An industry that is growing at the rate of 13.9 per cent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate), the of technology-advanced learning aids sector is only bound to boom. A report by Education Technology and the Smart Classroom Market: Forecasts and Analysis 2013-2018 estimates that the Smart Classroom market size is estimated to grow from $31.31 billion in 2013 to $59.90 billion by the year 2018. In the light of this estimate, it makes sense to not add to the list of edutech products, rather, invest in tracking, reviewing and creating awareness among a wide target audience — educators, administrators, students and parents — about the various products available from K12-continuing education segment. This is the same train of thought that led to the creation of Eduvative and later, EdTechReview by a group of students in Delhi.
Utkarsh Lokesh, Saransh Garg, Shantanu Rana and Lavi came together during their college days at Amity University, New Delhi, to work on a project under the guidance of Divya Prakash, who later become a partner. Co-founder and CEO of Eduvative and EdTechReview Utkarsh Lokesh, says the idea developed when they realised the need was not for more products but for advice and feedback on the existing products.
Eduvative started there and led to EdTechReview in 2012. “Our aim is to create a community of educational stakeholders to spread awareness on educational technology,” says Lokesh.
Their idea found ground at Amity Incubator. “Amity Incubator has given us great infrastructure and opportunities. In early days of a startup when you are still building your team and making an idea actionable, you cannot afford an office on rent, and we were lucky to present our idea and to get selected in the incubator,” says Lokesh. They also got the opportunity
to participate in networking events and meet some inspiring entrepreneurs.
Through the media, they want each educational stakeholder — teachers, students, parents and administrators — to find useful information, resources and better understand the role and use of technology in education. Through events they want to bring educators, technology experts and educational leaders together to share insights and practices for effective learning, and teaching. “And then to bring the research to practice and successful adoption and implementation of education technology, we have services like training, professional development and consultation,” says Lokesh.
The EdTechReview team now comprises Divya Prakash and college mates Shantanu Rana, Utkarsh Lokesh, and Shantanu Garg. Garg, Rana and Lokesh completed BTech in IT together at Amity and gathered most of their experience in the three years since Eduvative. Lokesh is involved with day-to-day running of the venture. COO and man behind-the-scenes, Rana looks after the back-end development of the EdTechReview sites. “I also help the team use the people, processes and tools to grow the company and to deliver information more efficiently,” he says.
Learning constantly on the job, Garg moved became researcher for the Eduvative team to curate best practices. Prakash who handles the marketing side of the venture, also keeps the team calm and in good spirits. Qualified with a BCA and MSc in IT, he also worked with Adobe as Product Technical Advisor before he got onboard with Eduvative.
What it takes
Rana comments that positive feedback they receive at events really drives them.” Life for these 20-something guys is tougher than they imagined, especially with the tight schedules. With the help of mentors and advisors, they also launched a custom training and professional development programme targeting both K-12 and higher education, which has received good reviews.
While EdTechReview has started making profits through ads on their websites and sponsorship in their events, they want to scale up. They tell us that client acquisition for training and consultation will begin soon. “We have already been approached by a school in Malaysia, and many other schools and colleges who
have participated in our events,” says Lokesh.
Their future plans involve more networking and building an offline community for events. They are also looking to hire more people in the coming months. While their current model is bootstrapped, they are looking at bigger revenue sources and are waiting on pitching the idea to investors. But not just yet, they say.
You can look forward to two seminars in Mumbai and Bangalore by EdTechReview in the near future. They plan to launch their flagship offline event in the third quarter of this year. For details, visit www.edtechreview.in or www.eduvative.in.