Capstone – Project

Growth Strategy & Product Roadmap for Special Needs Startup

A Collaboration Between

Project Synopsis

Education is fundamental to the evolution of progress. The problem is, education today is fundamentally broken, especially for kids with special needs. 
Learning and attention issues are far more common than most people think—1 in 5 children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues such as ADHD, mild-autism, and dyslexia. Every year, over 14 million kids with special needs suffer helplessly through their education, and that’s just in the United States.
If we say we believe in equal opportunity and we want our students to have the freedom to succeed, then every student should be on an even playing field and able to access the resources they need.
At Smart Course, we believe effective education is the solution to this problem.  Everyone should have access to an education that allows them to lead successful lives and help the people they care about. 
Smart Course accomplishes this by teaching caregivers and their kids in the most effective way possible using big data, cutting-edge online course software, and the world-leading medical professionals and educators for special needs as instructors.
Whether it’s through free and authoritative video content, online conferences, expert-led online courses, coaching programs, or our collaborative platform for all caregivers of kids with special needs.
By bringing together the best of the best and leveraging technology, we can customize and adapt to student’s diverse personalities, skills, and problems. This way, caregivers can collaborate, see the child’s progress, and iterate accordingly. 
This, solves education’s failures, and saves everyone time, money, and painful memories.
We’ve already been endorsed and sponsored by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, CHADD, Additude Magazine,, and many other national leaders on learning and attention issues. We’ve also recruited over 40 of the world’s leading experts on ADHD to teach our content and promote us to their audiences. And we’ve changed the lives of over 90,000 families, by helping them cope better with ADHD.
The goal of this project is to help Smart Course develop a B2B2C go-to-market plan, validate our new products, and continue to grow our reach for ADHD and other special needs / learning disabilities.

Objectives include:

  1. Analyzing the market size for the number of people that would require help caregiving for a child’s special needs (between parents, educators, medical professionals, and other caregivers)
  2. Analyzing the market size for private schools, employers, and healthcare providers that would be willing to include Smart Course’s products as part of their benefits
  3. Validating our new products with those markets and creating a Product Roadmap
  4. Creating a go-to-market strategy for our B2B2C model and our newest product, our collaborative platform
  5. Identifying and recruiting the best key partners and key stakeholders necessary for Smart Course to achieve its ultimate vision

The National Center for Learning Disabilities concluded that:

  • 66% of parents of children with special needs struggle to help their child.
  • 99% of general education teachers are not taught how to help kids with “different needs”, so teachers are not only hesitant to implement individualized instruction, but they don’t even know how.
  • And 75% of these caregivers believe they could do more and want to help their kids succeed.

They just don’t have access to the right tools. So 16.8 million of them waste time, money, and worry every year.
Help us help them and revolutionize the education system around the globe! Want to learn more about Smart Course and help us achieve our ultimate vision? → WATCH THIS VIDEO
Learning Objectives:
– Creating and conducting Customer Discovery surveys, analyzing demographic and psychographic data, and recommending a Product Roadmap
– Analyzing the Education Technology landscape for special needs and suggesting partnerships
– Analyzing the Digital Healthcare landscape for special needs and suggesting partnerships
– Creating a go-to-market strategy for selling our products and services to private schools, governmental education departments, healthcare providers, and as a part of employer health benefits
– Sourcing and pitching industry expert speakers, sponsors, affiliates, publications, and consumers
– Learn more about Growth Strategy, Marketing, PR & Communications, Sales & Business Development, and Operations (using Agile Methodology)
– Learn more about Research & Development, Data Management, and Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis
Recommended Milestones & Case Analysis Process:
Part 1 – Deep Dive on Smart Course Business Model, Mission, and Products
Each team should assume the role of an outside consulting firm or venture studio that’s been tasked with providing insights and ensuring Smart Coure’s path to market dominance.  Start by viewing the attached Smart Course materials and our website to better understand what we offer and the company business model.

