The essentials of starting an EdTech firm – views of Mr. Mayank Srivastava, Founder of Experts’ Global
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The Essentials of Starting an EdTech Firm
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.
One would be hard pressed to find any industry that has not been affected by technology. The education industry is certainly not an example. Education Technology, or EdTech, is the deployment of technology for conveying education and it has been readily accepted by the education industry. Over the last 15 years, we have seen a great number of EdTech solutions, developed by entrepreneurs, and over the coming decade, we are bound to see many more. Here are the essentials that anyone interested in starting their own EdTech firm needs to understand.
You must know your niche
An EdTech startup can only hope to cater to a niche, within the vast education industry. It is important to understand what one’s niche is, what problem one is trying to solve, before working on establishing one’s firm.
There must be organizational clarity
Before the firm is founded, each of the co-founders must be clear on a number of important factors. They must fully understand the company’s vision, as well as their own roles, the degree of involvement and equity shares. These “uncomfortable” topics must be discussed, at the very beginning, or they will cause serious problems.
High-quality content needs to be ensured
The quality of an EdTech firm’s academic content is a vital factor in its success. Many technology entrepreneurs, who venture into EdTech, tend to underestimate the importance of this content. Cutting-edge and attractive software will not help a firm succeed if it does not have reliable and high-quality educational material.
A stable technology team must be ensured
In contrast to the technology entrepreneurs, academicians tend to make the inverse mistake. Academicians who decide to use EdTech, to widen their audience, tend to underestimate how important it will be to maintain the technology piece. Technology is at the core of any EdTech firm’s work. The firm will need a dedicated and reliable technology team, as the technology will require maintenance and updating.
The first product must be kept simple
All successful technology products progress beyond their first versions. There is no such thing as a perfect product, all products will need to be updated with new features. This is why the go-live stage should not be extended. It will be better to roll out a simple product and then improve upon it, through the updates, as the firm learns more about its requirements.
There must be rigorous beta testing
Even the best testing teams will miss some bugs. That is why a round of beta testing is a must, once the internal testing has declared the product to be bug-free. This will catch the remaining bugs and provide feedback on the product.
There must be a solid marketing plan
A product’s marketing plan needs to be able to help it hit “critical volume”- the number of licenses sold that will get the ball rolling on sales. The budget must be split across multiple avenues and the sales should be periodically revisited, to revise the plans.
There must be abundant feedback options
It needs to be convenient and easy for users to deliver feedback. Warmly acknowledging all feedback, positive or negative, will help convince the users to spread a positive image of the product.
Important: Aim for profitability
The firm needs to be built with the idea of developing a profitable enterprise, not just raising funds. If the firm can prove its potential to earn profits, investors will come to it.
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