My ETIN Story: Our members share the value of active engagement in ETIN

"Not too long ago, I was having dinner with a good friend of mine who is an SIIA member and discussions turned to SIIA CODiE awards. I told her that I was grateful to SIIA members and how important the organization is to uCertify. She asked me to let the SIIA members know how I felt….so here it is:

It was about a year ago, uCertify won a few CODiEs including the one for the best Education Solution. While, we were very grateful to SIIA, SIIA members and CODiE judges, nothing could prepare us for what was to follow:

  • Our revenue grew 3x. About 75 new institutions started uCertify and another 75 will start in fall 2016. Also, we now partner with all major Publishers. 
  • Actually, we worked harder and innovated more since last CODiEs than ever before. As a matter of fact, uCertify platform is both more powerful and simpler than it was a year ago. 
  • We were able to build a team that is fired up and ready to go. This is a direct result of encouragement and recognition we received from you. As a matter of fact, the entire office had watched the CODiE Awards webcast. 
  • The best part - all of this growth was self-funded and came without outside investments. 

I truly believe that winning CODiEs played a role in our success last year. SIIA CODiE awards are remarkable because they level the playing field, giving newer companies like uCertify a fighting chance. By recognizing companies like us, you make others take notice and push the innovation and industry forward.

As I write this, the 2016 CODiE Awards are now in the second round - peer review of judging where (until May 6th) SIIA members vote for on the most innovative products currently on the market at http://www.siia.net/archive/codies/2016/vote/login.asp. Winners will be announced on May 18th."

- Manish Founder & CEO, uCertify

     

"What I like most about the benefits of my company’s ETIN membership is having a chance to interact directly with other like-minded professionals through different types of channels like the Technology and Development Committee monthly meetings, ETIN Board of Directors, conference programs, webinars, and frequent e-mails. So often education technology can be isolating, and people feel like they are the only ones experiencing an issue or working to solve a problem in education. The collaboration opportunities in ETIN have made me more connected to a larger community of people trying to make positive changes for students and educators. In addition, the award programs and networking opportunities that are part of the ETIN are a huge advantage for companies at all stages of development."

- Gail Lewis, Director of Product Strategy, myON (a business unit of Capstone)

 

     


"Educational publishing has always been a collegial and collaborative business. We're all trying to provide something useful for society in an area right at the center of everyone's future: learning and education. It's imperative that we go beyond mere networking as the pursuit of revenue and profit, and try as a group of companies to provide services that help drive society forward. Technology has always been at the heart of this effort, and ETIN provides a forum for all of us to not only develop, but learn. That's why I belong to ETIN; to learn while sharing, so our users can do the same."

- Myron Cizdyn, CEO, The BLPS Group

     


"I joined the Education Division of SIIA when I founded edWeb.net in 2008. I could tell it was just the right association to help us connect with other organizations in the edtech industry. edWeb.net was an Innovation Incubator Finalist in 2009, and from that beginning we’ve grown beyond a start-up to be one of the leading online networks for educators and all education industry professionals. In 2015, we won the CODiE for Best Collaborative Social Media Solution for Educators.

SIIA has helped us meet with so many organizations that work to improve teaching and learning. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our membership in SIIA. edWeb has grown along with our involvement with their member-driven initiatives. When I began my career in education publishing/marketing with Time-Life Books, we used focus groups to find out what consumers thought about reading and buying book series. It was an expensive way to get the opinions of a very small sampling of customers. Fast forward, and social media has made it possible for us to join online communities with educators to connect with thousands of educators 24/7 about the needs and opportunities in education. edWeb is especially interested in helping SIIA and its members connect with educators through online learning and collaboration.

I’m delighted to be a new member of the ETIN Board of Directors. This commitment will give me a chance to give back to an association that has helped me meet so many wonderful friends and partners and helped edWeb become a success."

- Lisa Schmucki, Founder & CEO edWeb.net

       

"But what truly sets EBF apart from any other startup experience is the learning. The roundtables and panels are incredible ways to get to know other folks and share best practices. The One-to-One Business Connections meetings were great ways to discuss synergies for potential business opportunities. But, by far, my most valuable experiences at EBF were the personal investor and potential partner meetings to which EBF opened the doors."
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- Jena Draper, CatchOn

     


"Succeeding in the Ed Tech business takes more than just a great product. In order to thrive, organizations know they have to build the broadest, deepest network of contacts possible, because people do business with people. And, ETIN means Networking!

Recently I sent an email to ETIN members asking for referrals for an outside marketing agency to assist us on a project. Folks quickly responded and we signed one of the recommended firms within two weeks. For PASCO the ability to reach out to the community and quickly find what we needed was fabulous and saved us precious time."

- Kevin Mather, VP, Global Sales, PASCO scientific

    
    




"ETIN is networking at its best. You don’t see the awkward vendor/attendee divide. Instead, there’s a strong sense of community. As an Innovation Incubator Finalist at the Education Industry Summit, we received a lot of genuine support, encouragement, and invaluable advice on our messaging and go-to-market strategy. We appreciated the rare opportunity to see the industry key players under one roof, and sessions such as speed networking made it easy to build a connection. It didn’t just end there either – we had quite a few follow-up conversations post event as well. We see ETIN as a great resource for learning and community support and can’t wait to participate in future events."

- Kristen Shue, Open Assessment Technologies 

     


“Let’s be honest: making a splash in today’s marketplace is difficult. The right balance of proven marketing methods and new techniques is needed to make an impact, and SIIA asked Winter Group and CB&A to lead a webinar focused on fine-tuning strategies prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year. Moderated by Karen Billings, ETIN VP & Managing Director, our discussion touched on techniques marketers can use to personalize promotions and boost effectiveness. This idea resonated well, and Lisa Schmucki at edWeb.net asked us to repeat the event for her community. ETIN staff are experts at diving deep with timely research, critical information and networking connections that help SIIA members create opportunities and grow professionally.”
 
- Charlene Blohm, CBlohm & Associates


"This will probably come as a shock to a lot of people, but public education is part of the government. Crazy, right? And that means that, as education companies we can't just come up with a great product, show it to teachers, and expect to be successful. Our products and services have to comply with state and federal legislation and policy, and intricately defined funding streams. Our products have to help decision makers with their compliance and funding requirements if we are going to be successful.

How do we keep up with changes to policies, legislation, and funding streams (and possibly even influence them)? That's where The SIIA ETIN Ed Policy Forum comes in. You can browse through relevant Federal and State policies and issues. You can subscribe to a weekly "This Week in Ed Tech Policy" email, and you can participate in interactive phone calls and webinars on critical issues that will directly affect your ability to provide your service into schools and districts. If you don't pay attention to this stuff, you can't be successful."

 - Mitch Weisburgh, Academic Business Advisors

         


"In case anyone has a challenge remembering what “ETIN” stands for, I think it’s one word. Opportunity. When you really participate, you learn, you make great connections, and you have a direct pipeline to what’s new and what’s coming in education and technology. We recently teamed up with C. Blohm & Associates (cblohm.com) to present a webinar on marketing for the school year ahead for ETIN and it gave both of our firms the opportunity to share insights and interact with new and veteran education marketers alike. I consider our ETIN membership an essential component of Winter Group’s own marketing and market intelligence program. In short speak, I’m a fan!"

 - Linda Winter, Linda@wintergroup.net @wintergroup