Meet The Creator: Chris Du

May 20, 2021
An image of Chris, a young Asian man smiling in a black collar shirt.

Chris Du, a recent Bachelor of Arts graduate with a major in Economics at The University of British Columbia is paving his way into the higher education industry. In 2019, Chris created a new and innovative project management tool called Ensightful. This tool helps instructors reduce time and effort by providing them insight into student team dynamics.

We all know the struggles of being in a group project. Ensightful’s goal is to create a space where institutions can track their students’ progress in a group setting.

What inspired you to create Ensightful?

I’ve always dreamed of starting my own startup one day, partly because I was able to work at two exciting startup companies during my co-op positions. After graduation, I wanted to do something to improve education and give back in some way. I was always taught to focus on the problems before thinking of a solution and one of the pains/problems I was familiar with in my own education was group projects and there weren’t any tools specifically tailored to support students and instructors with group projects. I knew this problem was widespread in all universities so I decided to create a tool to do exactly that.

What sets Ensightful apart from other project management platforms?

Most project management platforms are built for businesses with complex digital tools to support different aspects of running a business or software development. Where Ensightful is different is that we’ve built the platform with solely students and instructors in mind. Projects in Ensightful reflect how most projects are structured in a classroom. We’ve also emphasized simplicity and making the platform easy to use so there’s the least amount of time spent on figuring out how things work.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to students for preparing for group projects?

I am going to give a couple:

1) starting early because far too often term-long projects are completed in less than 2 weeks before the deadline

2) keep track of what’s agreed upon within the team, this includes who’s doing what, by what time, and all communication between the team members so you can hold others accountable.