8 Reasons Why Education Startups Fail
Education startups are firms that aim to modernize traditional education by using technology to create improved ways of learning and teaching. The startups provide educational products and services such as tutoring platforms, online courses, educational games, and virtual reality learning experiences. Also, the startups include all the tools that make education more effective, accessible and engaging.
Education startups aim to improve education quality and make it more accessible to students worldwide, regardless of their socio-economic status. The advancement in educational technologies has made it possible to establish education startups, which are essential in how people acquire and develop new skills.
Education startups fall under the EdTech umbrella, which stands for education technology. EdTech refers to the use of technology to improve the educational experience and learning outcomes, thus solving the problems of traditional education. Despite its great importance and relevance today, considering the ubiquitous nature of the Internet, many education startups still fail. In this article, we will discuss some of the reasons why education startups fail.
Reasons Why Education Startups Fail
Just like other companies, education startups aim to succeed in their endeavors. Fortunately, education startups can pay much attention to the following reasons for their failure.
1. Lack of Market Research
Many education startups fail because they do not conduct thorough market research to understand the target market’s needs and determine the viability of their product or services. In most cases, startups jump into the industry without paying attention to the do’s and don’ts. The education startups also fail because they have these enormous ideas but do not distinguish between ‘must-required’ and ‘fancy’ apps that fail without even starting. Ways to avoid Education startups’ failure include conducting thorough market research to understand the market demand.
2. Poor Product-Market Fit
Another reason for failed education startups is because their products do not meet the target market’s needs or because they fail to identify the target market accurately. When starting a business endeavor, it is vital to have a clear picture of the target audience and the needs that the company’s product or services can address. Also, the company gains a view of the audience to make appropriate products and services. Education startups can avoid this problem by first having an insight into the target market before implementing the business. This will enable them to make products or services that address the target audience’s needs.
3. Lack of Funding
Education startups often require significant investments to develop their products and scale their operations, and many fail because they cannot secure enough funding to sustain their growth. The lack of funding also arises when the company lacks an effective business model. In this regard, the education startup fails to generate sufficient revenue to cover costs and sustain the business. Ways to avoid this problem is to have an appropriate business model and enough funds before starting the business.
The EdTech industry is highly competitive, and many education startups fail because they cannot compete with established players in the industry. It is important to note that growth in the EdTech industry is slow and requires companies to be patient before seeing returns. This, together with intense competition, makes growth in education startups slow, prompting a company to get out of business. However, companies should understand that the industry is competitive and patience is paramount in emerging victorious. It might take 5-10 years before the company can fully master the sector, but it’s all worth it in the end.
5. Inadequate Team and User Training
A solid and dedicated team is crucial for any startup to succeed. However, many education startups fail because they lack the expertise, experience, and leadership necessary to succeed. Further, because of the industry’s profitability, most entrepreneurs hastily launch new products and services and overlook their usefulness to the users. They fail to introduce manuals to the users, and other training needed, leading to the loss of the target audience and market. Education startups can avoid failure by having a solid and dedicated team whose vision aligns with the company. Also, providing user manuals is essential in training and capturing a broader customer base, particularly students.
6. Scalability Issues
Some education startups struggle to scale their operations, which limits their growth and makes it difficult to become a sustainable businesses. In most cases, many people download the applications mainly to test the features and understand their workability. Nonetheless, only a few users would purchase and sign-up for the services because of one reason or the other. Even though many users will be on board to understand the application’s features, the education startups fail because of less revenue, making the business unsustainable. Ways to avoid scalability issues by education startups is by developing unique and practical features that respond to users’ needs.
7. Lack of Differentiation
Many education startups fail because they do not offer a unique and differentiated product or service that sets them apart from competitors. This makes it difficult for them to compete in the market. Usually, businesses gain a competitive edge by differentiating their products or services from competitors. This gives consumers a reason to purchase from the company rather than rivals. However, most education startups provide products or services similar to the competitors, which contributes to their failure. To avoid this, startups can provide distinct products and services that attract many users.
8. Poor Marketing
Education startups often fail because they struggle to reach the target customer and generate enough interest in their products or services. However, startups can avoid the marketing problem by adopting an effective marketing strategy to reach the target market. An effective marketing team is highly recommended to create awareness of education startups’ products and services.
Use Writing Services For Business Plans & Marketing Materials
Education startups can use professional writing services to write business plans and marketing materials to promote their services and attract investors, partners, and customers. Such writing services by CustomWritings, for instance, provide professional writing and research support, which is useful for individuals and startups looking to create strong business plans and markets for their offerings. The company has a team of skilled and experienced experts who provide more persuasive and polished professional writing. Their writers can help you communicate your ideas and plans effectively through reports, executive summaries, statement papers, and briefs, inducing greater success and allowing you to make a greater impact in the education space. They know all the ins and outs of professional, formal, and informal writing that can be the difference between success and failure.
5 Examples of Failed EdTech Startups
There have been various failed EdTech startups over the years. Some reasons why EdTech startups fail include poor product-market fit, inadequate funding, competition, and lack of scalability. The following are examples of failed EdTech companies;
- Grockit: This is an online learning platform that failed to scale and was ultimately acquired by Kaplan
- Knewton: It’s a personalized learning platform for students that raised over $100 million in funding. The reason for the failure of the EdTech startup was the inability to generate enough revenue to sustain itself, eventually leading to the shutdown
- Coursekit: It’s an online learning platform that lacked an effective business model and was shut down in the long run.
- WizIQ: An online education company that failed to sustain itself and was eventually acquired by a larger company.
Although many EdTech startups fail, the industry continues to grow as a whole, and there are also many successful companies, including Udemy and Coursera.
The causes of failure of education startups include lack of market research, poor product-market fit, lack of funding, competition, inadequate team, and user training, scalability issues, lack of differentiation, and poor marketing. There are various ways to avoid failed education startups, such as conducting adequate market research and competitor analysis. Although many EdTech companies have failed over the years, there are equally successful companies in the industry.