Being an edtech entrepreneur

Last Updated 15 November 2017, 14:36 IST

Educational technology (edtech) is a burgeoning industry now, attracting investments because of its promising potential to change the way students can learn and grow. Innovations through technology in skill development appears to be taking a significant stage in the Indian edtech sector.

Gone are the times when a college degree was the only stepping stone to relevant job opportunities. Education systems across the world have been trying to catch up with the changing times with the help of technology. But this remains to be a difficult task with the breakneck speed with which technology is evolving.

Cashing on this opportunity and attempting to fill this gap are enterprising edtech entrepreneurs. The online education industry in India will witness around eight times the growth in the next five years, according to a recent report. This will have a significant impact on the edtech market.

Now that the thinking is evolving, entrepreneurs in the edtech sector are required to go beyond the ordinary and be inventive in offering customised solutions pertaining to specific demand. Here are five ways on how to make a mark in the edtech industry:

Research is key

Doing market research is a fundamental aspect of entrepreneurship, and the edtech industry is no different. 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 Entrepreneurs also need to be aware that their ideas around education may be outdated and the concerns already addressed. So, talk to students and teachers to know what their needs are.

Be focused

Not all edtech entrepreneurs have worked in the field of education. It is, therefore, important that the product be defined. Edtech entrepreneurs should never aim to replace educators but aid students and teachers to improve their efficiency. Having a defined purpose is also vital when approaching investors.

Don't follow the pack

At the early stage, entrepreneurs usually end up building similar products. Always remember that you are catering the niche sector where people are very particular when it comes to their child's education. So create a product which has a tendency to create an 
impact in the market.

Disruption of the sector

Edtech is an interesting and growing space in India, and investors want to back those start-ups that are bringing change in the sector with the help of technology. A serious investor is looking for disruption in the learning and teaching space, disruption in leveraging technology to scale and disrupting learning itself.

Employ creative minds

Start off with discussing your idea with mentors and seek their feedback. Then, employ or co-create with individuals who share the same vision as you and develop a product that can compete in the market. Sourcing freelance web designers and content writers are an excellent way to start. An 'edupreneur' needs to build a strong team by putting them together and by filling all the gaps between them.

(The author is co-founder, Emeritus Institute of Management, Mumbai)

(Published 15 November 2017, 12:06 IST)

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