Essay on Competition, Strategy, Resources

Published: 2022/01/10
Number of words: 1122


This assignment will outline the key competitors, strategy and resources for an early childhood education startup in Austin, Texas. The startup aims to provide accessible, high-quality and uninterrupted classes for students in the downtown Austin, Texas community. Classes will be conducted in small-group settings with optimal teacher-student ratios, with premises and equipment regularly disinfected, in order to provide students and parents with a clean and safe educational experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the education model will be a hybrid model with digital modules and virtual classes to complement in-person education and reduce the transmission risks of a virus in the school community. Competitors will be identified using a keyword and revenue approach, and Porter’s differentiation strategy will be used to allow the startup to develop and maintain a competitive strategy. Finally, the leadership, management, staffing and physical resource requirements will be discussed.


The two competitors identified for this education startup were Austin-based edtech startup Aceable, which provides state-accredited online classes for 13 million students across 2,200 hours of online course content, and the established top-ranked private school Austin International School, which provides students with a holistic curriculum in a small-group context (TechCrunch, 2020). The two competitors were flagged as the most significant competitors on the basis of keywords, market share, and product similarity (Hatzijordanou et al, 2019). Foremost, in terms of Google SEO keyword searches, these two competitors came up as top ranked based on keywords such as ‘safe education’ and ‘hybrid education’. Secondly, these two competitors held the highest market share in the downtown Austin, Texas education market by a plurality, with Austin International School capturing 12% of the market and Aceable capturing 8% of the market (Daniel, 2020). Thirdly, the two companies were equipped with products that resembled the hybrid model used by the proposed startup, either through the use of an education model that combined virtual and in-person teaching formats, or a fully digital model.

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Porter’s generic strategies comprise the cost leadership, differentiation and focus strategies. In the case of this hybrid education startup for early childhood learning, the differentiation strategy would allow for the development and maintenance of a competitive advantage. The differentiation strategy is premised on a differentiated product offering that builds on a well-researched and innovative product, effective marketing and sales to create a premium brand image, and a functional, high-quality service that customers will continue to choose over competitors. This strategy is best suited for the hybrid education startup as the startup will be priced at a premium due to the cost from smaller teacher-student groups and digital infrastructure. In other words, students and their parents must be willing to pay for a premium educational model that is safe, innovative and hybridized, given the concerns around transmission of the COVID-19 virus in schools (Daniel, 2020). Furthermore, students and their parents who would be keen to explore this model are inherently attracted by the safe, effective instruction that the company will provide, and will therefore be swayed and persuaded by the quality of the company’s technology and service delivery model, which should be differentiated from those of existing customers. Finally, to ensure that the customer base is scalable, the company should not focus on a niche market segment or a specific customer profile.


The leadership and management team should possess the following types of experience and qualifications. Foremost, it is important for a core team of 2-3 leaders to possess curriculum develop and education expertise, on the basis of academic and professional qualifications. Preferably, these should be leaders that have worked in the downtown Austin school circuit or an edtech startup and understand the needs of students and their parents during the pandemic intimately. This would facilitate the development of a strong product relevant to customer needs. Secondly, another core group of 5-6 leaders should be recruited who would manage the following corporate functions: human resources management, digital infrastructure, marketing, finance and customer service. This group should have expertise in their respective domain areas. This would form a core group of 7-9 C-Suite leaders who would serve as the executive team, overseen by a Chairman or Board of Advisors who can provide strategic guidance.

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In terms of staffing requirements, the school should comprise an initial staff of 200 teachers, split into 9 teams of 20 teachers each and a core team of 20 customer service and information technology specialists. For the teaching staff, there will be two key positions: Teacher Supervisor and Teachers, with Teachers reporting to Teacher Supervisors. This should be sufficient to serve a base of 1,800 students at a 10:1 student to teacher ratio. These Teacher Supervisors will, in turn, report to the C-Suite management of the education startup.

In terms of physical resources, the startup will require $300,000 in seed funding, which should be raised via a mix of personal financing, angel investor funding and crowdfunding. $100,000 will go toward the development of digital infrastructure and courseware, $150,000 will go toward the rental of 30 classrooms for the startup (alongside associated utilities and furniture requirements), and $50,000 will go toward staff salaries.


In conclusion, this assignment demonstrates the importance of a detailed competitor analysis, competitive strategy analysis and resourcing analysis to the creation of a sustainable and effective startup business model.


Austin International School. (2021, January 30). Austin International School 2021-2022 Tuition and Fees. AIS. fees.cfm

Cuban, L. (2010). As good as it gets: What school reform brought to Austin. Harvard University Press.

Daniel, J. (2020). Education and the COVID-19 pandemic. Prospects49(1), 91-96.

Evans, V. (2015). The FT Essential Guide to writing a business plan: How to win backing to start up or grow your business (2nd ed.). Retrieved from

Hatzijordanou, N., Bohn, N., & Terzidis, O. (2019). A systematic literature review on competitor analysis: status quo and start-up specifics. Management Review Quarterly, 69(4), 415-458.

Plummer, E., & Pavur, R. J. (2009). The effects of rate limits on property tax revenues and school expenditures: Evidence from Texas. Journal of the American Taxation Association31(2), 81-107.

Shieber, J. (2020, December 17). Austin’s edtech startup Aceable adds another $50 million for accelerated expansion. TechCrunch. 50-million-for-accelerated-expansion/

Tavakoli, G. R., Ramezan, M., & Sarooghi, H. (2018). An Analysis of the Relationship Between Business Model of High-tech Firms and Porters Generic Strategies, Using a Survey Approach. Innovation Management Journal, 1(1), 77-97.

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