7 Things EdTech Entrepreneurs Should Know

7 Things EdTech Entrepreneurs Should Know

7 Things EdTech Entrepreneurs Should Know

Last week we held our annual EdTech Show. The virtual event was attended by about 90 educators and 14 EdTech startups and it show was broadcast live on social media.

Each startup pitched for 3 minutes and educators were later asked to fill out a form that included 3 questions:

  • What does the tool do? (Open-ended question)
  • Is the tool suitable for my students and I? (single choice question: yes / no / can not be understood)
  • What would I like to ask the developer? (Open-ended question)

At the end of the event, educators were asked to choose the tool they wanted to adopt.

We find it important to share some conclusions and insights to help facilitate the communication between the EdTech entrepreneur and the educators they wish to attract as adopters:

1. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. At least speak their language

B2C, machine learning, UVP, MVP, are concepts foreign to the educational wrold. Your target audience is educators, and it is important to speak their language. Every EdTech product contains a pedagogical concept, or at least pedagogical thinking and understanding. This is your common language with educators – use it.
During the EdTech show, pitches that did not speak the language of pedagogy and education received a high percentage (above 50%) of negative responses to the question of whether the tool was suitable for educators and their students, even though they actually were.

2. That’s a sore spot!

The world of education does not lack problems and educators are well aware of this and experience it in their day practices. However, no product can solve all the problems, and different teachers feel different problems at different intensities. Your product revolves around a particular problem. Present this openly and clearly. This is the way to trigger and convince educators to become early adopters and dedicated to develop a common journey with you.
Pitches that presented a solution, without previously presenting a problem, received a significant percentage (over 40%) of educators responding that they failed to describe what the product does.

3. The solution: vision & reality

While it is important to share and excite about the product’s vision, and how it will offer a solution to the problem, it is more important to clarify what the tool is capable of doing at the current point in time. An untrue presentation will lead to the abandonment of the tool, to distrust, which will prevent educators and their colleagues from adopting the tool later on.
Will the teachers receive data / Feedback / information when the development is complete? Cool! But if it still does not exist in your current product – be honest and emphasize it.
Understanding the current capabilities of the product is critical for educators, as we it was clearly stated by the responses of the educators.
Past experience shows us that tools that did not reflect their condition at the time of early adoption “gained” a very high abandonment rates.

4. WIFM is actually WIFU

The joint journey of early adoption holds benefits for both the educators and for you, the entrepreneur. Do not hesitate to be truthful about what you expect to gain from the process, and what you need!
Moreover, keep in mind that in the world of schools, education and learning the beneficiaries of the tool are not necessarily (or not only) the users: immersive practice platforms, for example, benefit students, but can also benefit teachers if their data is analyzed and presented to them in an accessible and clear manner; A collaborative marketplace of interactive presentations benefits teachers, and can also benefit students’ learning experience; LMS systems are used by the whole school community, but not all users benefit from it … and so on.
Educators care for their students’ experience, and it is important to provide a solution that not only helps them at the professional level. Therefore, it is important to highlight the benefits the tool will bring to all stakeholders.
To illustrate the last two sections, I want to share what happened at our show: a startup that helps students with difficulty in Humanities, and that in the future will be able to provide teachers with segmented data has gained the interest of over 20% of all educators for whom the tool is relevant.


5. Separate the wheat from the chaff

It is clear to everyone: educators are neither technology experts nor investors who will help you finance development. This is why over-detailing the technology on which the tool is based, or your business model, is irrelevant in your encounter with them. You have three minutes to present the tool you have developed, so that educators will want to “get their hands on it”. Do not waste this precious time on information that is not significant or relevant to your audience.

6. Let them feel they matter

Create a presentation especially for educators!
Do not pitch with an existing presentation and quickly skip over slides.
Do not come with a presentation in a foreign language – does your audience speak and teach French? Make a presentation in French. Three minutes of presentation is a short time, you have a lot of things to say, the presentation should support you, not disturb or distract. Trying to connect what is said in French to a slide in English does you no favors. No matter how good the audience’s English is.

7. Don’t blow your own trumpet

Use case stories. Bring examples from the field: educators who have made quality use of your product; If possible, demonstrate one essential feature.
Do not use an explanatory video – That’s your job on stage! If you want to use a video show a real world experience with your product.

MindCET’s T.E.A.M (technology early adopters of MindCET) program connects educators who believe in technology’s ability to improve education, and entrepreneurs who have a functioning premature EdTech product (in other words MVP, prototype, etc.).

The heart and core of the program is a structured early adoption process of a premature EdTech product with a built-in dialogue between developers and educators.

Throughout the program, educators become acquainted with the world of educational technology and learn to understand the startup way of developing products, they learn about technological trends, and practice using experienced EdTech tools. At the same time, entrepreneurs are guided & assisted in pitching their product to educators, they are given access to data regarding the tool’s reception in the field and assistance in analyzing data and usage reports. The usage reports are taken in time points we identified as crucial for the full adoption of an EdTech tool.

EdTech Entrepreneurs? want to join the next cycle of T.E.A.M?

Contact us