Not really a SaaS product, not a unicorn, not a moonshot, no MRR/ARR, definitely not VC-backed. Still disruptive. In my first blog for Edjro, I am excited to share why we are a terrible investment (by traditional measures) and why that is great for you as a teacher / student / parent / tech enthusiast.
In our last blog post, 'Stealth Mode', Jason announced the launch of our first product, Smart Kits, and noted that we will be working to get prototypes in schools in the near future. That future is here! Not only can you learn more about Smart Kits on our site now, you can sign up to pre-order. We are also looking for teachers who love tech that would be willing to beta test and contribute to our project. Check it out at https://www.edjro.com/product-page/smart-kit-pre-order
In an effort to make good on our previous blog post's prototype commitment, we have been engaging in conversations with classroom teachers, technology integration specialists, school IT specialists, and STEM teachers. We have been endeavoring to understand how schools will integrate Smart Kits, how teachers will engage students with Smart Kits, and how schools and districts will pay for Smart Kits. Being tenured professionals in the high-tech space, both Jason and I naturally assumed a recurring licensing model was the way to go. Those servers don't pay for themselves! (To be fair, Jason has built the application on a serverless architecture, but there are still costs; let's not get lost in the details). In an effort to understand what a typical licensing model might look like and how schools purchase licensing - we asked some people who are experienced with buying technology for schools. Their answer: a recurring licensing model will be a non-starter for most schools...
Whew, good thing we aren't reliant on any VC money! If we were, that would be a tough answer to reckon with. Investors might back out over feedback like that. Silicon Valley is built on two things: monetizing your private data for advertisers and high-margin recurring revenue models. We are proud to say that Edjro is different. Not only will we not be monetizing your data - we won't even be collecting your data. Further, even though our product is enabled by sophisticated software and bleeding-edge cloud services (that cause us to incur ongoing costs), we will not be passing those costs back to you. We will be selling Smartkits as a one-time cost. You will buy the kit and you will own the hardware. You'll be free to do with it what you please - just like the good old days when tech companies built magical products and not sophisticated rent-seeking schemes. The software licensing? Included in the one-time cost. Your ability to engage and inspire students won't be held captive by a monthly or yearly fee.
If we pitched this to Silicon Valley VCs they wouldn't be able to escort us out of their lavish conference rooms and off their expansive campuses fast enough. This misalignment between the needs of educational organizations and the business models of SV is why there is so little investment in real EdTech... EdTech built to redefine how teachers and parents engage students and enhance their educational journey. By being 100% bootstrapped, we are free to build a financial model that keeps our lights on and serves the needs of our customers, not investors. True to our mission statement:
At Edjro, we help teachers by building engaging technology that inspires students and redefines STEM education for the data-driven world. We enable educators to inspire the next generation of readers, authors, mathematicians, artists, scientists, and historians in each and every classroom. Educate today, inspire tomorrow!
Bonus: The picture below is a picture of our actual prototype. Stay tuned!