5 Pillars of an EdTech startup success

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What attracts consumers towards investing in your tech-education startup?

If you are running an education tech startup, chances are you are either struggling to gain signups from users 😐 , or you are killing it 💯. Registrations and paid customers are falling right — left — and center, and you are looking to scale your platform in ways no one has ever done before; if you are a founder of a thriving education tech startup, congrats 🎉 , you have made it 🙌.

But if you are struggling to make a mark, working to scale your services/courses, and increase your funnel size, then I have a secret for you. People don’t care about you or your startup. They care about what you and your company can do for them.

People don’t care about you.
They care about what you can do for them.

If we look at the growth data, according to HolonIQ, the Total Global Education Expenditure will be the US $8 trillion by 2025. The Global Market size value for EdTech is expected to grow from US$89.07 billion in 2020 to US$285.23 billion in 2027, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.1%.

More data from HolonIQ

A lot of companies are going to jump in to get a large-sized of this global pie. Here are five things you can do to bring more users to your landing pages and make your EdTech startup a success.

#1 Inspire your users

If a user chooses your platform as their learning partner, they should get inspired by your product, service offering, instructors, and the overall package. Some of the ways you can bring more users to your platform are by inviting distinguished faculty members from big-name companies and having them speak as guest lecturers for various course topics.

Featured Instructors Website Screengrab from Product School


People can get inspired to attend courses by your platform by gaining access to certification they cannot anywhere else. In today's internet world, the actual weightage of certification is so much less as compared to the real-life experience. Data from instructors suggest that a certificate is the number one reason people get motivated to complete a course.

The University of Michigan accredits some Coursera certification courses.


If taken from the right people, testimonials can serve their purpose and go beyond just empty words. Testimonials from industry experts can attract talented people to your platform. For example, the testimonials page on Interaction Design Foundation’s website has positive remarks from Don Norman, Forbes, and SAP.

Testimonials on IDF’s website

#2 Teach your users

Pixar in a Box course at Khan Academy

One of the reasons students churn out of a course is because it fails to provide knowledge and value to them in a way that is easily understood. The best teachers are the ones that can teach complicated and tedious topics in an easy and fun manner.

For example, check out Pixar courses at Khan Academy or the money management comics at The Woke Salaryman website. Animation is a fairly complex topic. Now imagine teaching it to kids. The course at Khan Academy is so easy to follow that I was instantly hooked to the lectures after watching the first video. On the other hand, we have money management. Most people fail or never become mature to manage their money. The Woke Salaryman tackles this topic by making fun comics that drive money management's importance using attractive storyboards.

Money management comics at The Woke Salaryman’s website

#3 Build a community around it

Although being a Solopreneur is a good thing. Teamwork and community support are probably the best for raising spirits and getting quick feedback from like-minded people. Users love to interact and be a part of the community to plan future activities and projects with people who have the same interests. The simplest way you can build a thriving community during and after course completion is by organizing large or byte-sized Facebook groups. A good example is Nas Academy’s FB group that users get to be a part of after completing their courses.

Nas Academy Alumni group on Facebook

#4 Challenge them hard

Challenging students to pass an exam makes them think is the perfect recipe for gaining industry recognition for your certifications. For example, Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) uses a combination of multiple-choice and long-form writing-type questions to challenge its students to pass the courses. Additionally, the course instructor checks these essay-type answers, and marks are allowed based on the level of correctness. Later, students get ranked on a leaderboard per course — which is another gamification level that drives them to be on top and continue engaging with the lessons.

Multiple-choice and essay type questions on Interaction Design Foundation

#5 Help them make money

Possibly the best way to incentivize professionals to become part-time teachers is by treating them right and inviting them warmly to your platform. By teaching them right, I mean not eating 60% of their course profits because the platform doesn’t belong to them. If teachers could be valued more then, they will be motivated to give back more of their knowledge to the students so that the cycle will continue.

Teaching perks on Skillshare

But what about the students?

Students are always on the lookout for internships and pro bono work. It is not easy to apply your latest acquired skills immediately to a project. And that’s why offering students a gateway to paid internships, and Bono-work work partnerships might be the most value-driven thing that your platform can provide.

General Assembly offers Pro Bono work opportunities to students.

End Notes

As an education tech startup, you should be laser-focused on helping students achieve the best possible outcome when they opt-in to your platform. Only by driving value to your users can you win 🥇 and take home a large portion of the pie 🥧 .

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Thank you for reading this far! 😁 Let me know if you have any questions or comments on my design — or — If you’d like to have a chat about anything design-related, I’d love to hear from you!

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5 Pillars of an EdTech startup success was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.