Barcelona startup EDpuzzle went through Y-combinator’s Edtech program imagine K12.

A lot of Spanish entrepreneurs go to the US to expand their markets. It’s normal, it’s the right thing to do for most companies. But usually you take with you a portfolio of achievements and milestones from the country you started up in.

Not EDpuzzle, according to co-founder and CTO Santi Herrero.

We started from scratch at ImagineK12, now part of Y Combinator where big companies like Dropbox and Airbnb were born. We applied with an idea, but without any line of code at all. The idea we had when we moved to San Francisco was that we needed to build a tool that allowed teachers to make any video their lesson.

The Barcelona startup combines simple video-editing tools with analytics so that a teacher can take a video and make it personal for their classrooms.

The teachers can take already existing videos from Youtube, Khan Academy, Crash Course, etc. or upload your own, and then enable self-paced learning with interactive lessons, adding their voice and questions along the video.

Not global from day one

Experts often say that you need to have a global mindset from the first day, no matter where you start your venture.

And even though EDpuzzle hoped their product could reach a global audience, and today is used in 150 countries by 6 million users, the first focus was very local, says Herrero.

Our initial approach was to connect with 10 very interested and energetic teachers to learn from them as much as possible. This way we would get a lot of very vital information for the development of the product. Those teachers ultimately became some of our biggest evangelists.

After three months and demo day at Y-combinator, EDpuzzle had several interested investors in the US, so not long after returning to Barcelona, a part of the team went back to start raising a seed round which resulted in $800.000.

The CTO and co-founder thinks their very local focus helped them create a better global product, compared to if they went straight for the masses.

To really learn from your users you need to be very close to them, you can’t retract everything from analytics etc. After we got the validation we needed from several teachers, we started driving around in the US to all the education events we could find, and talk to as many teachers as possible. That’s how we grew.

Barcelona + San Fransisco

Even though parts of EDpuzzle’s team have been in San Fransisco from day one, the development of the product has been done from Barcelona.

Our competitive advantage is that we can hire great developers from our network in Barcelona, with a lower cost than in San Fransisco, and create a great product from here.

Says CTO Herrero who is hiring people in all kinds of positions after the company closed $3 million in their series A this August.

It makes a lot of sense for us to divide the business between Spain and the US, because our biggest market is in the states. I can’t say that this is the right thing to do for everyone, but the US market is easier to enter and people are open to new solutions, especially in the Edtech sector.

Keeping it simple

From the beginning EDpuzzle valued keeping their product as simple as possible.

Both EDpuzzle’s landing page and their product reflect their value of keeping what they do as simple as possible.

Both their product and their landing page reflect this value of simpleness.

They said it’s about knowing their audience, and that the last thing a busy teacher needs, is spending time on learning a new complicated tool.

In a matter of days they’ll release their android app, so students can consume their teachers’ videos no matter if they have a computer at home, or not.

We are now in 1/4 schools in the US, but our goal is to be in all of them.

………………………

This post was written by Sindre Hopland, media manager at itnig.

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W.

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A COWORKING SPACE FOR YOUR STARTUP

Your home office or a coffee shop won’t be enough!

Yes, we all know the tale about the guy who starts a small company in their garage or basement, has a brilliant idea and becomes the next Steve Jobs. It’s true, most successes have very humble beginnings. It’s also true that not all garage or basements are going to magically get you a successful business. They might work in the very (veeeery) early stages of your startup, but you can’t always meet a client at coffee shops, not to say your basement. 

A great, if not the best, solution is to find a coworking space. Coworking spaces have become very popular all over the world, either for freelancers or entrepreneurs and startups. 

Coworking spaces are not just big rooms with desks and chairs with high-speed wifi. The areas are made to be exciting places to work and improve your productivity.

As a startup, you need to find resources fast and affordably. More importantly, you’ll need motivation. This is why you should consider a coworking space. 

Here are some basic but amazing benefits from coworking spaces:

Community

Joining a coworking means joining a community.  Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs, freelancers and talented independent people is without doubt a one of the best features of a coworking.

Motivation is key when starting a new project and trying to develop your own business. The road will get though and you’ll appreciate other entrepreneurs’ vision and support! Other workers’ feedback can be very useful to improve your service/product before trying to sell it to the world. 

Networking, networking and…networking!

As a startup, you’ll be looking for networking opportunities. Most coworkings host professionals from different kind of industries, which can open up many doors for you and your business. Not all coworking spaces are about networking, some of them prefer to have a quiet individual work environment, so as a startup you have to make sure to choose a coworking with networking opportunities.

At Itnig, for example, we love to share ideas and support other entrepreneurs. Don’t be shy, some of the other coworking tenants can bring great business opportunities, or even become new clients (and friends)! 

Budgetfriendly

As entrepreneurs (or people for that matter) it’s very important to understand the importance of money, more specifically: budget. Tight budgets call for smart spending. Coworkings are usually budget friendly, most of them offer different membership options depending on your startup’s needs and budget.

Amenities 

A coworking provides you with everything needed to be as productive as possible. High speed internet connection, printers, conference rooms and COFFEE. Some coworkings even plan afterwork activities and events to make it all more fun! As a startup, a coworking space is your best chance at having all the basic amenities but also the fun ones, like a ping pong table or a nice chill out terrace. 

Happy clients

As you grow and have more clients, it can get messy if you keep meeting them in coffee shops. Coworking spaces offer office services such as conference rooms. That way your meetings will be more professional and comfortable for everyone. 

Barcelona is a city full of coworkings of every kind! Our Itnig community keeps growing, we now have up to 20 startups such as Andjoy, Classlife, Factorial and Freeverse, all under the same roof. We have afterwork activities and we also plan different kinds of events open to anyone interested in marketing, tech stuff, entrepreneurship and design. Our space is about 2.100m2 with up to 800m2 of conference rooms, events space, ping pong and fun activities. 

There’s also  wifi, endless coffee and talented people. Join us!