Guest Author: Nick Zeckets, CEO of QuadWrangle – a graduate of LearnLaunch Accelerator
In late 2013, QuadWrangle was just figuring itself out. We knew we had something—but our execution was a bit nebulous. How do we talk about ourselves? What metrics should we be focused on? How do we grow the right way?
I’ll cut to the conclusions of our year-one story with the LearnLaunch Accelerator (with more years to come!). One of the biggest things we did while at LearnLaunch was validate that curating schools for alumni was our heart. As a result, in the 12 months since we graduated from the program, our revenues have increased 388%, with impressive recent clients like MIT and Lehigh. We also closed a seed round and grew our staff from two full-time to four full-time and two part-time team members. The best part is that we’ve positioned the company to have a breakout year of growth.
Knowing all that now, it’s pretty obvious that we pulled a lot of value from being in the LearnLaunch Accelerator last winter. How can you tell if it’s worth it for your company?
Like any great investment, you’ll want to do your due diligence. In doing ours, here’s what we know to be true:
- Some of the world’s best angel investors founded the program. These folks know what it takes—beyond cash—to power through the initial pain.
- We’re a different breed, us edtechers. So we need a different kind of support. If you’re looking to affect education, how much can the next GoPro knockoff teach you? You want to be in the trenches with those that get our unique edtech struggles.
- The community is unbelievable. Beyond the founders and staff members, the extended network is profound. Those folks invested time and money in QuadWrangle. We walked in on day one with two people and instantly felt like 10.
- Legitimacy. Thousands of people are looking at what LearnLaunch is doing—angels, VCs, educators, higher-ed administrators, and others. The day we got in, QuadWrangle was more valuable. It’s like the high school senior who is admitted to an Ivy League school. She hasn’t started her freshman year yet, but her future is already viewed as measurably brighter.
You have to know what matters to you. Honesty is the most important benefit you can afford yourself. And when we were completely honest with ourselves here at QuadWrangle, we knew being in the LearnLaunch Accelerator was a critical step on our path to success in driving alumni engagement, giving, and growth in the business.