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Edupreneur Village Fund hosted India\'s first-of-its-kind live Edtech Investment Event in Delhi
Photo Credit: Pexels

Edupreneur Village Fund, an early stage Ed-Tech focused VC Fund, hosted India’s first-of-its-kind live Ed-Tech investment event: The Final Battle on 31st August 2019, at The Leela Ambience Hotel Delhi. Started in October 2018, 1100+ startup applicants went through a series of challenges to be part of the final 10. These finalists pitched for investment in front of 50+ investors and 350+ Ed-Tech industry participants and startup enthusiasts on the day of the Final Battle.

The event was hosted by Edupreneur Village, an ambitious initiative of Sri Aurobindo Society, which is a 60+ year old non-profit organization with 300+ centres across the world. The occasion also marked the launch of Sri Aurobindo Society’s new initiative “Auro Scholar”, a radical first-of-its-kind Scholarship platform, with the objective to give micro-scholarships to produce learning outcomes of millions of Indian students.

This programme aims to create a revolutionary ripple effect among current students across India. For this project, the Auro Scholar has already partnered with Cambridge University Press as the Question Bank Partner, and Scholr – AI driven homework helping Ed-Tech App. In order to ensure payments of small amounts every month to millions of students across the country, Auro Scholar will also very soon announce its partnership with the Mobile Wallet of one of the leading Banks of the country.

Scholr also happens to be an investee company of the Edupreneur Village Fund, and has secured an early-stage round of funding from a range of financial and strategic investors, led by Edupreneur Village Fund. Using Artificial Intelligence technology, Scholr aims to cater 300mn students in any vernacular Indian language.

The Event

The Final Battle was modelled on the lines of Shark Tank, the popular American business reality TV Series. On the day, the selected startups successfully pitched to a jury and audience of 50+ investors, keen on investing in the Ed-Tech space, including SAIF Partners, Blume Ventures, Lumis Partners, Lead Angels, Indian Angel Network, Tomorrow Capital, and many more HNI Investors.

Each pitch was 30 minutes long, followed by incisive questions by the jury and the Investors. The innovation brought in by the finalists was highly appreciated and covered the broad spectrum of the Ed-Tech space.

Nitin Bhalla, who heads Edupreneur Village has a bold view about the future of Indian Ed-Tech ecosystem – “Time has come to harness Ed-Tech innovation to solve the The Great Indian Education Problem, which is the constantly falling Learning Outcomes. By chanellising early stage Capital in Ed-Tech start-ups through Edupreneur Village and by providing millions of Customers at low acquisition costs, to the very same Ed-Tech start-ups through our Auro Scholar programme, we envision Ed-Tech innovation to reach millions of Indian students at low price points. This will improve Learning Outcomes of Indian students at scale not imagined so far.” 

Sambhrant Sharma, who is an Executive Member of Sri Aurobindo Society talks about Sri Aurobindo Society’s bold new initiatives in Education, “In true traditions of Sri Aurobindo Society, our new initiatives Edupreneur Village and Auro Scholar have both quality and inclusiveness at heart – India’s education problem is not of Quality alone, but Quality to be delivered with scale, diversity and affordability, which is unlike any other country. Edupreneur Village and Auro Scholar are designed to give new solutions with precisely the above principles in mind”

A jury member from Lumis Partners in conversation with VCCircle said, “Models have taken inspiration from global businesses which gives them validation, where the India story is yet to play out – the current market leader Byju’s is about to face stiff competition. Some models (like CogniAble) are forcing us to rethink the way we view the Ed-Tech space with facets of Healthcare and Social impact blending in.”

The Result

To conclude the enthralling judgment day, Edupreneur Village announced the investment declarations in Scholr and Don’t Memorise. The details of the investment remain undisclosed. The fund also announced partnerships with Mintbook and One0x.
In addition, the cash prizes secured by the winners were as follows:

  • INR 3 lakh – Don’t Memorise
  • INR 2 lakh - One0x
  • INR 1 lakh – Clap Global
  • INR 50,000 – Mintbook
  • INR 25,000 – Memory Trix

Apart from the above declarations, the finalists received a total of 48 investment interests from various investors, discussions for which will take place in the next few weeks.

Summary of the Finalists:

  1. Scholr: Artificial Intelligence-powered instant doubt resolution platform for students, which can use technology to create in real time automated text solutions, video solutions and chat-bot interactions in multiple languages for each question photo-clicked by students. 
  2. Memory Trix: Helping students memorize the concepts through crowd-sourced, engaging, humorous, locally relevant content built around memorization techniques like mind maps
  3. Don't Memorise: Licensing high-quality curriculum aligned video content to education organizations working with students.
  4. Mintbook: Curating online content from thousands of academic publishers and making it available to students on a pay per use basis.
  5. Clap Global: Platform that enables a unique exchange of cultures by helping international travellers visit local classrooms and engage in meaningful and often surprising conversations with the students.
  6. Witblox: Taking inspiration from engaging cartoon stories, children bring the characters to life by programming robotic kits sold by the venture.
  7. MySuperBrain: Discovering talented students by conducting online sponsored talent discovery competitions and then immersing the children into the learning journey to hone such talents.
  8. CogniAble: Machine learning based low-cost early screening of Neuro-Developmental disorders in kids, through videos of kids performing activities based on prompts, and then treating those disorders.
  9. One0x: Blockchain technology to foster a seamless exchange of learning data records of learners across education institutions and apps, in order to provide a learning context of eachlearner to the next institution being attended, in order to personalize the education.
  10. KareerMatrix: Quantifying the skill level of college students and early employees by conducting online proctored assessments in order to create 'LinkedIn of quantified skills' and making it available to students/employees, institutions and employers.
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