Suggested Deliverable:
Create a Smart Course one-pager accurately representing our company’s mission, products and services.
Part 2 – Analysis of the EdTech & Behavioral Healthcare Industries, Smart Course’s Existing Customer Segments, and Develop a Product Roadmap

  • Analyze the EdTech & Behavioral Health landscape in the US in relation to Smart Course’s products
  • What similar products exist?
  • What is the size of the market?
  • Who are the biggest competitors? How do their products compare to Smart Course? How are they marketing those products?
  • What does our ideal customer look like demographically and psychologically? Why are they ideal?
  • Who are the key partners and key stakeholders involved in the industry that would be a good fit for Smart Course? Be sure to consider:
  • Speakers (world-leading experts in the behavioral health field)
  • National Organizations on Special Needs and/or Learning & Attention Issues
  • Sponsors (companies interested in exposure to our target market)
  • Affiliates (influencers interested in selling our products to their audiences)
  • Publications (news, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and other platforms who speak to the same target audience as us)
  • Private Schools (interested in buying Smart Course products to educate their staff and students)
  • Governmental Education Departments (interested in buying and using Smart Course products and services to train their staff and better manage care for their students)
  • Employers and Healthcare Providers (interested in offering Smart Course products and services as part of their behavioral health benefits)
  • Consumers (Parents, Educators, Medical Professionals & Other Caregivers interested in learning more about how to best care for their kids with special needs)
  • Within our existing customer segments, which segment is the best fit? Why? What do like/dislike? What do they want more of? You will learn about how to:
  • Creating and conduct Customer Discovery surveys, analyze demographic and psychographic data, and recommend a Product Roadmap based on customer data

Suggested Deliverable:
Prepare a thorough report on the EdTech & Behavioral Health landscape as well as a report on your research within our existing customer base that identifies gaps for Smart Course to fill, and include a comprehensive list of key partners and key stakeholders in the industry, each with a brief value proposition explaining why they would be valuable to Smart Course and why Smart Course would be valuable to them.
Part 3 – Develop a Go-To-Market Strategy for Selling Smart Course Products Using a B2B2C Business Model 

  • How would you get Smart Course’s products to the right businesses and/or consumers? How long will that process take and what resources are needed?
  • Who are the right partners to sell or offer our products and why? 
  • Speakers?
  • National Organizations on Special Needs and/or Learning & Attention Issues?
  • Sponsors?
  • Affiliates?
  • Publications?
  • Private Schools?
  • Governmental Education Departments?
  • Employers?
  • Insurance companies?
  • Healthcare Providers?
  • Consumers?
  • Others?
  • What complications might we face along the way and how can the company be prepared to tackle those?
  • How many sales will Smart Course expect to make in the first 6 months, 1-year, 3-years, 5-years?
  • How would you market our products with a B2B2C business model? Who would you target and why (specifics for each)?
  • What realistic and specific actions can the company take in the coming month? In the coming year?
  • Learn more about Research & Development, Data Management, and Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis

Part 4 – Develop Pitches for Validated Growth Partners

  • Vet and pitch key partners and stakeholders that would contribute to Smart Course’s products, services, or brand.
  • Learn more about Growth Strategy, Marketing, PR & Communications, Sales & Business Development, and Operations (using Agile Methodology)

Suggested Deliverable:
Submit a pitch template for each type of key partner and key stakeholder Smart Course will be pitching that would make it easy for the company to scale its outreach to validated prospects.

Project Topics

Account Management

Corporate Social Responsibility

Customer Service

Data Management

Growth Strategy

International Affairs

Legal, Regulatory, Compliance



Org Culture, D&I

PR & Communications

Product Design & Development

Purchasing, Logistics, Supply Chain

Quality Control

Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis

Research & Development

Sales & Business Development

Software Design & Development

Talent Management

Company Information

CompanySmart Course
HQNew York
StageHigh-Growth Startup
Hiring PotentialFollow-on Projects, Formal Internship, Entry Level Full-Time, Upper Level Full-Time

Company Overview

Smart Course is a profitable EdTech and HealthTech startup that uses digital products and services to educate kids with special needs and their caregivers. We use big data and world-leading instructors to offer engaging online courses, coaching programs, and a collaborative platform to help caregivers of kids with special needs help their kids reach their social, behavioral, and academic goals.

Experiential Learning Program Details

SchoolLong Island University C.W. Post (LIU Post)
Engagement FormatCapstone - Small Team Consulting Project - Students work in consulting teams of 3-5 directly with faculty and client liaisons on developing real solutions to real-world challenges.
Students EnrolledN/A
Meeting Day & TimeN/A
Student Time Commitment15-30 Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment1 Hour
Duration9.43 Weeks

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Type

Key Project Milestones

Project Resources

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Industry Mentors

Company Admin

Adrien Harrison

[email protected]

Academic Mentors



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Olyvia Gendron

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Samantha Piccolo

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Glenn Tyranski

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Sherry Li

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Assigned Students

There are currently no students assigned.