in education, and Zoom is great for what we’re doing right now for chatting to adults, having a conversation. It’s very convenient. I use it a lot, but is it the best tool to engage an eight year old online? Probably not. So what we build with Koala is an alternative to Zoom if you’re teaching teaching child between five and or even three and 15 years old, and it feels a lot like Minecraft. So often we define our product Koala ago as the Minecraft for teachers, and I’ll give you a short demo later.

Brett:

Yeah, it’s great. Yeah, looking forward to that demo were, that takes me back to 2020 where our current eight year old, then five was doing her kindergarten on Zoom and she had about two hours worth of Zoom in her per day. She would do the one hour in the morning and the one hour in the afternoon, and that was about the limit I think, of effectiveness. And even then at the end of the hour, that’s a really long time for a Young kid to be engaged and I’m glad it ended and schools reopened here when they did because it just wasn’t really sustainable thing. So I hear you. I think two hours was about the max and even at that we did it for about three months and I’m glad it was only three months at that. So totally hear you on that one. So excited to see the product. Before we get into it, I’ve got one more question because this is an influencer marketing audience here, influencer audience. So you mentioned me when we spoke previously. This has been a great marketing channel medium for you on the influencer side. So when did you start doing influencer marketing, when you start working with influencers and creators and how has it helped so far in terms of growing Koala ago?

Xavier:

So when you start a company and Brett, you know that really well, you solve a problem, you build a product and you have several users, many users at the beginning that come on their own, but at some point you want to get the word out there about your product. And if you’re solving a really important hair on fire problem, it will be easier to get customers and you should be working on a hair on fire problem. But you still need to get the word out there and you up, I know you’ve created a company before Brett, but for us it was our first company and you have no idea, there’s so many channels you can do Facebook ads, Google ads, you can do in-person events. There’s a million solutions out there and you got to test a lot of them in order to figure out what is the best one and what allows you to acquire customers at the lowest cost.

And we failed 999 times, I guess. And the one time that really worked well was to collaborate with influencers in the field in some shape or form. It could be sponsoring an event, sponsoring a summit that’s for online teachers, partnering with a teacher influencer. And so for us it’s pretty clear that this is what works for us. We’ve learned it the hard way, but that’s why we actually really like Influencer because it allows me to look at influencer who are in the market to collaborate because not all influencers are and do some background research about okay, who are your audience? Who is your audience? What are your values? And are we aligned? Are our missions aligned with yours?

Brett:

Xavier:

I answered your question.

Brett:

Yeah, no, it’s great. And thanks for taking us through that because that’s key, especially for when it’s your first company. That’s always the trick is you got to find that one marketing channel that works. You never know what’s going to work until you try it. So trying 999 things, like you said, it’s not uncommon. It is great that you found the one a lot of people, especially the first time through, because you’re figuring everything out for that first time. It’s challenging and sometimes they don’t get to the one, so you find the one and you just kind of pour everything into that and go for what it’s worth. And eventually you build out the other spokes maybe or maybe you don’t have to. A lot of businesses you just kind of need one thing to work and just get it to work well. And of course we’re glad that is influencers. And to our influencer friends here, we will have your collab underneath this video so they can click conveniently and apply with that. I’ve been dying to, and I’ll say, yeah, go ahead.

Xavier:

Actually, I’d like to follow up on what you said. I think it’s just the beginning. I think it’s really just the beginning of the influencer era, and I think all your influencers out there are really onto something. The relationship that you have with your audience is really powerful and brands will understand that they should value this more and more. Actually, my brother used to be a sales at Goldman Sachs and he left last year. He was tired of it. He left to become an influencer in the gaming space.

Gaming, even legends, FinTech. Okay. Yeah, no, not even. So I’m following his journey and I know it’s not always easy and you need to find your market, et cetera, and find a way to monetize, of course, which is not, but I’m following closely and I really think that we’re entering the era of influencers.

Brett:

Oh, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Good for him. Yeah, it’s challenging on both sides as you see. And I think it’s just because new from your brother’s standpoint, he is building his audience, I’m sure Bill now his content. And then there’s the monetization side to find the brands to collab with, and you got to find the right brands. They got to pay him enough to, I mean a Goldman salary, the goal is for him to meet and eventually eclipse that and love his life instead of maybe not liking it. So that’s the goal. So he’s got that challenge of finding the brands. And then on your side of the fence, my side of the fence, all of our as brands, we’re trying to find the right influencers who, like you said, have the audience are open to collab, which is important and just kind of finding that fit. But once that fit is there, it’s almost like having a virtual partner base sales team kind of thing where everything just kind of fits and they’re promoting your product, but it doesn’t feel like a promotion. So natural. If you’ve got teachers who are sharing Koala Go, they’re sharing it, they love the product, and hopefully they’re using it in the classrooms. So it’s a very natural, and then that’s like a testimonial that’s user generated kind. But again, it’s all natural. It’s not,

Xavier:

He doesn’t feel forced, he doesn’t feel artificial, and it’s you’re not going away from your mission and from what your audience cares about.

