This EdTech Startup Idea from the 1001 Startup Ideas collection of YoStartups is to make a centralized platform and Search Engine for K-12 schools with complete school profiles and reviews. In short, it will be a “Capterra” for K-12 schools.
Market Definition for 1001 Startup Idea – Search Engine for K-12 Schools
There has been strong endeavor from the governments around the world to promote primary education and it has been made mandatory for most of the countries. The second United Nations Millennium Development Goal was to “ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.” Even though we missed to achieve the target, there has been a significant improvement in the numbers; the number of out-of-school children has decreased from around 120 million in late nighties to 60 million in 2015.
Talking just about the US, there are around 130k K-12 schools including both elementary and secondary schools, with the enrollment of 54.8 million students. Large developing countries like India, Indonesia, and China present even bigger opportunities with high literacy growth rates. As per a report from Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the adult literacy rate in India grew from 61% to 69.3 during 2001-20011.
Competition Analysis for 1001 Startup Idea – Search Engine for K-12 Schools
There are several K-12 schools centric platforms that collate K-12 schools and provide them unified solutions to better engage with the students. One such company is PowerSchool that streamlines school office and administration operations with online solutions for student registration, school choice, and finance/HR/ERP. While these companies are not direct competition to the proposed idea, but being in the same domain has the potential to venture into a similar business model.
One company that is working on the similar model as proposed is Pittsburgh based company Niche.com. They provide rankings, reviews, and stats on colleges, K12 schools, and neighborhoods to transform the way people make decisions about their children’s education.
Pain Point & Target Audience for 1001 Startup Idea- Search Engine for K-12 Schools
The target audience for the proposed idea would be parents with children in the age of 4-16 years who are looking for best possible school options in their locality for their children.
Parents often face difficulty in deciding a school for their children and often the decisions are made of subjective opinions from friends or family members. There are no platforms, which lists down all the K-12 schools along with their track records, achievements, available facilities and general public review, helping parents and students in making an informed decision.
Value Proposition for 1001 Startup Idea – Search Engine for K-12 Schools
The proposed startup will create a central platform for all the information one would need while deciding on a most suitable school for their children. The platform will collect all the public information about the school performance and use deep analytics produce the school ranking. Since these rankings will base on the hard facts like the performance of students in board exams, sports competitions, science & math competitions, etc. it will provide a good reference while deciding on a school.
The startup will also make a unified application management portal for inviting applications and managing 2-way communication until the end of the selection process.
Business Model for 1001 Startup Ideas- Search Engine for K-12 Schools
The platform usage and listing will be free of cost for the parents and the schools respectively. The platform will primarily generate revenue from the preferred listing of the schools and the annual subscription from the admission management portal.
Way to Market for 1001 Startup Idea – Search Engine for K-12 Schools
The startup should plan to launch the platform in a city which is popular among the parent-student community, gets an influx of students from the surrounding cities for education and has about 100-200 K-12 schools. This will provide the startup with enough bulk in terms of available data and demand-supply economics.
The startup should start with collating the basic information on the schools in the city of launch, like the type of school (elementary/secondary), available facilities, availability of special learning classes, etc.
Parallely, the data team should work on scraping publically available information on schools and students perform in educational and sports-related activities and competitions. Once there is sufficient data available, they should develop an algorithm to rank the schools.
Finally, the startup should work on the front-end of the platform where prospective students and their parents could interact with the complete database of schools and their profiles.
Key Milestones for 1001 Startup Idea – Search Engine for K-12 Schools
The startup should target to scrape the information and design the algorithm for school ranking in first 2 months. The front end of the platform should not take more than a month to develop and the complete platform should be ready for launch in 3 months.
During this whole time, the startup must continue onboarding the schools with their complete profile and should target to formally onboard atleast 300 schools by the end of six months. The whole process must be well planned to ensure that the new school sessions coincide with the market readiness of the startup.
Investment needed for Prototyping for 1001 Startup Idea – Search Engine for K-12 Schools
The startup should look to raise about $120-$150K for product development and onboarding schools. The startup ticks all the boxes for falling under both Edtech and SaaS segment, so it can look approach angel investors and accelerators interested in either of these segments.
Team Capability for 1001 Startup Idea – Search Engine for K-12 Schools
The startup must have a co-founder with experience in the education sector to lead the product development and more importantly to play a key role in the development and refining of the algorithm to rank schools. The startup also needs to have team members with experience in data analytics, full-stack development.
Investor/Expert Take for 1001 Startup Idea – Search Engine for K-12 Schools
Increase in young population, clubbed with job scarcity in the market is leading to tough competition for a better career. The result of it can be seen as early as in secondary schools, where both parents and schools are working hard to produce the best minds. Deciding a good school for kids is as difficult as buying a new home, and parents don’t want to leave any stone unturned while finding best schools for their kids. This produces a huge opportunity for the proposed business idea, as there are not many platforms that have successfully mapped the K-12 education system.
Investor community has also been very receptive to any innovation in the education sector and they have recently funded a startup called niche.com, which works on a very similar model. Niche.com raised $6.6 million in a Series B round led by Allen & Company and Grit Capital Partners.
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