“Sell first in order to understand what the market wants, then build.” When asked what advice he would give to aspiring entrepreneurs in North Texas, Paxton Riter offered those words. Throughout his entrepreneurial career, Riter quickly realized that the best predictor of your startup’s success is the market and consumer’s demands. If there is no demand for your product, you are bound to struggle and potentially fail.
Riter, the founder and CEO of iDesignEDU, is an entrepreneur dedicated to restructuring the accessibility of the online educational system. In a nutshell, iDesignEDU aims to accelerate the availability of high quality online courses and degree programs offered by institutions of higher education. Through the forces of focused collaboration, iDesignEDU provides their university and community college partners with instructional design support, quality assurance services, and consulting services to dramatically increase student access to innovative online courses at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree levels.
With Ed Tech exploding in the current market, Riter has to make a point of standing out amongst the competitors. When asked how his solution differs from others in the marketplace, he responded, “Our top priority is to provide unrivaled instructional design support to the faculty members of our partners in order to help them create the most advanced online and blended courses in the education space today. Other service providers focus on providing a myriad of services to universities in a bundled fashion and possess broad expertise across an array of areas. We decided to hone in on the most important part of online education, course design, and do it better than everyone else. Additionally, we enable our university and community college partners to capture the bulk of the revenue through a fee-based model as opposed to a significant revenue share.”
Capitalizing on the fact that the education sector is at a significant crossroads, Riter believes that the key is to leverage the “immense benefits this technology provides by taking a collaborative approach with institutions of education in order to help them embrace the change that is before us.”
When deciding on a location for his permanent office space, Riter chose the Dallas Entrepreneur Center. “The expertise of the staff at the DEC provides tremendous value to young companies and entrepreneurs. When I sat down with Trey at the beginning of this whole process and we were the only two people in the DEC, I could already sense the potential behind the idea. That in combination with the fact that the actual office space is incredible made my decision extremely easy.” Riter said.
Wise beyond his years, Riter leaves entrepreneurs with one last tidbit of insight, “At the end of the day, your success will be determined by the viability of your vision and your ability to execute upon it.”