Union Square Ventures Offers Advice to Edtech Startups

Fred Wilson, a managing partner at Union Square Ventures, has four key points he’d like to offer educators and entrepreneurs working in the edtech scene. Speaking to a group of edtech personalities, Wilson shared details about the role of venture capitalists and areas full of potential.

The entire video which was part of the open online course on entrepreneurship called Ed Startup 101 was conducted over a Google+ hangout, which is available for viewing right here.

Let’s take a look at Wilson’s four points, as highlighted on Gigaom:

Consumer tech offers plenty of models for freemium ed tech startups

Twitter and Dropbox no longer rely on venture capital, even though at one point they used to. Many education startups seem focused solely on raising VC, and then once they get generic levitra the funding they need, end up sinking because they’re not able to survive without the lifeblood of their investors.

The freemium model can work even after the VC well has dried up. Wilson speculated that Coursera could grow into such a model by essentially charging customers for optional certificates of completion after taking a course. Kind of makes you wonder how other freemium startups make money. Udacity might end up putting together a business model of working directly with employers to onlinepharmacy-viagra allow them to go shopping for qualified individuals, at a cost. Lots of opportunity here for freemium startups. You just have to figure out where to look!

Sell to the learner first, not the institution

This kind of advice is a no-brainer for companies targeting specific users. Companies working on educational games or apps are focusing on the user experience first, and the institutional adoption of their product second. Fred Wilson points out that Edmodo and Codecademy are perfect examples of two companies that have focused female viagra on the learner first.

Vendor exclusivity is like teacher tenure – it’s a bad thing

Universities heading toward online learning shouldn’t just focus on one platform. Coursera, Udacity, WEU, and edX are all ripe for potential. “Like tenure, I think it’s a bad thing in the education world because it makes people feel comfortable. I http://onlinepharmacy-cialis.com don’t think there’s any benefit anyone would get by standardizing on one platform.”

cialis vs viagra

Credentialing, peer-to-peer networking and verticals are areas of opportunity

Are students actually achieving mastery in the skills and knowledge they’re after? This is the question startup companies need to ask themselves, and online education platforms need to consider the potential of offering actual accreditation to their students. Also, can peer-to-peer platforms be just as effective as large online learning communities? Wilson seems to think so.