Last month Enterprise Ireland hosted an event entitled ‘How to Succeed in the US Education Market’ at their East Point headquarters for Irish companies who are considering entering the US education market.

With over 50 representatives from industry attending, there is obvious interest in this vast but complex marketplace.

The day-long seminar covered areas such as the current and future opportunities in K-12 and higher ed; insights into the structure of the US education system including the budget process and how buying decisions are made; and the competitive landscape and selling strategy considerations. The event also explored what venture capital companies look for when evaluating funding opportunities.

Adam Newman, founder and managing partner of Education Growth Advisors, a Connecticut-based consulting and advisory firm focused exclusively on the education sector, opened the seminar. He provided some key insights on the US education market that included useful examples on how to acquire customers and creative ways to fund a start-up edtech enterprise.

Next up was our director, Dr Martyn Farrows, who spoke about how the Learnovate Centre is driving innovation for the Irish edtech industry by partnering business with world class academic research.

Parallel breakout sessions followed. One led by Farimah Schuerman, founding partner of Academic Business Advisors, who delivered a crash course on selling to the US higher education market that dealt with the landscape, the big trends and key market drivers.

The other parallel session focused on selling to the early education and K-12 markets, and was led by Glen McCandless of Focus Marketing. Glen’s presentation covered market entry implications for three key edtech trends, the go-to-market success factors, selling to school administrators, amongst others.

Before wrapping up with an ‘X-Factor’ style shootout between a number of the Irish edtech companies, Adam Newman took to the podium again to give an overview on recent VC investments in the space as well as some helpful advice on what it is that investors look for in a business.

Presentations from the event are available to download at