School

Online tutoring with GoStudent – It’s a match!

Almost 170,000 Austrian students took advantage of paid tutoring in the 2019/2020 school year. The total need for tutoring is even greater and amounts to almost 320,000 – that’s one third of all students* – an immense number, and the tutoring market is correspondingly large. Who thinks however now with private tutoring only of classical single or group instruction, does not know the tutoring platform GoStudent. The Viennese company has brought tutoring into the digital age.

Matchmaking for the Nachhilfe

GoStudent offers online tutoring in a wide range of subjects. The special thing about the concept, however, is not the digital processing – here, the company relies on classic online platforms such as Zoom. The great strength of GoStudent is the “matchmaking” of teacher and child. GoStudent has a large pool of teachers, with different teaching subjects, but also different interests, time resources, strengths and weaknesses. Children also differ in their needs and interests. Many conversations of GoStudent with parents and teachers lead to the perfect match. A good relationship between child and teacher promotes learning success, is convinced Felix Ohswald, founder and managing director of GoStudent. And so it happens that two soccer fans or gamers are tutoring together.

Simply the best

“There are many excellent teachers out there who can present their subject in an engaging and interesting way. This makes learning much easier and inspires the children. Such teachers can also have an influence on the children’s later educational and career paths,” explains Felix Ohswald. That’s exactly the kind of teacher the tutoring company is looking for. Up-to-date only five to ten per cent of all appplicants come by the selection procedure of GoStudent. Only the best make it into the team. Mostly it is students, who would like to earn something in addition and have time to pass on their interests.

Continuous support as USP

The service of GoStudent does not stop at matchmaking. The care runs also during the tutoring- if there are problems, the teacher precipitates or the parents or children are not content. The USP of GoStudent is therefore not necessarily the digital tutoring, but the special service and the individual support that is offered. Whereby it is of course an advantage if the lessons can take place independent of time and location. That was already the case before the Corona crisis.

Europe-wide expansion through high investments

And so the success of GoStudent is by no means surprising. Last year, Felix Ohswald and his team raised a total of 13.3 million euros in investments in financing rounds. This enabled them to implement their expansion plans. In many European markets, such as Great Britain, France, Greece and Spain, the tutoring service can already be booked. For this purpose, the company has local sales teams on site in each case that take care of matchmaking. GoStudent is now the European market leader in online tutoring. But the EdTech success story is far from over.

*souce: https://www.arbeiterkammer.at/interessenvertretung/arbeitundsoziales/bildung/Nachhilfe_in_Oesterreich_2020.pdf


Founder Felix Ohswald (photo: GoStudent)

We asked Felix Ohswald

You are a participant in the UK Austria EdTech Exchange on March 12, 2021, what do you expect from the event?

I’ve been in the industry for five years now. A couple of issues I keep seeing are around the business model. That’s the big problem with all EdTechs and the reason we don’t see more EdTechs in Europe: who pays for it at the end of the day? Selling to schools involves insanely long sales cycles and is bureaucratic and nerve-wracking. Even funders are reluctant to invest in companies that sell to schools. Because it doesn’t work well either. That’s where the cat bites the tail – there are super cool ideas for the school. But at the same time, it can’t be sold.

My expectations for the event are that there’s a focus on that. What business models really work? What can I sell to the end customers? And if I can’t, can I sell that somehow through the state? The business model remains the crux of every EdTech!

Is it easier in the UK?

No, from what we hear from there, it’s not necessarily easier. Even there, if you want to scale really fast and big, you have to be able to bring it directly to the end customer.

What do you think about the launch of EdTech Austria?

I’m extremely passionate about the topic of education. Unfortunately, this is very fragmented in Austria. However, the importance of education is so huge. When you inspire a child, whether it’s through EdTech or something else, it has a huge impact on that child’s future. All initiatives that strengthen that, I think are very good.

You have already completed very successful investment rounds. How did you manage that?

It comes back to the topic of the business model. A good idea and a good team with a strong background are important for the initial phase. If this is the case, you can certainly raise money for the first phase. But once the product or at least a prototype is there and you want to get follow-up investments as a startup, the business model has to work. It has to be profitable and scalable, even in other countries and other languages. Then the company will also succeed in attracting investors. They are interested in the fact that the invested money can be used to grow faster and drive product innovation forward more quickly. The business model must be clear and simple – it stands and falls with it. The big keywords here are therefore business model – scalability – internationality!

 

In the communications team of ITG – Innovation Service for Salzburg, Maria brings innovative, digital companies and business models on stage. She is convinced that EdTech makes our education system better and is happy to help integrate EdTech into our educational landscape.

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