Steven Cox is the Founder and CEO of TakeLessons, a virtual marketplace that connects learning enthusiasts with instructors in topics ranging from sign language to music, business skills and chess. TakeLessons helps instructors simplify marketing and manage their business with integrated communication tools.
Steven tells about how he first got involved with the tech space working for an ecommerce company that served SeaWorld in San Diego. It was this opportunity that prompted him to leave Ohio for San Diego. Once he moved cross country, he started work at his first startup, CollegeClub.com. A precursor to Facebook, the platform was created in 1996 as a space for college students to connect. Growing in value to $110 million, the site was the 30th biggest in terms of traffic during its time.
Following this, Steven worked for Cisco, but felt as if he wasn’t making a difference at such a large company. TakeLessons was born after Steven wanted to help his friend and bandmate find more students for his drum teaching business. He sought to create a platform that connected instructors to students, giving learning enthusiasts an alternative way to learn new things. Upon facing financial hardship himself, Steven found support within the San Diego community, who really helped get the business off the ground.
Since then, TakeLessons has continued to grow, and is now known as one of the best places to work in San Diego. The company, which started with just a few local instructors, now has over 10,000 instructors in nearly every city in America. Despite the hardship the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, TakeLessons.com has retained its customer base while seeing an increase in platform use by teachers seeking supplemental income. Steven talks about how he sees TakeLessons making a difference in the lives of those who have been displaced by the pandemic.
Listen in as host Neal Bloom talks with Steven about his management approach and the trends TakeLessons has seen since the onset of COVID-19.
Steven’s favorite local tacos: Salud in Barrio Logan
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Thanks to our partners at Cox Business for their support in enabling us to grow the San Diego ecosystem.