Last Monday, 30 of China’s top edtech CEOs joined Boston’s edtech elite for an evening of idea exchanging by the waterfront. Attendees enjoyed a traditional New England meal while Boston’s own Gradeable, Hstry, and uConnect presented on how they innovate in education. Who came from China to visit the Boston edtech scene? What did they learn? What advice did they have for American edtech companies? Find out below!
3 Hot Chinese Edtech Companies: While several different companies attended last week’s event, here are three that stood out.
- Jiemo Media: Jiemo Media has risen to prominence by serving as a news outlet for all things edtech in China. Leveraging its staff of seven full-time editors and several guest contributors, Jiemo Media has built up its readership. Today it is recognized as the most influential site that covers China’s edtech industry. Jiemo Media organized the trip as part of its program to help Chinese edtech CEOs learn from the best edtech companies in the world.
- Talkweb Information Systems Co.: Talkweb offers a variety of software solutions for companies in China. For the education industry, Talkweb runs the country’s largest classroom management system that functions similarly to Edmodo. Talkweb’s goal for visiting Boston was to learn how to help improve its business as it adapts to new opportunities in mobile. Having already gone public, the company also hoped to find new partners and investments in Boston’s edtech scene.
- Liulishuo: Liulishuo is an app that helps people learn English. Founded in 2012, the app already has 15 million users. Alex Xqin, head of marketing and operations, described the app as similar to the American company Duolingo. Like many other edtech companies in China, Liulishuo was excited to learn about new business models to help Liulishuo monetize its app.
2 Impressions: Andy You, Partner at Jiemo Media, said he was most impressed by Boston’s innovative revenue models and problem solving.
- Revenue Models: You believes that the revenue models pursued by local edtech companies present interesting opportunities for companies in China. He mentioned that while awareness and user numbers are growing for edtech companies in China, many of these companies have not started to generate revenue. While the sheer population of China makes the user acquisition rates for companies like Liulishuo intriguing, figuring out how to monetize these companies is essential. For example, You cited the concept of charging per user as a technique that hasn’t been implemented in China yet.
- Problem Solving: You also mentioned that most of the edtech companies in China revolve around instructional support. After viewing presentations by Gradeable, Hstry, and uConnect, he suggested that edtech tools that work outside the traditional instructional support model may have opportunities to succeed in China.
1 Piece of Advice: American and Chinese edtech communities should work to bridge the information gap between the two countries.
You referred to his country’s 200 million K-12 students as one major reason why Boston edtech companies should find ways to collaborate with Chinese edtech companies. He mentioned that as the American edtech scene gets more competitive, the growth opportunities in China will become more attractive to American entrepreneurs. If the two communities can work to better understand each other, then the opportunities for partnerships and global expansion will increase. You believes that the best way for the two communities to begin to collaborate with one another is through events like this one. Through community building between companies like his and LearnLaunch, the edtech world will become a little smaller while the opportunities for all will become much greater.
Interested in learning about how student privacy might affect your edtech venture? Check out the K-12 Student Privacy Panel LearnLaunch is hosting on November 5!