I want to share with you some of the lessons I learnt (and still learning) while building Knowledge Officer, a career-oriented learning platform for professionals who want to fulfil their dream career goals. I will share the lesson of each stage I have been through so far. We have witnessed 3 stages: pre-MVP, MVP and product.
This is the stage where you would do the market research and early customer development activities. You are still validating the problem and trying to understand the space more. Many founders, unfortunately, skip this stage altogether and go directly to the next one. They start building blindly without necessarily being equipped with the right knowledge and understanding of the space they want to operate in. Small Network: A small number of hugely successful EdTech startups (compared to other markets like FinTech, AdTech, etc) so a very small network to learn from and everyone is still exploring and finding his own way.
Getting research evidence: This challenge continues in the upcoming stages but you should start thinking about it from the beginning. Education startups need science and research based evidence on their approach to learning and education. I would definitely recommend UCL educate program for that side.
This is the stage that comes after going live with an MVP and validating it with users. Usually, this is the stage where you start reaching out to investors as well. This is where you see real and live insights from your potential users and customers and get more confidence on the problem and your solution. Access to data: It’s very hard and challenging to put your hands on real, authentic and comprehensive data around the market size and different financial activities.
Now, you have secured some investment or decided to bootstrap and have a live product with many users/customers. You now transition from your mere focus on building a product to thinking more about building a viable business that sustains this product.
It’s not really that hard to acquire users for your product at this stage given your value proposition is clear and the product is somehow useful. The real challenge is with retention and engagement and keeping these 2 metrics at a healthy level while you are growing your user base.
While reflecting on those challenges, I wanted also to summarise some of the most famous non-successful stories in EdTech and a short lesson to learn from each one. Hope we all learn from those lessons and create EdTech products that truly serve learners, continuously innovate and create viable and innovative business models to sustain the growth of our companies. Fixing education and helping people to learn is a noble cause and we believe that learning is one of the main pillars of having a successful life. That’s what drives us to work every day till we get to fix the Skills Gap!
The Revolution in Education
As you can imagine, the most influential tech startups in education are those creating some sort of apps for fun and interactive learning. These include learning apps and games for kids and adults that are created for computers, tablets and mobile phones, which makes them incredibly convenient.Then, there are the startups that wanted to enhance the learning process through better file organization. Schools and universities around the world are using platforms and apps that allow both students and teachers to keep everything in one place, stay organized, share files and keep track of assignments.
Aside from that, certain edutech startups have focused on facilitating the school administration process, engaging the parents through progress tracking, monitoring things like class attendance, test results, and even cheating and plagiarism. Finally, there are the programs that provide and facilitate video lectures and online courses for both students and future teachers. For example, more and more aspiring teachers are opting for online degrees like the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and other popular training courses, to be able to keep up with the trends.
- Personalized Learning
- Learning on the go
- Countless Learning/Teaching Resources
- The Greater Change
Edutech startups are already shaking up education systems around the world and remodeling the modern classroom. Not only are these innovations shifting the learning process towards personalization but also changing the roles of everyone involved – from curriculum creators, across teachers to students and parents. But this change is a good one, and it’s only just begun. We have yet to see all the ways tech startups will continue to alter and enhance education in the future.