I want to tell everyone the story of how HeatSpring has transformed from a company that ran only IGSHPA geothermal events in 2007 into an education technology company in 2013 that has some of the top experts and companies in the high-performance building industry using our software product, Cammpus, to teach advanced technical material and leverage online training tools.
The purpose of this article is let our existing customers and readers now how we’re spending our time and to let readers that are new to HeatSpring understand where we came from.
There’s no better person to start this story than Brian Hayden.
In 2008 we certified more than a thousand geothermal and solar installers, our young company was growing, and Business Week named us some of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs – but our operation was full of waste.
We rented expensive hotel rooms, flew instructors around the country, spent $35 on bad catered lunches, and crammed as much information as humanly possible into short seminars. Our first online course cost $37,000 for a videographer to develop and we were quickly finding that webinars were lame and inadequate for advanced technical training.
This is the story about how we stripped out all of that waste. Heavy investments in technology led to the creation of Cammpus software – the easiest way to deliver amazing technical training. Great training requires three things: a great teacher, structured content, and engaged learners. No turkey sandwiches, airports, or lame webinars required.
Here are some things people do with Cammpus:
- Build things
- Measure learning
- Teach advanced concepts
- Learn new skills
- Sell products
- Organize knowledge
Marketing, selling, building, training; Cammpus is a better way to do what you’re already doing. Here’s the story of how education technology has made us better, and how it can do the same for you. If you want to learn everything we’ve learned about creating amazing courses, sign up for our Technical Trainer Boot Camp. If you want to read our lessons learned, download our 65 page online education playbook here.
Here’s the story of HeatSpring’s Transition from 2007 to 2013
While you notice that we still have courses running on HeatSpring.com, and we will always support those courses, we’re spending more and more of our time working with other experts and businesses that are using Cammpus to leverage online training tools.
Let’s go into this transition, year by year.
HeatSpring in 2007.
HeatSpring was started in 2007 by Brian Hayden and Duncan Miller doing only IGSHPA geothermal training. Initially Brian and Duncan wanted to become renewable energy contractors, but they quickly realized that they didn’t have the necessary engineering background. Luckily, they also realized that there were a lot of people who needed training that they were in a position to help provide. They reached out to the most knowledgeable and respected renewable energy professionals in the country and helped them transform their expertise into online training. The software that they developed to support that work was the precursor to Cammpus.
Fast forward to today: Chris Williams (that’s me!) joined the team in 2010. In 2011, the three of us decided to spin off Cammpus as its own product. Keep reading to see why.
HeatSpring 2008. From $37,000 to $1,000
In 2008, HeatSpring started to experiment with online training tools. The goal was to be completely “tool agnostic” and figure out what combination of tools would be best for the students.
The first 100% online course we produced, our Entry Level Geothermal Professionals Certificate program, cost $37,000 to develop. It was worth it, but we knew there were ways to create the same level of quality at a much lower cost. Now, Cammpus customers are developing courses of the same quality for less than $1,000. Frequently, far less than a $1,000. With our Technical Trainer Boot Camp + 1 Year Cammpus Subscription, you can create your own university for less than $1,000 in 4 weeks or less.