User Universities: Becoming the Knowledge Hub of Your SaaS Niche

Victoria Rudi
June 1, 2022
⌚ 5 min read

→ Your growth practice

Become the official learning center of your niche. Create a User University within your SaaS company. Offer a blend of learning paths, helping your users and company stakeholders to learn more about your platform and/or acquire industry-related skills and knowledge.

→ Quick explanation

There are SaaS companies that:

  • Build learning programs  
  • Offer learning programs as part of their User University

SaaS leaders can choose whether they want to simply build learning programs or create an entire knowledge identity around their customer education strategy.

A User University requires having at least one learning program.

► Quick note: Companies may refer to User Universities under different names such as Schools, Institutes, or Academies.

Compared to simply offering learning programs, building a full-fledged User University involves positioning your SaaS brand as a knowledge hub, which can later, under certain circumstances, bring recognition and industry authority.

► Quick note: Your Knowledge Center containing product-related guidelines is not a User University.

→ Definitions

📓 Customer education: A growth practice focused on helping users, community members, or other company stakeholders achieve their desired results, whether by using your platform or acquiring new industry-related knowledge and skills.

📓 Customer learning programs: A wide variety and formats of learning initiatives. Learning programs include live facilitated training, workshops, masterclasses, courses, email classes, and more.

📓 User University: A learning center created by a SaaS company dedicated to its users, community members, and other company stakeholders. User Universities are focused on teaching people how to make the most out of a platform or acquire industry-related skills and knowledge. Usually, User Universities provide certifications for the completion of the learning program, validating the newly-acquired knowledge of its students.

📓 Certification: A proof of someone’s expertise, mastery, or proficiency measured against a standard, aka an exam.

📓 Corporate University: A learning center within a SaaS company dedicated to providing learning experiences to its employees.

→ Types of User Universities

  • Product-oriented: SaaS Universities that offer software tutorials for beginning, intermediary and advanced stages.
  • Industry-oriented: SaaS Universities focus on developing learning programs to help company stakeholders acquire industry-related skills and knowledge.
  • Mixed: SaaS Universities that combine both product-oriented and industry-oriented learning programs.

→ Your growth opportunities

By building a User University around your product, you’ll access multiple growth opportunities, such as:

  • Increase brand awareness. That’s possible, especially if you’re building an industry-oriented SaaS University.
  • Professionals are usually interested in improving their knowledge and skills. By meeting this need, you’ll acquire qualified leads.
  • Nurture your connections with your leads as people may want to go through multiple learning programs.
  • Position your brand as a thought leader and gain industry recognition. Both are possible if you’re building an industry-oriented SaaS University, helping users to acquire industry-related skills and knowledge.
  • Delight your users and company stakeholders with unique learning programs.
  • Ensure better product adoption. That’s possible when building a product-oriented SaaS University. Reduce the churn rate by helping existing users and paying customers get their wanted results with your platform.
  • Out-teach and outshare your competition.

→ Case examples

>> Miro, an online collaborative whiteboard platform

Product-oriented, Miro Academy offers both on-demand and weekly live training sessions. People can access live sessions with Miro’s experts focused on agile events, strategy, planning, and brainstorming.

Miro Screenshot

>> Commsor, a platform for community-led companies

Commsor built the C School, a knowledge hub that offers multiple free and monetized learning programs. As the School’s page indicates: 

“From self-paced courses to quarter-long, cohort-based courses, C School helps career changers and community professionals alike build skills and success in the community industry.”
Commsor Screenshot

>> Swapcard, an event planning platform

Product-oriented, the Swapcard Academy offers one learning program in 4 different languages: Spanish, English, Italian, and French. The Event Studio Training is 60-90 minutes long, and it’s focused on transforming professionals into event tech experts who use the Swapcard platform.

Swapcard Screenshot

>> Clickup, project management & productivity platform

Containing more than 15 micro-courses, the ClickUp University teaches users how to make the most out of the platform. People can filter courses by:

  • Role (guest, member, admin)
  • Level (beginner, advanced)
  • Topic (from admin learning path and collaboration to customization and reporting)
  • Core product (such as ClickAps, Customer Fields, Task Management, and more)

People have to register as members of the ClickUp platform before accessing the courses.

