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How to Build an Online Education Startup?

Be it resilience course from Acuity Training, skill-teaching courses or past papers collection – the online education industry has experienced a big boom during the pandemic. Experts and analysts have reported an average revenue gain of 335%.

And, considering the benefits offered by e-learning, they expect the industry to sustain itself for a long time. So, while the online learning sector is still growing, it is the right opportunity to build your startup too!

In this guide, we have discussed the process of building a successful online educational startup. Read more to unravel!

Design an Education Startup Plan

First, layout the structure and design of the project. Think about the foundation of your educational startup.

Here are a few questions to help you get started:

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1. What Is the Purpose?

There are two fundamental types of educational startups; profitable and charitable. Both of these types offer products/services to the consumers in exchange for money. However, their intent is different.

Profitable startups aim to use the funds generated for business growth and personal purposes. It is their income.

Meanwhile, charitable startups use all or a portion of the received money for others’ welfare. Charitable educational startups may also perform direct welfare by providing services for free.

2. What Type of Education Will You Provide?

Usually, educational startups are all-embracing like Udemy. They offer a broad range of studies, ranging from digital marketing to cooking. However, if you specialize in a niche, it is best to sell that skill.

For example, a professional guitarist can teach his guitar-playing skill better than teaching piano. Both are instruments, but a specialty in something is what sets one apart.

3. What Form of Education Will You Offer?

Yes, you can create and upload video lectures on your online learning platform. You can also conduct live synchronous teaching sessions.  But, today’s world has more to offer than just that.

You can educate people through audiobooks, podcasts, tutorials, resources (like worksheets and past papers), etc. Some educational startups even design games to promote learning.

4. Who Is the Target Audience?

Target audience refers to the consumers of your product/service. It is best to create the ideal client persona (ICP) when deciding your target audience.

The persona must include their:

  • Country/Region
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests & background
  • Educational level (beginner/intermediate/expert)

Choose the Medium

There are many different shapes that your online educational startup can take. It can be a website, app, portal, forum, zoom meetings, YouTube/Vimeo channel, and whatnot.

However, the most preferred mediums are websites and mobile applications. Both these options are versatile and allow you to integrate a diversity of features.

You can use them for courses, videos, blogs, and so much more. But, the same doesn’t apply to other mediums.

Also, websites and mobile applications are the easiest to monetize. While YouTube channel creators rely on views and ads only, you can make money on apps/websites by:

  • Sell the app or course on the website directly
  • Advertisements & sponsorships
  • Freemium (unlocking more features or content upon payment)
  • Subscriptions

Research Your Competitors

Now, analyze the competition. This particular analysis is what will help you add the magic element; innovation.

Begin by creating a list of all the online educational startups in your specific niche. Access their product/service and explore what they offer. Examine the methods and ways they have used to execute their plan.

Also, read reviews and articles available online for the startup. Find out what people have to say. This feedback will help you determine the lacking in the competitors.

Once you’ve analyzed, you will have plenty of insights and data to make your product/service innovative. Bring in a unique aspect that will excite the target audience and guarantee success.

Do the Math

Budgeting is the most important aspect of building an online education startup. You need to calculate all the costs involved, from production to marketing. Generally, there are two ways to fund the project:

Collect a Capital

It is the hassle-free route that enables you to start the project instantly. Plus, you are only answerable to yourself.  You don’t have to keep anyone else updated about financial matters.

Arrange Sponsors and Investors

In case you do not have funds, finding an investor is a great way. You will have to spend some time and effort convincing people. Also, there will be an additional responsibility to keep the investor updated.

However, you can arrange huge funds easily through investors. You can also make use of online funding platforms such as SeedInvest and WeFund.

Hire Talented Professionals

Next, go through the plan again and create a list of all the professionals you will need onboard to execute it. You may require:

  • Web/app developers
  • Graphic designers
  • Art directors
  • Content managers
  • SEO experts, and many more.

Remember, given you have the required skill set, you may as well do it yourself. But, it will take too much time and effort.

When building a startup, it is best to divide the roles and responsibilities amongst a team of talented professionals. Initially, you can begin small and expand it as you grow.

Marketing & Promotion

Once your platform is ready, begin working on the marketing and advertisement area. Create ad campaigns, invest in influencer partnerships, do guest posting, etc.

These promotional strategies will help you spread awareness about your educational startup. The awareness will eventually lead to interest and purchasing of your service. It is also known as the marketing funnel.


Lastly, learn about user responses regarding your startup. Ask for their reviews and feedback through surveys. Then, use it to improve the quality and grow the business. Good luck!


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