Instead of convincing universities to take a chance on its classroom engagement platform, Top Hat Monocle made direct contact with professors who asked students to also pick up the tab.
...most students carried mobile devices...which could be used for in-class interaction. [The founders] ...developed a prototype product that focused on quizzing and polling students, and pilot-tested the prototype in two classes.
Large organizations have a very long sales cycle ... catch them outside of [their] budget cycle, you may not get another chance for a year or two.
“Selling to large organizations like universities, governments and big corporations is difficult and time-consuming. Large organizations have a very long sales cycle and if you catch them outside of a budget cycle, you may not get another chance for a year or two.”
The founders decided to “consumerize the classroom” by focusing on individual professors, rather than universities. This made sense because the value proposition was focused on the classroom and because professors have much latitude in making adoption decisions.
This academic year, it is being used by 2,000 professors and more than 150,000 students at 300 universities worldwide. More than 80 per cent of these universities are in the United States.
The company has 75 employees, offices in three countries, and has been able to raise another $9.1-million in financing.