Brett:

Right. Exactly. Exactly. And it takes time. And I mean that’s obviously what we’re trying to do here at Influencer and streamlining everything. So everything matches up the person and their content matches up, and that we can help you find the right teachers and mom and dad influencers who can help promote Koala, go and bring it into the schools and can make it natural from that standpoint.

Xavier:

Brett:

Good. So with that, I’d love to see the product and I’ve been holding off for this moment. I didn’t want to go through the site. Sounds good. And bug you last time. So this is going to be fresh to my eyes.

Xavier:

Koala Go is a tool that a lot of online teachers use, but it’s mostly used for one-on-one classes or small group classes. We have a lot of instructors that teach kids with learning differences like dyslexia or kids who are on the spectrum. And we have a lot of teachers who teach E S L English as a second language to Kids abroad teaching in China, et cetera. So most of the teachers who use Koala Go are teaching one-on-one online to get to our product. Just go to teach with koala.com and you’ll see your students’ favorite online classroom and just click here and that’s it. You are in.

Brett:

Yeah, very nice. Very easy. So what are these teachers using today, Xavier? Is it typically Zoom then? So they would, if my child is being taught virtually, as I mentioned in the pandemic days or today, it would be Zoom’s kind of the default today. So this is where they would use Koala Go, because as we’re about to see, it’s really more designed for teaching versus Zooms. I mean, Zoom’s a default. The catchall.

Xavier:

Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Zoom was the default option during Covid and a lot of teachers who were reluctant to using technology were forced to use technology, and the default option was Zoom. So yes, a lot of them are using Zoom and they don’t necessarily all realize the limitations and they take it for granted that this is the status quo and that kids hate online. But when teachers move from Zoom to Kugo, they realize that it is not the case. And kids are actually really excited about coming back to their next class. So here we’re in Koala, go and we’re in the whiteboard and Koala Go has three main building blocks. The first one is the whiteboard, the second one is the co-browse, and the third one is playground.

Brett:

Yeah, it’s nice. So you’re just clicking on the whiteboard here, you’re clicking, you’re typing and resizing. Very intuitive.

Xavier:

Exactly. To invite my student, I just click on the top left and then I have a link that I can share with my students. Share this link. And as soon as the

Brett:

Student joins, this link’s going either to the parent or the student

Xavier:

Brett:

Their age. Right? So they click and they can join and they’re in

Xavier:

Exactly. And your link never changes. And as soon as your student clicks on the link, they will join right here on the left. So you see that this fully replaces Zoom. It’s Zoom and much more. And I’m not going to cover every feature, but you have a lot of have, I mean, you can mute, turn off your camera, you can screen share, you can go full screen, but also you have a lot of tools that we build for kids, such as

Brett:

Xavier:

Brett:

Xavier:

A dice. So a lot of cool tools. You can move things around, you can create sticky notes, and of course when your student joins, they can also move things around.

Brett:

Yeah, that’s nice. Yeah, that stuff matters. That touch. We don’t have a Tesla, but we rented one on a trip a few weeks ago or a couple months ago. But man, that light show, the kids just, I mean they want to get a Tesla just for the light show and the fart sounds the entertainment factor. This is great. This is big.

Xavier:

It’s important. It’s very important. Yeah. And you have system of slides here. I think one feature that I’ll mention that’s really important is we offer 24 7 supports to everybody who uses Koala on

Brett:

Chat. Very nice. Yeah, that’s

Xavier:

Great. Exactly. So you have real people, an AI supporting you 24 7.

Brett:

Xavier:

If you need any help. Yeah. So this is the whiteboard. The second piece is a co browsers, which is actually super helpful for online teachers. And you open it by clicking on this little NASA logo looking item. And the core browsers is a browser in the cloud that you share and interact with, and it allows teachers to open any kind of web resources and share them and interact with them with the student at the same time. So you don’t have, when you’re using Zoom and you screen share the controls, you have a cursor fight. I want a control. No, I want a control. And here both you and your student will be able to interact at the same time with anything on the web.

Brett:

Oh, nice. Yeah. Okay, cool. Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome.

Xavier:

Was that pretty tricky to do

Brett:

Technically? That must have been,

Xavier:

Brett:

Xavier:

And it’s expensive for us to run this service also, but it’s very helpful for all the teachers who use, if you’re a online teacher, maybe word, wall, wmo, genially, Google Slides, Seesaw Boom cards, a lot of really great tools on the web. But those will really become interactive in the core browsers of Koala Go. Even if your student is on a Chromebook or an iPad, they can use their fingers to drag and drop components,

Brett:

Xavier:

Brett:

Yeah, it feels like a killer. It feels like a killer feature to me that I can imagine what it took on the development side. Like I said, costly, but this is what it’s all about from a software standpoint. That’s awesome.

Xavier:

Brett:

Xavier:

Okay, so you are now a co-browse expert and the last piece. Yeah,

Brett:

I feel so accomplished here. Seeing these green checks.

