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K-12 EDUCATION - CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES FOR STARTUPS - Balu Pandian, Chairman, Brookfield High


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“K-12 EDUCATION - CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES FOR STARTUPS" was a session striking in its simplicity, honesty and practicality. Here are the key Lounge47 take aways: 1. Identify a “real” pain point (eg. Assessment drudgery faced by teachers) and provide a “real” solution 2. Study the website of the institution and align your presentation to meet the vision of the institute 3. Reach out to the Administration Officer (AO) within the educational institute to understand the institute better, the key players and their challenges. Key skill required : Listening 4. Leverage existing relationships e.g. The person that sells transportation buses to the school, whose recommendation would set you up for better success 5. Identify the decision maker – this is more likely to be the person in the organization that has “veto power” – the person who can say “no” to decisions 6. Educational institutes are capital intensive organizations. Capex (capital expenditure, eg. classrooms) takes first priority over Opex. Given this, entrepreneurs have a better chance of success with established institutes. 7. Lead time for Opex decisions is 1 to 4 years. Understand this reality, do not get disheartened if your idea does not get the nod. Call back repeatedly to check status 8. A normal day of school can be hectic. The entrepreneur should understand this and pick a time of the day and time of the year carefully, to ensure that the decision maker has the mental bandwidth to give your proposal full attention. And remember that the truest test of the success of your Startup is not VC funding but a paying customer.

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K-12 EDUCATION - CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES FOR STARTUPS - Balu Pandian, Chairman, Brookfield High

  1. 1. K-12 EDUCATION - CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES FOR START UPS Balu Pandian Chairman, Brookfield High 27th Dec, 2014 Venue: Lounge47
  2. 2. A Normal Day at School • Semester exams start in 2 days • Some teachers still fine tuning exam papers • 3 teachers absent on sick leave • Fees collection dismal this week, salary 3 days away • 2 kids have fought during lunch break, parents want a meeting • RTO has introduced additional safety rules for school buses • Education dept officials visiting to check security measures • 2 parents seeking affiliation details, want to meet Chairman before finalizing admissions • …………so what are you selling ?
  3. 3. Key Challenges •Schools are capital intensive projects •‘Patient Capital’ needed for schools •Gestation period - normally 7 years •Lead time for Opex decisions: 1 to 4 years or more •Capex will always get priority ! •Established schools better suited for pilots than new ones •Identifying the decision maker •Timing an effective presentation: Dec/April or in between
  4. 4. Validation of concept •Is your concept addressing a gap or a hole in the market? •Define “real pain points” •How can you add ‘real’ value?
  5. 5. Value Proposition •Sharpen Value Proposition – why should the customer invest in your solution Is your solution a Pain Killer or a Vitamin ?
  6. 6. Sizing the Market •Define total opportunity for your start up •Define immediate addressable market •Understand competition (internet included!) •Threats
  7. 7. Validation of concept •Venture Capital investment is NOT a validation of your concept ! A paying customer is.
  8. 8. Gaining traction •Pilots, Proof of concept, Testimonials, References •Leverage existing “channels” of distribution •Leverage relationships/partnerships •B2B and B2C both need to be explored if not too niche Check, re-check and refine Go to Mkt strategy
  9. 9. Execution •How will the concept integrate with the main curriculum ? •How do we show efficacy/results of implementation? •How will you execute?
  10. 10. Some Opportunities in the K12 space •Assessments •Homework and Teacher corrections (Objective) •Lesson planning integrated with text books •Projects beyond Science •English speaking proficiency •Personality development (Public speaking, conversation skills, group discussion, debates) •Music
  11. 11. Opportunities (contd)… • Creches • Neighbourhood Pre-schools •Teacher training • Financial literacy • Ethics and moral science • Culture and History • Healthy eating habits • The 4.30pm to 7.30pm oppty
  12. 12. Opportunities •Physical fitness assessments •Standardised coaching classes •English Grammar •Flipped classrooms •Online videos for concepts •Immersive learning (rich media / activity based projects) •Story telling •Sports competitions •Career counselling
  13. 13. Online Barriers •Computer access at home •Internet safety for children •Network access in outskirts of cities
  14. 14. Thank you for your time !