This bootstrapped edtech startup has teamed up with schools to teach STEM-Robotics and nurture innovation
Anurag Gupta and Rajeev Tiwari have been in the semiconductor and embedded industry for over 15 years. However, both felt the need for a venture that could come up with an India-centric solution for learning outcomes in the K-12 segment with innovative products, hardware, and software.
In 2016, this led the duo to start Delhi-NCR-based, an edtech platform for students across the globe to harness learning and innovation technologies in the world of STEM-Robotics.
“New-age inventions and 21st-century skills were seen as something that only the privileged could appreciate. STEMROBO believes in encouraging and motivating students by giving them access to strategic technology that could lead to innovations and the country's development,” Anurag says.
The edtech startup focuses on six main innovations, including block-based programming, app creation and development, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Python, 3D Designing, Arduino Programming, and Fun with Electronics.
Anurag says the startup has developed tinkering and innovation labs in more than 1,500 schools and works with over 10 lakh students and teachers to “foster out-of-the box thinking and technological advancement”.
How does it work?
STEMROBO aims to solve real-world problems by using techniques and project-based learning while providing an immersive learning experience that caters to essential 21st-century skills. To that end, it is working on becoming a “one-stop solution for all innovation needs of schools and students”.
“Edtech gives you scale, a multiple and networking effect. The challenges are how to make it pervasive as edtech delivery is still dependent on gadgets like laptops, PCs, smartphones, and good broadband - not everyone in the country possesses or can afford these,” Anurag says.
The STEMROBO team has developed two platforms for K-12 students: AI connect and Tinker Learning.
AI Connect is a unique and integrated cloud-based software platform that allows students free access to block-based coding and Python. The curriculum gives tinkerers access to data analytics, computer vision, coding, machine learning, algorithms, and developing robots/games. It also helps in building AI skills that can solve day-to-day real-life problems.
The AI Connect platform has been selected in the AI Step-Up Module initiative by NITI Aayog and NASSCOM. The module will be the next step in bringing AI to Indian classrooms, with platforms like AI connect driving education in AI and innovation, free of cost, across the country.
The startup’s second offering, Tinker Learning, is a content-based platform where students can learn Python, coding, AI, ML, animation etc.
“STEMBORO has a part-time network of homemakers with a technical background (such as MTech or BTech). They are trained by experts and go through a selection process after which they are eligible to take classes. They usually teach coding to students in live sessions and are paid on an hourly basis. We are looking to expand this network and onboard more homemakers because women engage well with children,” Anurag says.
STEMROBO charges an annual package, based on the services schools avail. This can range between Rs 5 and Rs 8 lakh. The edtech startup’s client list spans India, and includes Apeejay Group, ASN International School, Delhi Public School Mumbai, Father’s Angels, St Xavier’s School, Delhi Public School Noida, Mount Abu School, KR Manglam School, GD Goenka School, and Modern Public School.
Training is provided to students from Class III-XII.
Market and the future
STEMROBO is among those aiming to further the Indian government’s vision outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The new educational reforms mandate schools to initiate coding classes for students from Class VI onwards to build analytical skills and design thinking from a young age.
Coding for kids is estimated to be a $14 billion market in India already. The rollout of NEP 2020 and India’s largest edtech startup BYJU’S buying out coding platform WhiteHat Jr led to a massive surge in the space.
Numerous K-12 coding startups have emerged since then, including Tekie, CodeYoung, Codingal Education, Coding Ninjas, Codevidhya, Dcoder, CodeMonkey, Camp K12, LeapLearner, Tinkerly, Masai School, among others. Generalist edtech players such as Toppr, Vedantu, Unacademy, and others started offering coding classes.
However, COVID-19 changed things by needing schools to opt for a blended model with seamless integration.
“STEMROBO is putting a strong focus on the blended learning/hybrid model in the COVID and post-pandemic time. We have digitised our content and put it online in our LMS, Tinker Learning, which is being accessed by five lakh+ students,” Anurag says.
The bootstrapped startup has set up tinkering and innovation labs in more than 1,500 schools, and enrolled more than 10,00,000 students in 30 activity centres of Atal Tinkering Labs and over 10 robotics and Do it Yourself (DIY) in-house products.
The startup also claims to have found success “in establishing our global identity in a very short time”. It currently offers online training in 10 African countries along with services in America, Australia, Sri Lanka, the UK, and others.
“We are committed to high growth in India and abroad. We are now going for global tie-ups and reaching into new markets. By 2025, we are seeking exponential growth by extending our product scope across 70+ countries and targeting a revenue of Rs 500 crore,” Anurag says.
Edited by Teja Lele