10 Tips for EdTech Entrepreneurs
Edtech entrepreneurs all set out with good intentions; to better education. While noble, these intentions are met with many obstacles and failure is easy. Only 14% of teachers use digital curricula weekly. So while the doors of opportunity seem open, the market is saturated with products that never make their way into the classroom. If edtech entrepreneurs are to flourish, they need to address the fears that educators have about technology while pushing innovation. Below are 10 Tips for EdTech Entrepreneurs
- Talk to Teachers and Students
As with any product, you need to know what the consumer needs. Doing market research is a fundamental aspect of entrepreneurship, and the edtech industry is no difference. Creating a product without having an idea of its practical use, classroom implementation or student’s needs will fail. Entrepreneurs also need to be aware that their ideas around education (which may stem from their high school days) may be outdated and the concerns already addressed.
- Create Edtech that Serves a purpose
Not all edtech entrepreneurs have worked in the education field. It is, therefore, important that the product be defined and that it serves a purpose. Entrepreneurs should never aim to replace educators but aid students and teachers to better do their work. Having a defined purpose is also vital when approaching investors.
- Do Research into Pricing Options and Investors
The death of any edtech product is unrealistic pricing. As with any product, profit margins should be slim in the beginning. Aim to appeal to a broad market and be aware of pricing models. EdSurge provides a comprehensive insight into pricing models and how startups can best price their product in the hopes of both enticing buyers and making a profit.
- Start Small
Edtech entrepreneurs would love to have thousands of children using their product. This reality is only accomplished over time. Be realistic about who the product is aimed at and how much content will be available. Products that offer 500 unique lessons plans are not built up over night. Start small by offering consumers a product that is budget friendly to both parties pockets and wets their appetite for more.
- Collect a Group of Creative Minds
Any edtech products require the skill sets of a number of people. By employing or co-creating with individuals who share the same vision as you, you can be reassured that the end product will be something that can compete in the market. Sourcing freelance web designers and content writers is an excellent way to start as their prices are usually lower than professionals, but the quality can be comparable.
- Download and play with Edtech
In order to create a unique product, it is important to know what is on the market and how those products are succeeding or failing. The best way to do this is to download and use as much edtech as possible. Not only does this give you an eye into the competition but it ensures that the product being created is not a duplicate. Sites like eLearning Industry have databases full of products available for free download.
- Stay on Top of EdTech Trends
The edtech industry is quick moving and for a product to succeed it must be both innovative and accessible. By reading articles, attending seminars and staying in the know, increases your chances of creating a product that is in line with what is on offer. Thinking outside of the box is always encouraged, but it is important that the product is in line with current technological literacies.
- Advertise Smart
Advertising should make up 7-8 % of the gross revenue of any new business. On top of this, it is important to advertise in the right spaces. Be proactive in finding web pages, magazines and other ways of getting your product seen by educators and prominent insiders. Advertising is fundamental, and without it, a great product can go unnoticed.
- Interact with the Edtech Community
Networking may be a term thrown around in the early 2000s, but for new entrepreneurs it is invaluable. By connecting with other professionals in edtech opens doors to meeting investors, collaborating and learning from influential entrepreneurs who have found success. With the internet, this ability to network is easier than ever.
- Stay True to Your Goals
This point may sound sentimental but staying true to goals is vital for any emerging business. Edtech products that promise to improve student’s vocabulary should do just that. This is not only a good life lesson, but investors, educators, and advertisers will be more likely to invest in a product that stays to true to its initial intentions. Growing and morphing are always good, but at the beginning, this does little to encourage success.
So, if you have an excellent idea about an edtech project or are already in the process of creating one, these tips offer something for everyone. It is important to stay focused and make sure that the good intention that fueled the idea, materialized into a product that any teacher would be proud to have in their classroom.