Technological progress has changed every aspect of our lives, and the educational industry is no different. Educational Technology, colloquially referred to as EdTech or EduTech, is the application of technology for the impartment of education. EdTech is a fertile field, the last 15 years have seen numerous entrepreneurs devise EdTech solutions and the coming decade is bound to see many more. Here are the key factors that anyone considering starting an EdTech enterprise must consider…
Know what your niche is
The education sector is vast, no tech solution can cater to it all. The first thing that an aspiring EdTech entrepreneur must do is to identify their niche, the problem that they intend to solve.
Discuss the ‘uncomfortable’ details first
From the very outset, each co-founder must be clear on the firm’s vision, the broad role and involvement of each co-founder, as well as their respective equity shares. This will prevent future complications, at crucial stages. This is great advice for any start-up.
Quality of content
A large number of tech-entrepreneurs, who found EdTech firms, underestimate the importance of high-quality academic content. This content is the key resource of any EdTech firm and unless it is top quality, the firm will not succeed.
The Technology team
Technology is at the core of an EdTech firm’s work, upkeep will be a constant endeavor. If you are approaching EdTech from an academician’s viewpoint, you will have to arrange for a strong tech team. Whether through a technology partner, a vendor or developing it in-house having such a team is essential.
Begin with simplicity
Go for progress, not perfection. Instead of delaying the go-live by trying to make your product perfect, go-to-market early with a simple product. From there, you will learn what works and what does not work and new ideas will come. You can, and should, add the new features in periodic updates.
Some bugs are bound to escape your testing team. Once the software has cleared your internal testing, put it through a rigorous beta test. This will provide you with a broad feedback on the product and catch the undetected bugs. Once you are sure that the product is bug-free and well-liked, you can go to the formal launch!
Build a marketing plan
You will need a well-budgeted marketing plan that can get you to ‘critical volume’. ‘Critical volume’ is the number of licenses sold that will get your name out and get the ball rolling on sales. Split the marketing budget across multiple avenues and keep revisiting the sales numbers, at small milestones, to adapt your plans.
Listen to feedback
Your software must include feedback and ‘report issue’ buttons, at its key points. Be sure to acknowledge every bit of feedback, positive or negative, to the users. That is how you convert customers, to brand ambassadors.
Vital Point: Aim to be profitable not fundable
Your company needs to be built with the aim of becoming a profitable enterprise. One thing that I tell every aspiring entrepreneur is to ignore the chatter around “who rose how much?” Your company should not exist to “raise funds”, it should exist to make profits. If you can prove that your company can earn money, the investors will come to you!
About the Author: Mayank Srivastava is the Founder of Experts’ Global, one of the world’s leading EdTech firms in the field of GMAT prep and MBA admission consulting.