Business, Editor's Choice, Education, Featured

Episode 25 – Stuart Draper of Stukent

Posted: June 6, 2019 at 6:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Student Becomes the Teacher

When Stuart Draper attended college to learn about marketing, there was very little information that was taught about online marketing. Fast forward a few years later when Stu took an adjunct teaching role at that very college, he saw that some things had not changed and that included what was available about online marketing. Working with a professor friend he co-authored a digital book that provided instruction on internet marketing essentials. They had the content but still felt like something was missing.

That difference was simulation. Stu garnered the resources and was able to create an online simulation platform called Mimic. Once the simulation was in place with the digital textbook he and his co-author knew that they had a product that they could build on and sell. It supported the original vision of an always up-to-date textbook and hands-on learning together.

Once the product was in place it needed to be shared with the education industry. Stu explained, “We spend a lot of money up front in marketing. Most of the money that we raised in funding….was for marketing and sales.” He went on to say, “there's a long sell cycle in the education industry, it creates a big barrier to entry and that's why it's hard to find businesses that are in the education space.” Going forward with that in mind helped Stu and his team prepare for the fact that one transaction could take up to 18 months or more.

Stukent is present nationally and internationally. Their team is located all over the world. That also brings its own challenges and Stu recognizes that has been one of the biggest barriers to overcome, choosing the wrong partners. “Partnerships were a big barrier up front and then the other was just simply the difficulty of raising funding.”

Like so many entrepreneurs, Stu attributes some of his success to his mentor. That person pushed him to pursue his plan and was his first investor. Once he had that first funding he was able to interest other investors and the ball started rolling to get the funds. “You have to be grateful….remember what they did for you and be grateful,” Stu advises.

During the rough times of entrepreneurship he counts on his cheerleader, his wife, to get him through. “Having someone to support you makes a difference,” Stu says. Remembering the mission of helping educators help students help the world keeps him focused. The entire team knows the mission and values and that drives them during the good and bad times.

Stu believes that this work is a life mission. He compliments it with humanitarian work. He believes that his Creator has a specific mission and his motivation is to do all he can to live up to what he is guided to do.

The vision for the future is very bright for Stukent and there are many ideas in the company. “There's a lot of opportunity in augmented reality and virtual reality specific for education,” Stu said. He knows his challenge will be to stay focused and deliver the best product, just like Stukent is already known for.

Information

If you'd like to learn more about Stukent, their products or their story, please visit their website https://www.stukent.com/

and also Stu's non-profit https://www.charityfast.org/

Thank you to Disruptive Productions for editing the show. You can find more information about them at https://disruptiveproductions.com/