Practical Founders Podcast

#78: Fast-Growing K-12 Education Software Company Will Be Profitable This Year – Justin Hewett

Justin Hewett started in the software business as a territory sales manager for an education software company in Utah. The company grew and Justin eventually led the sales team as the senior executive. When the company was acquired by PE investors, Justin moved on in 2020 and thought about ideas for a new software business to serve K-12 schools in the US. 

Flashlight Learning helps K-12 teachers in the US to quickly assess the speaking and writing progress of multilingual students who are learning English. The software captures data for teachers to provide students with improved feedback to accelerate language development.

Flashlight Learning grew 300% in 2023 to $4 million in revenue, with a growing team and an outsourced development partner. Justin raised some angel funding to get started and move fast, but they are expecting to be profitable this year with continued growth.

EdTech SaaS Topics Discussed on this Podcast

  • How he built a successful career as a sales executive in the education software market
  • How Justin and his wife saved and invested for 10 years to build enough income streams to be independent before starting a crazy startup
  • How he started a new edtech software company serving K-12 teachers in the U.S.
  • Why there is a big market opportunity serving teachers who help English learners in the U.S.
  • The biggest channgels growing an edtech software company to $1M ARR and beyond
  • Why he raised practical funding from friends and angel investors to get started quickly

Quote from Justin Hewett, CEO of Flashlight Learning

“At this moment we’re optimizing for impact. I love being in ed tech because of the difference we can make. We’re really making a difference in these school districts for these teachers and students, giving them a tool they’ve never had before.

“Getting to profitability this year is going to give us just tremendous optionality. That’s important for our company and I really wanted that in my life. I didn’t want to be an employee with a W-2 or have big investors. Independence and security are very important to me.

“When we become profitable later this year, we’ll have the optionality to just continue to build and grow an amazing business. Or we can decide to do something else someday.”



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Greg Head recorded this on episode on January 19, 2024 for the Practical Founders Podcast see all of the episodes.

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