Education Reimagined: How an Innovative New Tool for Students Got a “Boost”
Boost, founded by Josh Owens (Chief Executive Officer) and Ben Motz (Chief Research Officer) in 2020, addresses a universal issue. Students are busier than ever, and with the additional stress and chaos of online learning, school is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. The app uses existing data about assignments, tests, and more to notify students about upcoming obligations and help organize their busy schedules. With an innovative new tool and a market in need of innovation, Josh was ready to make his product stand out — so he came to Innovatemap.
When Boost came to us in fall 2020, its product was used exclusively by Indiana University, where it had been developed and beta tested. However, Josh wanted to take it to market and open it up for other universities and students, but he needed help making his product memorable and marketable.
Additionally, Josh was looking for a business partner who could adapt and meet his needs as the company evolved. Josh hired us to get the idea to market, develop his product’s brand, and enable product marketing, but he also wanted a sounding board with a diversity of opinions and ideas. With Innovatemap’s dedication to meaningful client relationships, we were the right fit for Boost.
Kristin Hess (Principal, Product Marketing & Brand), Lacey Lavies (Executive Partner, Product Strategy & Client Experience), Piyush Dawande (Product Designer) and team worked closely with Josh to optimize Boost’s product and brand, build credibility, and get his vision to market.
Using the foundation of Josh’s product, we gave it an identity, a face, and a purpose, which we then helped him articulate to potential clients.
Like Boost, Innovatemap adapts quickly for clients through our monthly sprint business model, where we reassess client needs each month rather than each quarter. This equips our team to harness the right opportunities for startups like Boost. As Parker explained, “the goals of a startup are constantly changing and growing,” and Innovatemap must stay agile to help clients reach their full potential.
Boost’s product is unique in that universities are the buyers, but students are the users. Those two audiences speak and interact in very different ways, so we had to find the niche in the market and figure out how Boost would talk. Ultimately, together with Josh, we decided the product should speak to students because, though universities are the buyers, the product doesn’t help if students don’t want to use it. We coordinated branding and design to match Boost’s audience with the product. This includes quick and catchy messaging, shapes with rounded corners, bright colors, and fun patterns (mirroring the infamous composition notebook) that make the product memorable and fun to use.
Our partnership with Josh, as with most clients, has extended past the deliverables we provide for his product. As Boost has grown, our team has been a reliable sounding board and business partner for Josh to help explore options and make decisions. We taught Josh how to sell his product — how to talk to universities and build credibility while getting his product to the right people. Pairing our team’s extensive knowledge with Josh’s great ideas and willingness to learn, we will continue to help Josh adapt with the business as it expands and changes.
Boost’s product is unique because it is incredibly simple, yet necessary. Kristin highlighted, “the concept of reminders isn’t revolutionary, but the fact that he’s figured out a way to do it through plugging into the data that already exists, so it takes students no extra time is really cool — and the design is what makes it look as disruptive as it is.” Our team loves the concept, the founder, the mission — so much so that we wish we had Boost’s product when we were in school. Piyush said, “of course Boost should be a thing. I would have loved to have Boost during my graduate program.” Current and future students have access to this incredible tool. Boost has the resources to change education for the better, and we had the opportunity to help get them there.
With Boost, we took a skilled entrepreneur’s vision and an existing product and made it marketable, usable, and valuable. When asked about Boost, Kristin said, “we really believed in the idea, the founder, and Josh’s vision. One thing we appreciate about Josh is how welcome he is of our recommendations.” The Innovatemap team is in agreement that Josh is an incredible business partner, and that he is going places. Josh’s collaborative entrepreneurial spirit partnered with our team’s expertise and adaptability has enabled Boost to thrive and grow rapidly in the last few months.
Boost has obtained its first paying universities that will institute the product in fall 2021. The company is looking to expand its product to K-12 programs as well. With a research-backed and future-focused product, Boost is just scratching the surface of where it can go and who it can help. Boost’s prospects are bright. We are excited to see them set a new standard for success in education and tech.