ClickUp Screenshot

>> Piktochart, a visual content platform

The Piktochart Academy was built around one course titled “Fundamentals of Visual Storytelling.” According to Piktochart: 

“This course covers everything you need to know to make your story stick — from content, typography, and color psychology to images.”

People can enroll for free by creating a free Picktochart account.

Piktochart Screenshot

>> Guru, a knowledge management platform

Product-based, The Guru Academy offers multiple micro-courses. People can access them for free by creating a Guru account.

Guru Screenshot

>> Slab, knowledge base and wiki software

The Slab University provides two micro-courses. The first one teaches the basics of the platform, while the second one is focused on best practices. This example shows that you can build a User University based on tiny micro-courses.

Slab Screenshot

>> Webflow, a no-code website builder

The Webflow University offers a great variety of product-oriented and designing courses. From Webflow 101 crash course to Freelance website design bootcamps, the company provides learning programs for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced users.

Webflow Screenshot

>> Bubble, a no-code software development platform

The Bubble Academy offers multiple learning resources that aim to teach users how to build no-code software with Bubble. For example, people can choose to learn:

  • By watching video lessons (a few minutes each)
  • By reading (a manual with 30+ chapters or more than 1,000 posts)
  • From others (bootcamps from 1 week or coaching from $75 per hour)
  • With a template (100 templates to choose from)
Bubble Screenshot

More than 1,800 students across 50+ countries have completed the Bubble Bootcamps. Registering to Bubble Bootcamps include $300 Bubble Credits as an incentive.

Bubble Screenshot

>> Ontraport, a CRM and automation platform

The Ontraport University provides more than 150+ training videos on marketing, sales, payments, membership, and web apps.

Ontraport Screenshot

Other User Universities to check:

👉 HubSpot University

👉 Klaviyo Academy

👉 MailerLite Academy

👉 Tiled University

👉 Bevy Academy

👉 Uberflip Academy

👉 GlueUp University

👉 Salesloft University

👉 Intercom Academy

👉 Shopify Learn

→ What to consider?


  • What’s my goal? Do I want to attract new leads? Do I want to focus on my users/customers only? Do I want to do both?
  • What’s my target niche? What type of professionals/users do I want to attract to my User University?
  • Will my User University be open to everyone? Will I ask my students to register for the product before accessing the University? Will I grant access to my paying customers only?


  • At least one learning program to consider building a User University.
  • A small yet dedicated Customer Learning team.
  • Budget to create content for your User University.

→ Your action framework

📒 Choose the type of User University you want to build:

► Product-oriented: It makes sense if you have an intricate SaaS product that involves achieving different proficiency levels. In this case, you can launch:

  • 101 crash courses
  • Video tutorials
  • Written guides
  • Bootcamps
  • Templates
  • On-demand training
  • Live training
  • One-on-one training
  • And more

If you go with this type of User University/learning program, make sure to differentiate your courses based on elements such as the user:

  • Profile
  • Role
  • Proficiency

► Industry-oriented: By choosing this User University type, you’ll be able to better position your brand as an industry authority. In this case, you can launch courses focused on teaching:

  • Methodologies
  • Frameworks
  • Best practices
  • Masterclasses
  • Trends
  • And more

► Mixed: If you have the resources to launch multiple learning programs.

📒 Create one learning program. Ensure this learning program allows people to pass an exam and get a certification.

📒 Once you have the learning program, you can launch your User University page and publish it on it.

📒 Keep growing your User University by adding new learning programs.

📒 Track KPIs focused on the number of people who:

  • Register for the course(s)
  • Completed the course(s)
  • Passed the exam and got certified
  • Became a user after completing the course(s)
  • Became a paying user after completing the course(s)

Also, track the adoption and churn rates before and after launching your SaaS University.

These numbers will provide you with more information regarding your SaaS University’s impact on your business growth.