StartUp Spotlight: EdTech Times
StartUp Spotlight: EdTech Times
Meet Hester Tinti-Kane – CEO and Founder of EdTech Times, a digital media company reporting from the intersection of education, technology, innovation, and work.
GH: What is EdTech Times?
EdTech Times is a digital media company reporting from the intersection of education, technology, innovation, and work.
Through our podcasts, research, and events, we’re passing the microphone to those improving the world through education.
GH: What was your Eureka moment: how did EdTech Times get started?
Hakan Satiroglu, founder of EdTech Times, was inspired to launch EdTech Times as the first Boston-based digital media company focused solely on education. Boston is the education hub of the world and situating a media company here to focus on this topic was an inspiration.
GH: How did you build your team?
Last year, I joined a one person team led by Hannah Nyren, our general manager. This spring, we added our first director of events, Kyla Pacheco. To fill out our small but mighty team, each semester we employ incredibly talented interns from our local higher education institutions and we have an amazingly talented team of freelancers who make a lot of our media magic happen (most of whom were interns at some point!).
GH: What is your company philosophy driving your company culture?
I would say “network” is a great word to describe our company philosophy. First, we’re building our network of subject matter experts in rising topics in education to deliver the most valuable perspectives to our audience. Second, we see our audience, made up of K12, higher education, professional learning, and edtech professionals and entrepreneurs, as a network as well, which we are looking to inspire and grow each week. And finally, as we move towards financial sustainability, we are expanding our network of organizations strategically aligned with the rising topics in education that we focus on.
GH: Startup life is full of failures and ‘make it work’ moments – can you identify how you bounced back from one of yours?
I don’t know if I would consider them failures (failures usually involve giving up), but we have certainly had a few learning experiences. Most of them involve trying to do too much outside our areas of expertise. For example, Hannah once tried to plan a two-week long bootcamp, with no significant experience in event planning or teaching. We’ve also had a few website alarms. The solution to both was to accept we had limitations, and look elsewhere for support. That’s why we hired a director of events, and are seeking tech support to help improve our systems.
GH: What did you learn from your first customers?
Our first customers have taught us how to be good listeners. The better we listen, the closer we will come to helping them reach their goals through our work.
GH: What has the Boston ecosystem provided you?
As someone coming out of a decade in the education publishing space (Pearson), Boston and, in particular, LearnLaunch have opened my eyes to the entire spectrum of the education industry and community — it is an amazing and inspiring world with so many dedicated leaders! It really gives me hope for our future.
GH: What is the Boston ecosystem lacking from your perspective?
Boston is the education hub of the world, as I said before. And it’s great to be surrounded constantly by some of the most brilliant minds in education. But sometimes we get so wrapped up in the educational principles and idealism that we sometimes neglect the technology and business end of things. Particularly when it comes to technology, it would be great to see more edtech startups in Boston focus on emerging technologies like VR, AI, and blockchain.
GH: What was the best thing that happened to you last year?
In 2017, EdTech Times brought on its first client for sponsored media, generating revenue for the first time in its history!
GH: What does the future hold for EdTech Times?
Our future holds continued expansion for global coverage of the rising topics in education. This helps us grow in scope and also provides new, valuable perspectives to our mostly U.S. audience. In 2017, we tapped into our network and produced content from Latin America and the Middle East. In 2018 we hope to continue this coverage and produce content from Asia and Europe too!
Learn more about EdTech Times!