37 Articles and Videos on How to Make Your Edtech Startup Successful

Here at QuizBean, we’re in the middle of two markets — corporate trainers and education. One of those is a lot easier to learn about than the other. (That would be Edtech if you haven’t quite read the title).

We’ve collected all kinds of link about the edtech industry and it’s fascinating impact on schools and startups across the nation.

I thought I’d save you the trouble and compile the resources I’ve found into a blog post for you. Happy reading — make sure to bookmark this page and add your own resources in the comments.

1. Edtech Business Models that Work

Whether your edtech startup is funded or not, this is a great overview of what has worked for several different companies in the bay area. Good food for thought if you’re struggling with your business model.

2. Edtech Handbook

The mecca of how to do it right with edtech startups. Find everything from customer development to financing and distribution. The guys behind this site have clearly done something right.

3. List of Upcoming Edtech Events

Sometimes the best way to get to know an industry is to attend an event. Fractus Learning is great at keeping us up to date about events happening in our area. We let them do it so we don’t have to!

4. Edtech Startups Have Great Products – Sales Not So Much

Without sales, well, you don’t have much. And selling to schools may be harder than selling ice to eskimos. The author tags along for a school visit in Brooklyn to see just how hard it is.

5. Bridging the Gap Between Teachers and the Edtech Industry

As is often the problem, teachers don’t have the buying power to pay for an application to re-shape their classroom. And it’s this buying power that’s going to keep an edtech company alive.

6. The Politics of Edtech

Oh – something else with politics! It seems all industries have it. This is a quick look into how money moves around in education and how top leaders get things done with the dough in their pocket.

7. Top Edtech Trends of 2012: The Business of Edtech

With a mix of politics from above, this article looks into the success and rapid expansion of the edtech industry in 2012.

8. Why VC’s Can’t Afford to Ignore Edtech Any Longer

Venture capital is often reserved for startups featured on TechCrunch or well, VentureBeat (the article is written on VB). But, this article lays out unique advantages to the edtech space – one of them being the virality of something great. Simply, teachers love to tell teachers what’s working for them.

9. Dissecting the Edtech Industry [VIDEO]

Michael Chasen, the founder and former CEO of Blackboard, talks about the problems edtech startups have getting into schools. And it seems it may be a few hundred years old.

10. Is Edtech in a Bubble?

An interesting look at the evolution of edtech. A little bit of the founder’s personal story is included, too.

11. How one edtech startup is selling to the impossible K-12 market (hint: it’s not by going bottom-up)

An interesting look into how Chalkable, a now venture-backed company, is making education sales work for them – and it’s not by getting teachers to buy in.

12. A Boom Time for Education Startups

Another great article about investment in education and how many startups are actually seeing success because they’re starting to get funding.

13. Positioning Your Company for Edtech Platform Leadership

How to develop a platform – not just a fun web application for edtech. A blue-print on how to dominate the education space.

14. The Tech-Driven Classroom is Here, but Grades are Mixed

Maybe edtech isn’t a great industry. This Forbes contributor weighs in with their opinion and others. Plus he uses studies to back up his research.

15. Dirty Sexy Edtech

Quick blog to read about, quite simply, the world of edtech. They’re trying to make the argument that more money flowing into the industry is actually creating more problems.

16. The Edtech Entrepreneur’s Lab

While this blog is a few years old, the author writes about edtech events in the bay area, including interviews with prominent people in the space.

17. Top Tips for Edtech Entrepreneurs

Troy Wheeler used to work for the Department of Education for the state of Idaho. It’s a short post about what he think will help edtech entrepreneurs succeed.

18. Get Schooled on Edtech with LearnSprout

Great interview with the founder of LearnSprout about edtech and how he’s been able to build his company in such a crowded space.

19. TransformingEDU Conference

While this isn’t a blog, the TransformingEDU conference looks to be an exciting event for 2014. At the very least, it’s a place to interact with teachers and show off your product.

20. As the Edtech Market Grows, What Voice to Educators Have?

A positive outlook on the important role educators play in bringing more edtech solutions into the classroom. The author argues we need more edtech and more builders – even if that means people supporting from the sidelines.

21. Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Education

Want to take your edtech app to the next level? Many times that requires funding from a venture capital firm. This is part two of a funding discussion written by an edtech accelerator.

22. To Teach or to Edtech

A short piece on the importance of actually being a teacher before you enter the edtech world. It helps shape your view and gives you a perspective non-teacher edtech founders will never have.

23. How to Make it in the Edtech Startup Sector

Just like the article above mentions — you need to know your customer. Among other points is this post, edtech founders agree: “you have to know exactly who your customer is and what they want.”

24. Defining Success in Edtech

From an edtech entrepreneur who references another article on this list (#36) and reflects on what he believe is success for his startup.

25. 3 Reasons There will be No Lifeboats in Edtech

As the title states, there are three reasons edtech startups may be walking on a bed of nails – and you have to be careful.

26. Why One Charter School System Founded an Edtech Startup

Many successful businesses are launched when the founders are solving their own problem. In this charter school’s case they had nothing to assess performance. So, what did they do? They build their own solution. Great story here.

27. 10 Startup Lessons From Kaplan’s EdTech Accelerator Demo Day

This is one of my favorite articles on the list. While the lessons apply to pretty much any business, they make you think about your business model, your pitch, and what the heck you’re doing.

28. Engaging Educators in Your Edtech Startup [SLIDESHOW]

Awesome SlideShare presentation on how to get your web application in front of teachers, gain early adopters, and use social media to build your company’s foundation.

29. Community Buy-In: How to Build a Nest for Your Fragile Startup

Have you been programming in a dark hole without talking to customers? If you answered yes, you might be in trouble. This articles gives great advice on how to get a team together to support you and get honest feedback – from mentors, teachers, and schools.

30. A Role for Teachers in Every Edtech Startup

How can teachers help your startup? Turns out there’s a lot of ways. And it’s even more reason to have a team of teachers behind your startup. Plus, they ooze credibility!

31. The Do’s and Dont’s of Pitching Technology to Schools

Short article on the three questions you need to answer when you pitch schools on your edtech startup. They’re also questions you should answer before you write a single line of code.

32. 5 Tips for Engaging Educators to Accelerate Growth

Just getting started talking to teachers? This article (from a site full of great resources) has easy-to-implement tips on how to get on the teacher’s good side.

33. How Edtech Companies Will Make (and lose) a Few Fortunes

Selling to school districts is almost impossible. Plus, according to this article, it doesn’t scale. The author (CEO of a Testive, an online testing startup) offers a couple pointers on how to make sales work for your startup.

34. Why Education Startups Do Not Succeed

The author gives an incredibly detailed perspective as to why education companies fail. Data, graphs, and case studies galore. But, there’s a glimmer of hope at the end.

35. Edtech Sales and What all Startups Need to Know

The title says it all, here. You do need to know everything in this post. It’ll help you define your market, build in value, and create a better company.

36. Are Most Edtech Startups Doomed to Fail?

Say it ain’t so! After a quick read, this quote resonated with me the most: “Successful edtech products will draw a clear line between product adoption and improved student outcomes and empower teachers to succeed with the product before it is adopted by their institutions.”

37. Beware the $5/month business

While this final article isn’t education related, it speaks to the challenge many edtech startups have: teachers have limited funds. This often means companies have to under-value products to generate revenue. It’s an interesting read for any software-as-a-service provider.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. That’s because it’s missing your contributions. Let us know what you’ve found helpful in your edtech journey. We’d love to add it to this list.