US Schools Connect to Business
From the frontline of investing in US learning comes the discovery that more and more educational institutions have the inclination to think and behave like businesses.
Writing for the Inside the Hive blog, venture capital expert Nick Hammerschlag says outsourcing companies offering software and business services are very interested in opportunities that surface in this growing market.
Global education spend is tipped to be greater than $6.7 billion over the next few years.
Digital learning opportunities, referred to as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), mean bricks and mortar educational facilities need to justify their existence on an unprecedented level. Cost-effectiveness and streamlined efficiency are vital to their survival.
Companies have risen to this unique opportunity and assisted some universities create their own online courses.
Firms now take care of university marketing (finding students to fill courses), administration and accounts, course structure as well as overseeing projects delivered in conjunction with universities.
Universities are now looking at ways to generate more revenue while minimising their own costs. Finance and administration services are ripe for off-site operation.
As the market matures over the next few years, schools may have more bargaining power as more service providers enter the playing field.
Challenges for companies wishing to enter the educational sphere include traditionally long sales cycles and the sluggish pace of red tape. However, this is changing. Hammerschlag believes companies that may be somewhat safeguarded from failing are those that deliver key technologies to service providers and universities.
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Managing Director, The Strategy Group
Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.