Everyone has a great plan until they get punched in the face. It turns out boxing legend Mike Tyson's famous quote applies to edtech founders.
In a shark tank-style event hosted by StartEd last month, an investor panel offered advice on how founders can prepare to secure education venture capital this year.
Here are their marketing takeaways.
Edtech founders need to market their TEAM
Good investors don't just invest in ideas and products, they invest in people. Founders have to make the most of their pitch by proving two things:
They were born to tackle their problem.
They're going to crack the nut on whatever they want to solve.
Most importantly, they need to get this passion across in a short amount of time. A recent Microsoft study says our attention span has dropped to 8 seconds. That means founders should plan on explaining their vision in 1-2 sentences.
This is easier said than done. It can be challenging to figure out how to summarize a complex problem with a multi-pronged solution. But finding a way could be the difference between gaining a business partner to help drive your solution forward, and walking away empty-handed.
Pivot your "vitamin" product to become a essential "painkiller"
To prepare for a recession this year, founders should take extra care of how they're positioning their product in the market. Solutions that sound like nice-to-haves (like taking vitamins), should consider a marketing pivot.
Products that act like painkillers have the urgency to convince investors of their worth.
Edtech products are like vitamins when they're clouded by messaging like, "learning is good for you," and "practice makes perfect." On the other hand, a value prop encouraging someone to upskill and avoid being replaced by a robot makes a much stronger case for an investor to take action.
Find product-market fit
The edtech investor who shared the Mike Tyson quote above was drawing a comparison to how some founders react to their place in the edtech marketing mix.
Founders tend to underestimate the time it takes for their solution to impact the market. Their passion and excitement can come to a screeching halt if they're unable to make headway. Finding the right product-market fit can feel like a frustrating waiting game.
However, just as founders tend to underestimate ETA for product-market fit, they also underestimate how much they can achieve in 10 years. A business that doesn't find an immediate product-market fit doesn't automatically forfeit a shot at success.
Edtech marketing strategy this year calls for a focus on positioning team and products. Which recommendation speaks to you the most?
If you're a founder, what piece of advice are you tackling first this year?