In April 2019, EduGrowth partnered with Austrade and Navitas Ventures for the US EdTech Trade Mission. The mission led a cohort of Australian EdTech founders across New York, Washington, San Francisco and San Diego on a deep-dive into all facets of the US school and education market. The program included meetings with established education companies to understand processes, universities and schools to hear directly from customers, government agencies to focus strategically, and Australian entrepreneurs already operating in the USA.
We asked Pivot CEO and Co-Founder Belinda Harries to reflect on her experiences joining the mission:
What was your overall impression of the mission & program?
Terrific. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the US market, what’s involved in market entry, as well as be connected with potential partners and clients. It was also great to meet the founders of other quickly growing Australian businesses, and with the brains behind EduGrowth and Navitas Ventures, to think through our business strategies and expansion plans.
What aspect of the mission was particularly interesting or useful for your business?
The three networking sessions set up in New York, Washington and San Francisco were amazing ways to connect with hundreds of potential partners, clients and advocates.
What did you learn on the mission that may have been unexpected?
That Australian EdTech businesses can really punch above their weight on the US / International stage. And the great potential for local partnerships, including partnerships to help overcome US market entry challenges.
What were your key takeaways?
The significant and varied opportunities in the huge US market, and of being mindful of incredible complexities in launching.
What are your next steps?
Do you have any meetings (potential clients / potential investors / potential collaborators) to follow up now that you are back in Australia?
The Pivot approach had real resonance with US partners and schools, and since returning I’ve been busy following up with potential clients, investors and collaborators. The next steps for us are to run pilots / trials with schools / school districts and partners / distributors (and we have already secured our first!) over the next 6 months to better understand our product / market fit and refine our broader US sales strategy and tactics.
Belinda Harries is a Melbourne based economist, Australian education policy expert and EdTech entrepreneur. She co-founded Pivot, a professional development tool designed for teachers, school and system leaders to understand, support and improve teaching effectiveness in each classroom. Harnessing student voice and agency, and drawing on the collective expertise already within our schools, the Pivot tool delivers confidential, targeted and evidence-based insights for classroom educators to system executives on how to improve teaching effectiveness in every classroom.