India, with its vast population and talented workforce, has all the promise of being a captivating theater for EdTech. From Bill Gates to the Dalai Lama, the who’s who of the world stage want India to buckle up and get its EdTech story sorted out.
In accordance with their wishes we today focus on EDUGILD, an EdTech startup accelerator fostered by MIT Pune University.
The program is hosted by the noted MIT Group of India, which is quite eminent in its space in the country. The program is the result of Dr. Sunil Karad's ideation. He is also a part of its administration. Resulting from a wish to make an impact in education through technology, the team behind the program realized that the concept of startup acceleration could help them maximize their impact in the sector. They also have a vast number of mentors and peers, so they decided to plunge into the EdTech waters and do it with panache.
The institution is trying to instill lasting value to EdTech startups that show promise through their EdTech Space which is product realization and mentoring programme stretching for 16 weeks. The fourth cohort is in place at the time of this writing. Having tasted initial success, the programme is all set to go from strength to strength.
The Process That Followed
The EDUGILD program takes off after the final selection of startups in the particular cohort are finalized. This is followed by Edugild Diagnostic Kit, a boot camp lasting for 48 hours which is used to analyze the gap between the individual startups. During the program, the startups get an opportunity for one to one interaction with the folks at EDUGILD. After the boot camp has been completed, a dedicated venture partner is assigned to each startup in order to take the acceleration forward with the team.
A Comprehensive Program
The program at EDUGILD is a comprehensive one, incorporating in its scope tech guidance, support for organizational development, business acceleration, managing the life cycle of the product, support for the media and PR strategy, advice on the UI-UX aspects of the product, global research, ensuring investor readiness, and even digital marketing.
As stated earlier, EDUGILD seeks to provide its cohorts with long-term and tangible value. There were a number of hiccups along the way for the EDUGILD team, which included trouble with reaching out to the people who might be interested in its acceleration, as well as getting institutional and ecosystem partners. All of these difficulties were ultimately surmounted, and now the project now boasts of varied and diverse portfolio.
Selection Criteria for EDUGILD
While selecting from the application pool, the people behind EDUGILD see the tech use of the startup, the problems addressed by their solution, the minimal viable product and which stage is it in, how relevant is the product to its intended audience, the marketability, and how patient and credible the founders happen to be. A rigorous process is followed for the selection lasting for about two months. The program has a number of foreign startups and promises much in the years to come.
The companies selected get mentoring and guidance, help in pitching, acquiring customers, managing the business, marketing, and yes, also scaling up.
The program boasts an impressive list of partners which include Cambridge, Tata Class Edge, CISCO, Upgrad, and CodersTrust. The selected startups get exposure to all these great partners.
Current Batch of Startups
It announced the list of the fourth batch of its EdTech program in the beginning of September. It selected five startups for its business acceleration program, stretching for four to six months. The five were shortlisted from a pool of over 250 applications. EDUGILD already has 16 startups in its portfolio. Past cohorts have a track record of success and include AmbitionUp, Ahhaa, Simulanis, Classboat, YoScholar, and more. Recent addition to its partners includes EPG UK, JMD EDU China, and Edtech Israel. It also boats of strategic alliances with U.S. and Australian institutions.
Their CEO, Rishi Kapal, described their last selection by noting that “The uniqueness of this batch is the diversity of the startups – ranging from robotics, artificial intelligence, overseas education consultants, virtual labs, creative learning into Film, TV, performing arts, and design. EDUGILD aims to support impressive talent that employs the latest technologies to address education-related challenges and expand existing markets or create new markets globally.”