I expected the 12,000km journey from Cairo to Cape Town to be a challenge; I didn’t expect to find the keys to leading more fulfilling life.

It’s hard to believe that nine years ago, I was cycling in the desert of Egypt, still doubting how I would ever make it all the way to Cape Town. Every day of the four month journey across Africa presented new challenges, adventures, and lessons (like: aren’t most challenges in hindsight just adventures?).

Nearly a quarter of the forty riders who set out from Cairo didn’t make it to Cape Town due to a severe accident or illness. Another quarter made it, but suffered a broken wrist, rib, or collar bone along the way. The other half of us who…


#7 HUMANS ARE FUNDAMENTALLY GOOD

Read Part 1 Here & Part 2 Here

As when I was surprised to see clouds again in Ethiopia after a full month of staring into a solid blue sky, seeing women again caught me off guard when we crossed the border into Sudan. Like, oh right, these exist. As a woman, I shouldn’t have been oblivious to the fact that half of the population was seemingly absent from the Egyptian countryside, but everything was so different. My eyes had been drawn to the lush fields dotting the banks of the Nile and how lush the tended fields were in contrast to the sand dunes just beyond the…


#6 THE RACE IS LONG, BUT IN THE END, IT’S ONLY WITH YOURSELF

Read Part 1 Here

In the days before our departure from Cairo, I had the opportunity to meet and mingle with the other riders. And I won’t lie, I was sizing them up. My reason for doing so was innocent — I had never changed a flat tire, I had never cycled more than 60km in one day, I had never even ridden up a hill, let alone a mountain, nor had I cycled off road. I was looking for signs that I at least wouldn’t be totally humiliated, left in everyone’s dust on the start line.

There were so many riders who looked…


Why you should invest in building a strong community now, if you haven’t already

For better or worse, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a boon for many of the ed-tech companies I work with. We have had to figure out how to rapidly scale their services without sacrificing quality users had come to expect.

It’s been a bumpy road, with many lessons learned, but one thing stood out as being critical to success: having a strong community. Two of my favourite clients of the past year, Level and Transcend Network, have activated their communities to refine their offerings, increase their revenue, and expand their reach, without spending a dime on customer acquisition.

The companies…


How I use Notion to keep my life in alignment

As a freelancer and aspiring artist for nearly two years now, I’ve grappled with a number of challenges on a near daily basis including:


The biggest lessons I’ve learned from helping dozens of online learning platforms scale their impact

Photo by FLASHCOM INDONESIA on Unsplash

I’ve helped lead market expansions for ed-tech start-ups across North America for the past ten years. In that time I’ve seen as many new promising companies entering the market over this period as are days in the year. I’ve been involved in every aspect of growth strategy from helping start-ups find product-market fit to building new partnerships to expand their reach.

No matter which company I’m working with, I’ve noticed a few common themes emerging, that I hope by sharing, could help other ed-tech founders move up the learning curve more quickly.

Treat every district, school, and teacher like they are unique

Location and demographics only tell a small part…


These films will give you hope that people can change and the world can be healed

If you find yourself feeling down, uninspired, bored, or even downright pessimistic about the future of our world (who could blame you in these times!), I believe watching any of the ten documentaries below can help you feel more optimistic about humanity and hopeful for the planet!

1. Accidental Courtesy

I think about this award winning documentary allllll the time. It is about an accomplished black musician who has dedicated years of his life to befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan. …


Must-see documentaries if you enjoy experiencing some extreme emotions

I am not one to shy away from films or documentaries that are going to make me feel something. In fact, I love when movies, no matter the genre, take me on an emotional rollercoaster. The scarier, sadder, weirder, or sicker, the better.

Of all the documentaries I’ve ever seen (and I like to think I’ve seen far more than the average person), these were by far the ones that affected me the most on an emotional level.

The Act of Killing

Probably my all time favourite documentary. This is the only documentary I’ve ever watched that made me feel like throwing up my…


Practical advice for anyone looking to work in the education technology industry

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and schools and universities around the world were forced to close overnight, all eyes have been on the growing education technology industry. The latest estimates value the U.S. K-12 ed-tech sector alone at $35.8b in 2020.

Whether it’s because of an unfortunate and unplanned pandemic-related job loss, increased media attention on the industry, or experiencing first-hand the challenge of teaching or learning remotely, there is a growing interest in working for and/or investing in an impactful ed-tech company.

I’ve spoken with at least a dozen people recently (some current teachers, some working in the non-profit…


A how-to guide for anyone interested growing an online education company

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Thanks in part to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the global education technology industry is on track to be valued at nearly $350 billion USD by 2025. It’s no wonder that droves of investors and entrepreneurs are rushing to take advantage of the surging demand for tools and resources to support online learning.

Unfortunately, the education market is notoriously tricky to navigate, and I regularly encounter aspiring ed-tech entrepreneurs, investors, and employees who don’t fully understand the challenges of this space. …

Jen Dyck-Sprout

Brooklyn based Start-Up Advisor, Impact Investor, Filmmaker, Writer, and Leadership Coach. I focus my time on the future of learning and the future of work.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store