Think Global EDUKWEST Academy

Think Big – Think Global

Over the last few weeks, I have been sharing my thoughts on the key differentiators in this sector and the spectrum of opportunities that the Ed Tech sector brings compared to other sectors in the context of really understanding the value creation dynamics. All these views, be they good, bad, boring or controversial are, of course, my personal thoughts.

In my previous posts, I talked about:

1. Content vs. Technology
2. Education vs. Technology
3. User vs. Buyer; and
4. Scale vs. Specialist

Now let’s talk about where your business is based.

5. Think Big…Think Global

I suppose this is just a very personal way of looking at things. Saying that “Either you should build something that is truly game changing or not bother,” will, of course, attract the wrath of the start-up ecosystem. Someone once said,”it is better to fail at trying something that not try at all.”  That’s a better way to put it I suppose.

What I am trying to get at, is the view that if you truly believe you have a game-changing proposition that will use Ed Tech to make an impact in the sector, then don’t hide oneself in one geography. This is most relevant from a UK context. The market size in the UK is just not big enough to make a real impact on the global community. Global. This is my point and maybe my bias. I see so many exceptional education entrepreneurs that don’t develop a global view of their product/service. They are limited by their team or backers.

A few years ago, the UK suffered from investors being concerned when businesses with global ambitions were raising monies. The investment criteria being: ‘UK business only’. I thought this was curious at the time, given that disruptive education technology businesses, by their very nature, would have to be global to be truly relevant. Thankfully, that position has changed.

In the context of US Ed Tech however, the domestic market size has its own scale and depth so vast that global views can afford to be a secondary goal. Privately however, I am sure that some of these entrepreneurs would relish the opportunity to have the credibility of the Cambridge/Oxford brands as credentials when stepping into international markets.

Ed Tech players starting up in Asia have some remarkable domestic indicators in their favour. The almost non-discretionary nature of parents attitude towards education spend makes for some attractive market opportunities for those that have credible propositions. The scale of the market bodes well for those who can stick through the local/political dynamics.

I will talk more about the global markets (particularly Asia) in my next piece.

Picture by Judy van der Velden via Flickr

Recently voted as one of EdTech’s top 100 most influential leaders globally, Dan has been involved in the sector as an Investor/Founder and Executive. Dan is Chairman and CEO of UK based Digital Assess and is a venture partner/mentor with UK and US based Ed Tech accelerators.