Education industry icon Neil Chyten spoke of significant “entrepreneurial opportunity” in the education sector to an assembled audience of more than 200 Harvard Business School students and recent graduates attending the Annual Conference of Harvard US-China Economic Interaction. The keynote speaker at the event was John Quelch, renowned HBS professor and former Dean of China Europe International Business School.
During his 30-minute presentation, Chyten discussed industry trends and described how his company was adjusting to transformative programs such as STEM, Common Core, PARCC, Smarter Balanced and the New SAT. “Change is the greatest opportunity engine for entrepreneurs and companies who have the vision to rise to the challenge.”
He added, “Chyten is currently engaged in designing programs that not only produce higher test scores, but also build core competencies in reading, writing, math, science, and problem solving. Also, we are building a new generation of learning programs entitled ESTEEM, an acronym for English, Science, Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurialism and Math. The ESTEEM name covers a series of experiential learning programs for elementary and middle school students that are guaranteed to make learning fun and engaging.”
When asked what is the one thing he would recommend to the assembled audience of future entrepreneurs, he said, “First, follow your passion—do something you really love. Next, have a killer business plan that is ambitious but realistic. Finally, find business partners who share your vision and who can provide you with the resources you need to reach your goals.”
Chyten also discussed the need to leverage new technologies, to harness increasing interest by international students in attending US schools and colleges, and about rising to the challenges and opportunities brought on by announced changes to the SAT that will transform the test beginning in 2016.
“All of these changes lead to one conclusion: the education industry is more relevant today than at any point in our history. We have a responsibility to our future to inspire, to educate and to provide leadership to our children. If we lose sight of that, we lose the spark of education, the passion of the teacher and the purpose for which we have chosen to make the education industry our chosen career.”