With the surge of Student Entrepreneurship in India, it is great to see a startup that’s got its heart at the right place. Started off as a student project in January 2011, Add-on-Gyan Educational Services (AOGES), is a startup that works on an “’N’gage Students = ‘M’power India” philosophy.
Incubated by the Manipal University Technology Business Incubator (MUTBI) and registered as a Pvt. Ltd. company in July 2011, AOGES has set out to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical education in India.
Their flagship venture, Gyan Labs is a concept facility which enables school students of grades 3 and 10 to learn by practical exercises, model making and hands-on experience. Self-explanatory manuals and short videos on the topic, with lab sessions that are synchronized with the curriculum followed by the school, help in meeting the students’ needs. Each student is charged a nominal fee of Rs 200-500 for an entire year.
Gyan Labs has already rolled out over 500 experiments and plans to set up two community units from the next academic year, where students studying in free schools or low resource schools will be encouraged to perform experiments free of cost. “We currently have 5 schools with whom we work very closely. By the end of 2013, we plan to reach at least 25 schools. We want to reach out to as many people as possible and have a mass outreach. On a wider scale, we would want to reach out to 100,000 students by 5 years and in a decade, we target 1 million students,” says Priyadeep Sinha, CEO & Chief Evangelist, Gyan Labs.
Winning accolades and appreciation from various university competitions at IIT-Kanpur, NIT-Surathkal, MIT and IIM-Bangalore, the greatest motivation for Gyan Labs was the one that came from the ‘Scale Phase Award’ at Dell Social Innovation Challenge (Texas, USA).
Priyadeep Sinha believes that the Educational system needs a good proportion of skills. “Especially in India, many students who graduate from schools and colleges are not life-ready. 15-16 year olds need to have a strong foundation to do well in their careers and that’s exactly what we intend to give them,” he says.
The team at Gyan Labs, which consists of Priyadeep, Sonali (currently pursuing 3rd Year Engineering in Computer Science), Asha Nayak (an MIT alumnus, 1999), Deenendra and Sheron (both business development managers and MIM alumni) plan to have a stronghold in Manipal and Mangalore before heading to Bangalore sometime soon.
Backed by a funding from the Technology Development Board, a unit of Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, and the Ministry of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MoMSME), Gyan Labs certainly looks like they’re on their way to creating a pool of skilled human resources and empowering today’s youth.
You can reach out to Gyan Labs here.