What you need to know before starting your EdTech firm
by Mayank Srivastava Technology 23 November 2018
Today, there is no industry that has been left untouched by technology. The education industry has been particularly eager to adopt the latest in cutting-edge technology, for the purpose of spreading quality education to every nook and corner. The name was given to the practice of deploying technology for imparting education in Education technology or EdTech. The last 15 years have seen the development of several major EdTech solutions, by entrepreneurs, and the coming decade is sure to witness countless efforts at extracting the potential of EdTech. If you intend to be one of the pioneers, starting their own EdTech firms, then here are some factors that you must keep in mind…
Knowing your niche:
No one technology solution can hope to cater to the entire education sector. The first step for any EdTech entrepreneur is to identify their niche, the exact problem they intend to offer a solution to.
Keeping your house in order:
This applies to all startups- all co-founders must have clarity on the key aspects- the company’s vision; their roles, responsibility, and equity shares. Avoiding these uncomfortable topics will only lead to complications at crucial growth junctures.
Producing high-quality content:
Many technological entrepreneurs make the mistake of underestimating the importance of the educational content. No matter how good the software is, an EdTech firm cannot succeed without high-quality educational content.
Maintaining a strong technology team:
Those who approach EdTech from the academic’s perspective need to make securing a strong technology team a top priority. Technology is, obviously, a vital part of any EdTech firm and requires constant upkeep. This upkeep will need a strong and stable technology team; whether they be in-house, a vendor or an equity partner.
Rarely will the first version of a successful product be the final one. That is why it is better to go-to-market early, with a simple product, than late with a fancy one. Once you have rolled out the product, you will quickly learn what works and what does not and use that information to develop new ideas. These ideas can then be implemented through regular product updates.
Some number of bugs are guaranteed to slip by even the best testing teams. This is why all EdTech products should be put through rigorous beta-testing, once they have been declared bug-free in the internal testing.
Marketing to attain “critical volume”
The goal of your marketing plan should be to help you reach “critical volume”- the number of licenses sold that will get the word out and set sales rolling. This plan should include a budget, spread across different avenues.
Paying attention to feedback:
A good EdTech software needs ample feedback and problem reporting options. Each feedback, positive or negative, needs to be warmly acknowledged. Remember, happy users, are the one’s who will become brand ambassadors.
Crucial: Be “profitable” not “fundable”:
One thing that I tell every aspiring entrepreneur is- ignore the chatter about “who raised how many funds?”. Your company’s goal should be to earn profits not secure investments. Once you prove profitability, investors will come on their own.