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Arist: A Dose of Education in Your Morning Routine


Arist is the world’s first platform to offer college courses via text messaging. Arist’s first course is in entrepreneurship and with this technology, this course is accessible to anyone who has a cell phone. The co-founders are Babson student Michael Ioffe ’21, founder of TILE, the world’s largest conversations series, and UCLA student Riley Wilson, founder of Pique, a student produced podcast collection.

With the guidance of leading professors at USC, UCLA, and Babson College, Wilson created the curriculum for the course.

How Arist Works

If someone is interested in taking one of Arist’s courses, they visit the Arist website and sign up with their phone number. Once the course starts, students receive a paragraph-long text message every morning with content. Occasionally, there is a thought exercise also included in the message.

The first course lasts four weeks and effectively condenses what would be a semester-long entrepreneurship class at a university into this short timeline. Arist lets anyone who is interested in taking a course to incorporate a dose learning into his or her morning routine.

The Power of SMS Messaging

Through Ioffe’s work with TILE, he has met students from around the world. His TILE experience brought him to working with students in Yemen. “We came up with the idea for Arist after working with students in war-torn Yemen and realizing that many of them didn’t have internet access,” said Ioffe. “The only way they could access educational materials was through text messaging,” he said. This is when the idea of using text messaging as a means for education came to be. Ioffe and Wilson have created what they are calling the first text message-based university—Arist.

A portion of funds generated through the entrepreneurship course, which costs $12 for the full course, will go toward creating access to it for teenagers in war-torn Yemen.

The Future

Entrepreneurship education is just the beginning for the Arist team. “We want to become the Coursera of text message-based education,” says Ioffe. They see great potential in the power of text messaging to bridge the knowledge gap on many subjects. Going forward, they plan to launch courses on many subjects, creating educational access to anyone with a cell phone.

Ioffe dedicates much of the success of Arist to the Babson community: “Babson’s administration was incredibly supportive of Arist, and Babson’s professors willingly shared their guidance, expertise, and research with us.”

Registration ends for the first entrepreneurship education course on May 14, 2018. Sign up today and begin to experience Arist for yourself!