Startup accelerator EDUGILD prepares edtech startups for global competitionLibza Mannan
An initiative of Pune-based Maharashtra Institute of Technology, global startup accelerator EDUGILD offers an intensive mentorship and product realisation programme to any edtech startup in the world.
The accelerator, launched at EdTech Europe in June 2015, is aimed at nurturing promising edtech startups and preparing them to compete globally and is the brainchild of Sunil Karad, Managing Trustee of MIT Group of Institutions, Maharashtra. Since its launch in 2015, the edtech accelerator has empowered 16 startups through EDUGILD’s 4-6 month business acceleration programme in three batches.
EDUGILD business acceleration programme offers startups in the edtech space a 16-week mentorship and product realisation programme, conducting two batches a year, starting in February and September.
The EDUGILD programme starts with a selection committee finalising the startups to be accelerated, followed by 48-hour boot camp called the Edugild Diagnostic Kit. This forms the basis of the gap analysis of each startup.
The bootcamp involves one-to-one interaction with the edtech startups, after which each one gets a dedicated venture partner to take the acceleration forward with the EDUGILD team. The acceleration programme encompasses technology guidance, organisation development support, product life cycle management, business acceleration, PR and media strategy support (Adfactors), investor readiness and relations (FundHound), UI-UX advisory, digital marketing (Kreativ Street) and global research (Tracxn).
Recently, in September 2017, the accelerator onboarded five edtech startups, which were selected from 250 applications and will provide global scale-up opportunities to the participants.
The five edtech startups selected in the fourth batch
TrisLabs: Headquartered in Bengaluru, TrisLabs is on a mission to bridge the technological gap that exists with the college community, students, research institutes and companies. It is an online learning platform that incorporates on the go virtual labs along with the theoretical concepts required for learning. Besides providing virtual labs, the startup also offers a course management system.
Edvantics: The Hyderabad based startup was founded by ISB alumnus and former Microsoft employees – Sharat Konatham and Sirisha Munagala. Edvantics is focused on creating an ecosystem of products and services, to help schools, colleges and students realize their maximum potential and succeed. The company’s core offering HEDNext is aimed at helping institutes to manage quality and improve faculty productivity.
Know Hassles: Founded by Harshad Walhekar, Mumbai-based Know Hassles helps international students travelling to Toronto from the Indian sub-continent. The Know Hassles team claims to provide guidance for almost everything, be it part-time job, house hunting or finding the right store for shopping. Harshad highlights that Know Hassles team members landed in Toronto as students a few years ago and have tackled all the problems themselves.
Musein: The Bengaluru-based platform is a community for creative minds to learn, seek advice and collaborate. Founded by Goutam Srinivas and Mahesh Yadangi, the platform allows users to seek professional advice from experts and offers online courses crafted by professionals in genres such as film, TV, performing arts, design and much more. The platform also lets users create their own portfolio, showcase their talent and get inspired by other's works.
Vidya Robotics: A training and development company, Pune-based Vidya Robotics focuses on electronics product development, embedded systems training and robotics training. The company provides training to enhance STEM skills of students and is developing a range of robots for edutainment of children above the age of eight years.
What’s in store for the startups?
EDUGILD gives startups in its programme access to its impressive list of partners, which includes CISCO, Cambridge, CodersTrust, Tata Class Edge and Upgrad.
From the previous batches, startups like Simulanis, AmbitionUp (earlier known as Gradopedia), Classboat, Ahhaa, YoScholar, ProctorEdu have gone on to raise funds.
The mentors of the acceleration programme include impact advisors and industry experts like A.G. Rao, MD at Manpower Group; Apurva Chamria, AVP and Head, Global Brand and Digital Marketing at HCL; Dr. Milind Pande, Project Director, MIT School of Telecom Management; Sachin Tagra, Head of Capital 18, Network 18 Group; Manish Upadhyay, founder of Liqvid (a soft bank-funded edtech company), Pratik Dattani, Director – UK, FICCI and many others.
EDUGILD acceleration programme is accepting applications for fifth batch until January 31, 2018, and is roping in venture partners in China, the US, Australia, the UK and Israel to give startups access to these markets.