India’s Edtech sector is going through a great phase right now with many promising startups raising multiple rounds of capital from investors. It is estimated that EdTech is expected to give a dozen unicorns in the next 5-7 years. While this is great news for the sector, what is not as much highlighted in this Edtech frenzy is the poor quality of learning that majority of our K-12 learners go through which is quite foundational for their future careers.
In our #ChildrensDay special on Taking the Leap, we caught up with the co-founders of our EdTech start-up Learning Matters - Gowri and Moorthy. Having worked in education technology for a long time, they knew that the industry largely focussed on supplementary education to the top tier of schools. Which meant there was a large population in semi-urban and rural India that was left underserved. Gowri, Moorthy and Saras, the other co-founder of Learning Matters decided to stop talking about it and take the opportunity in their own hands. That's how Learning Matters was born.
The start-up has developed its own version of Alexa for education called 'Tara' that uses voice-based AI that can repeat lessons, converse, provide feedback and correct mistakes repeatedly. Learning Matters is equipping teachers across the country to improve learning outcomes in basic subjects like Math and English.
As per a study conducted by Public health Foundation of India, about 55 million Indians get pushed into poverty in a single year due to patient- care costs. Many families even opt to not go for any treatment even when a member faces a life-threatening disease and a staggering 39 per cent do not receive any medical attention before death. Intrigued by science at a very young age, Vikram Goel, Founder of medtech start-up Incredible Devices started experimenting and developing products to help those in need. His first innovation was a smart cane for the blind, developed during his school days. Today, with 6 patents to his name and many pathbreaking developments in process, Vikram is a member of the prestigious MIT Top 10 Innovators under 35 age club and has received many distinguished awards like the MARICO Innovation Award, India Innovation Growth Program , to name a few. With Incredible Devices, Vikram and his team have been able to benefit more than 2.5 Lakh patients and also aim to develop a solution for COVID Warriors.
October is breast cancer awareness month. In our second episode of Taking the Leap we spoke to Dr. Pawan Mehrotra, inventor of Poorti, a post-mastectomy kit for women who have undergone mastectomy due to breast cancer. Pawan holds a PhD in Cancer Sciences sponsored by Cancer Research UK which involved interdisciplinary work at Cambridge, Oxford, Dundee and Manchester. Pawan was an independent research fellow, discovering human proteins and cancer drug discovery below the age of 30 before foraying into affordable product development for unmet user-centric medical needs out of sheer compassion for breast cancer patients. Since 2018, 2300+ poorti kits have been sold to patients from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Africa, Nepal and Bhutan who come to India for treatment. Poorti, is available in 68 locations, 51 cities and 19 states in India.
In our debut episode, we are talking all things trash with Sahar Mansoor, Founder of our portfolio company Bare Necessities – A 100% zero-waste lifestyle brand that mirrors the philosophy of ‘doing more and better with less’. Sahar has been a recipient of Google India’s Inspiring Indian of the Year 2017, NDTV’s Swachh Warrior and many more. Having been an environmentalist since she was a little girl, to prodding her dean at Cambridge University to introduce a new course on ‘environmental planning’, to spending hours with waste pickers from rural West Bengal, her love for nature has now transpired into a full-blown zero-waste venture.