Meet Mohammad and Vamsi, Founders of Edicat Learning
Edicat Learning is an AI-driven platform that designs personal plans for students to identify and address their individual learning needs.
Where did the business idea come from?
As experienced tutors, we have collectively delivered over 6,000 hours of one-to-one teaching to students and we saw the immense impact that it can have on student performance.
Unfortunately, at a cost of £900-1000 a year, a private tutor is a luxury most parents cannot afford.
Currently, students are being taught in large classrooms at the same pace and in the same order which does not meet their individual needs. When a student misunderstands a topic early on, the class simply forges ahead, progressing to more advanced concepts that demand a robust understanding of the previous topic.
We realised that we could leverage the latest advancements in psychometrics and machine learning to enable access to high-quality personalised learning for all students, irrespective of their socioeconomic background.
How does Edicat Learning work?
Firstly, students can use our adaptive assessments that intelligently selects’ questions to ask students based on previous responses to identify their individual knowledge gaps.
Thereafter, students, parents and teachers will be provided with live performance reports that highlight which learning outcomes in the national curriculum are holding them back.
Finally, our platform uses machine learning to design personalised learning plans for each student that tells them precisely which concepts they need to work on, starting from the most fundamental concepts, to maximise their performance.
Have you raised funding?
We are grateful to have been selected by Queen Mary, the University of London for the Build It Award, where a £10,000 grant was provided to develop the product.
We are also humbled to be part of the AWS EdStart Accelerator, where we received $10,000 worth of credits. We also received a £1,500 special grant from Santander Universities for being a socially-oriented venture.
How has OneTech supported you?
The OneTech ecosystem has been extremely helpful. FoundersDoor gave us a community to share and refine our idea as well as develop our ability to communicate it to the stakeholders.
Yes, we benefited a lot from OneTech. An important part was understanding how start-ups operate at the early stage. One of the most important mindset shifts that we had in product development was taking an agile approach, where you build a product with a minimum feature set, test it in the market, get feedback from customers and then continue to iterate until you have a product that customers love.
We also took part in accountability circles. It was great to be part of a group where sharing failures was celebrated as a learning opportunity. This allowed us to pool our knowledge together and support each other on our entrepreneurial journeys by ensuring that everyone learns from each other’s experiences.
Above all, OneTech has given us access to a powerful network of experts who have an understanding of the industry that we’re operating in and that was monumental in gaining validation and traction.
How have your backgrounds have influenced your journey so far?
We are both really passionate about learning and teaching. We want to democratise access to personalised learning.
What challenges have you faced?
While we’ve had our challenges, as all startups do, we’ve managed our challenges strategically. One example is the struggle we had with recruiting technical experts to implement our vision. We’ve thankfully managed to recruit an experienced and passionate tech team.
A capable team with a diverse skill set is critical to the success of a startup. We also place a high priority on the culture we create in our team, especially given the disproportionate impact a new member has on a small startup. It was challenging to foster the right culture, to be open and critical, relentlessly passionate yet flexible, but we have been lucky to create that.
What are your dreams for the business?
We are driven fundamentally by the vision that one day every child will have equal access to high-quality, personalised education irrespective of their socio-economic background. We have high-minded ambitions on democratising personalising learning based on prior knowledge, ability and preferences to meet individual student needs by intelligently bringing together the strengths of psychometrics, machine learning and cognitive science. Every decision we make as a business is evaluated on whether it takes us closer to achieving this goal.
Further, we are very excited about eventually delivering a blended learning model where our technology can empower teachers in their classrooms to pivot their pedagogy and achieve improved student learning outcomes. We also aim to prepare our students with 21st-century skills to ensure they face real-world challenges with great confidence.
What’s your message to inspire other founders?
The first is to persevere. The second is to connect. Talk with as many people as you can because everybody has something insightful to share. The third is, it may sound cliche, but it is of paramount importance to understand your user. Understand what their needs are and develop your strategy around addressing those needs.
My advice is to regularly and critically reflect on everything that you do. Is this the best way of achieving our objectives? Are there alternative methods that incur fewer costs? What value are we actually delivering to students? Since when we started this project, critical reflection allowed us to pivot in the right direction
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