"At the end of the day, convenience, quality affordability.
When you, when you, when you have this extreme focus on these things, you can, you can make it everywhere. And that's, that's where we, where we focus on." - Felix Ohswald
- Our guest today is Felix Ohswald. He is the CEO of GoStudent, an online tutoring company that just raised 70 million euros and is growing like a rocketship in Europe.
- In this episode, we talk about the origin story of GoStudent, Felix's views on what makes a learning experience successful, his tips on operating a growing educational institutions, and his regional and global plans to consolidate the fragmented tutoring market.
In our discussion, we cover:
Felix and his team made a hard turn from a model that was very engaging for students but not financially viable to a business model that is both profitable and creates excellent learning outcomes.
05:24 - We had WhatsApp groups and we offered the service for free. So kids could ask the questions for free and then receive answers by other qualified people who had the motivation to help. We payed tutors a little bit of money, but most of them did it for free. And at one point when we had around 500,000 students in Germany and Austria using this chat service on a regular basis. We tried to implement different monetization models like having three questions for free, after that there's a paywall and you need a subscription. We tried out so many different things. It just did not work out at all.
GoStudent is moving fast to be the first in Europe. A first-mover advantage is a key stragegy for them.
09:26 - By the end of 2021 we will cover 80% of the addressable tutoring market in Europe. So we will be present in all the major European countries where families spend money on private education. These countries will be covered by us by end of 2021, and allows us to make use of this first mover effect and really double down on that.
Educating prospects in a consultative sale process is becoming more important. Talking to prospects, Felix saw that they were not really understanding the offer and even what solution they want to experience.
11:25 - We realized lots of the parents that we targeted never heard about live online education. When they see an ad about online teaching, they think about a YouTube video, some online quiz, it cannot be something that is synchronous, that is really live. So that was the first doubt we experienced among parents. The second thing is even the ones, the early adopters who are like, "Okay, I can go through this process. I can get my kid into this virtual session and then I want to become a paying customer", they don't know if they need two sessions per per month? Eight sessions per month? So obviously they have a problem and they don't know the answer."
You can think of managing students in a lifecycle like customers. They come asking for one thing, then you solve it and move to the next thing. Competency based or mastery based learning is the epitomy of a student lifecycle.
15:24 - 75% of the parents who start with us, they come to us because there's a specific desperation. They are scared that their kid will fail a certain class.
And then when you start working with the families after one year, you give them the fundamentals that they will not fail anymore at school. And then the next goal is after you have built up that fundamentals, you will become top of the class in this particular subject, or you will shift to other subjects where you can repeat the success that you have built up in one subject.
Felix sees learning to be a convenience value proposition.
27:52 - At the end of the day, convenience and the best products will always win. When you have this extreme focus on these things, you can, you can make it everywhere. And that's, that's where we focus on.
Analytics and metrics can inform the success of a learning experience significantly. Looking at KPIs, you find insights, you find bright spots and can double down on them.
33:48 - Once you match a teacher with a particular kid, there are different KPIs that we track in order to define the success of lessons and not a success. One KPI is the continuity is the kid and the teacher meeting on a regular basis.
If that is the case, that's a positive signal. What is the feedback that we get from the kid? Is the kid providing us with a positive feedback or rather negative feedback. It's another very strong signal, a third signal. If the grades of the kid actually improve over time or not. So we also have a calendar that we create with the kid where they tell us the information about upcoming exams.
And one step coming exam happens. They need to provide us with the grade. So also by knowing the great development we see, okay, this is successful, or this is not so successful. We do recordings of the sessions. If they agree doing that, it can also do emotion analysis. To detect correlations between teacher emotions and student emotions.
Where to learn more about the guest:
Where to learn more about GoStudent:
- Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/company/gostudent-gmbh
- Website - https://www.gostudent.org/en
- Article - https://medium.com/emerge-edtech-insights/idea-to-series-a-gostudent-65068968b68d
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com