The following article has been inspired by the thoughts of Mr. Mayank Srivastava. He is the Founder of Experts’ Global, one of the world’s leading EdTech firms in the field of GMAT prep and MBA admission consulting.
Educational technology, which is often also called EdTech, is a term that refers to the practice of imparting education through technology. As technology’s influence on our industries and day to day lives, the education sector has not remained untouched. Why would it? EdTech represents a great deal of opportunity for the education sector. EdTech can take quality education to every nook and corner, enable educators to scale-up by tapping the unexplored territories, and help institutions in making the dissemination of knowledge more efficient and standardized. For quite some time now, EdTech entrepreneurs have been developing effective EdTech solutions. Yet the EdTech field is still in its infancy, with the coming decade sure to witness innumerable fresh attempts to realize the potential of EdTech. Here are the key things that any aspiring EdTech entrepreneur must know.
You Need to Know Your Niche
The education sector is large enough, with enough variety in it, that no one solution can cater to it all. Before all else, you must identify your “problem solution”. This must clearly indicate, exactly, what problem you will be solving- that is to say, your niche.
You Need to Have Your House in Order
This applies to all types of startups- at the very outset make sure that all of the co-founders are clear on all important details. They must fully understand the vision of the company, their broad roles, their degree of involvement, and their equity shares. Entrepreneurs often try to avoid talking about these issues, as they find them uncomfortable, only to regret it when things get complicated at crucial stages of organizational growth.
You Need to Ensure High Quality Content
A significant amount of EdTech firms are founded by tech-entrepreneurs, who underestimate the importance of their firm’s academic content. This ends up causing these firms no end of trouble. Unless an EdTech firm can offer high quality educational content, it will not matter how well-developed its technology is.
You Need to Secure a Solid Technology Team
If you are approaching EdTech as an academician, then you need to make securing a technology team a top priority. Many academicians, who intend to use EdTech to take their knowledge to a wider audience, do not think to do so. Technology is, obviously, a central component of any EdTech endeavor. This technology will need constant updating and maintenance, as well as a reliable technology team to do so. Whether the technology team is developed in-house, taken on as a technology partner, or hired as a vendor, it is vital that the firm has a strong technology team.
You Need to Start with a Simple Product
It is always better to go-to-market early, with a simple product, rather than to try to create a “perfect” product and go-to-market late. This is because there is no such thing as a “perfect” product. All technology products have new features added, through regular updates.
You Need to Employ Beta Testing
Even the best testing teams cannot catch all bugs. This is why, once the internal testing has declared the product to be bug-free, the product should be put through a round of rigorous beta testing. This will both catch all of the remaining bugs and provide valuable information on how well-liked the product is.
You Must Have A Marketing Plan
You must have a marketing plan that will help you reach “critical volume”- the number of licenses sold that will put real momentum into the sales. You will need a well-organized budget, spread across multiple avenues. You will also need to set small milestones and, periodically, revisit the sales. You need to revisit the sales to adapt your plans to new circumstances.
You Need to Welcome Feedback
At all critical points, the software must include options for giving feedback. All user feedback needs to be warmly acknowledged, to them. This is how a user can be converted into a brand ambassador.
Critical Point: Aim to be Profitable
This is good advice for all types of startups and entrepreneurial ventures. The firm should be built with the idea to become a profitable venture. The priority should not be to chase investment. Remember, what investors most like to see is the potential to earn profits. If you can show them that your firm can do that, the investors will come to you.