Xavier:

You’re ready to start teaching Brett?

Brett:

Xavier:

That’s right. And the last piece is where Koala Go becomes really different from other platforms out there. I’m going to open playground by clicking a little squirrel icon here.

Brett:

Yeah, yeah. Very cool. Yeah,

Xavier:

Brett:

Man, the koala walking with the loading. This is awesome.

Xavier:

Yeah, and so we build this environment because we know how much kids those days love Roblox and Minecraft, and they’re really engaged by these types of environments, but the education tools that they use is not at all capitalizing on the strength of those environments. So this is what we did. We built an environment that looks like this where you and your students will find themselves. I’m going to click on the I right now so that I can see the world through the eyes of my avatar, and I can move around and I can jump and I can customize my avatar. And as you guess your students will really, this, you can change skin tone, cheeks, lips, et cetera, et cetera. And you can use that. Let’s say you’re teaching a language to your students. You can use that to recreate an immersive environment, follow me, junk turn, left turn. Or we have more and more teachers teaching full classes in playground in these three D environments. You can create sticky notes here as well. You can add images, et cetera. You have a focus tool in case your student is running around, you can highlight this zone and click here and it will focus your students on this specific area. So I’m not going to cover everything. And we have specific training that you can register for on our website, but this is a very, very popular tool with online students.

Brett:

Yeah, got it. Cool. So you can make this whatever you want in terms of lesson planning, subject.

Xavier:

Brett:

Kind of reward too, I assume, right? If they make it through the whiteboard session successfully, they can come hang out at the playground and learn some stuff.

Xavier:

Exactly. That’s how some teachers prefer to use it. It’s a reward. It’s the last five minutes of the class. You work really hard. Congrats. Let’s go play in playground and build some pyramids and stuff.

Brett:

Yeah. Yeah. Very cool. Do you have anyone using this in the classroom itself today? I could see a use case there. Is it still more virtual students? Remote. Okay.

Xavier:

Yeah. So not that many. We’re exploring that use case, and now you can actually start creating little experiences like creating little games as a teacher in playground, like an escape game. You complete this little challenge and then the door to the next room opens, and then you complete the next challenge. So we’re exploring that use case. It’s not being used that much in the classroom, but it’s used more and more by kids on in their own time as homework.

Brett:

Got it. Yeah. Okay. Very cool. Yeah, making homework fun. That makes sense. That’s cool. Any types of schools that you’re getting more traction with? I would imagine, I’m just guessing from a red tape standpoint, less red tape, the better. So I would think smaller schools, probably private schools, more specialty, that type of thing. More traction there today.

Xavier:

So our customers are mostly independent online teachers, so individual.

Brett:

Xavier:

And tutoring organizations or a virtual schools that have a bunch of tutors and they teach online a hundred percent of their classes. So this is a game changer for them because kids come back, more teachers are more powerful online, more capable, they want to stay more. So it’s very successful with tutoring organizations as well.

Brett:

Okay, gotcha. So going back to the influencer standpoint, is that the ideal kind of partner then for Koala ago as someone who’s in that world, the one-on-one tutoring world?

Xavier:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. One-on-one tutoring world is perfect. Literacy, struggling readers, E S L, math, you name it. Our mission is to make teachers financially successful so they can one day buy a house doing what they love. So if you care about this and if you want to serve teachers, I would love to chat with you.

Brett:

Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. And as I mentioned last time, and thanks for that demo, that was awesome. Yeah, I think if love to see our parent influencers get involved also where I just see it from the, as I was telling you last time, Xavier, from the parent standpoint, and it just kind of makes sense. The parents can also have a role here to bring Koala go out and say, Hey, this is what I want my students to use. Right. This is cool. Get that groundswell of support. Well, very cool. Yeah, appreciate the demo. This is awesome. We will get your collab linked here. Anything final words here before we let you go?

Xavier:

If there are some teachers out there, thank you for doing what you do because as a society we don’t tell that to you enough.

Brett:

That’s great. That’s great. Well, thanks so much Xavier. And how can we find the U r L? Are we koala? I’m sure I know in Google I’ve found a koala. Go pulls you up. What is the U r L and is there, I should also ask you, is there a free trial or how can you kind of test it out through the paces?

Xavier:

Yep. Yeah, so our link, our URL is teach with koala.com. Teach with koala com.

Brett:

Okay, very good. Cool. Teach with koala.com. We’ve got the collab here. Xavier Meti, the co-founder. So teacher friends, influencer friends, parent. So let’s get the word out on Koala. Go. Xavier, thanks again for joining us.

Xavier:

Thank you so much, Brett. See you.

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Reflecting on a Journey of Innovation and Influence

As we wrap up this enlightening podcast experience with Xavier Moretti, we invite you to consider the valuable takeaways and inspiration has has shared. Looking to harness the power of influencer marketing? Afluencer is here to guide you on that transformative path.

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Join us in celebrating the launch of this captivating podcast series and continue to empower your brand’s influencer marketing journey with Afluencer.

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