Unitus Ventures, TiE Bangalore and Sylvant Advisors launch StartEdu 5 competition and TiE EdTech Day 2017

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Intent to shortlist and mentor 10 applicants. Winner to get an opportunity to access INR 3 crore of investment.

14th August 2017, Bangalore: Unitus Ventures, India’s leading impact venture fund investing in early-stage startups innovating for the masses, TiE Bangalore, a non-profit association dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and Sylvant Advisors, a leading Education & EdTech focussed early-stage angel & seed investment entity, today announced the launch of StartEdu 5 – a nationwide competition to find and fund innovative and scalable EdTech companies and the 2nd edition of TiE EdTech Day 2017 – an annual EdTech conference in late September 2017. StartEdu will culminate in TiE EdTech Day where the finalists will pitch to win the competition.

TiE EdTech Day is TiE Bangalore’s Flagship conference to bring the entire EdTech ecosystem of startups, investors, corporates, academic institutions and enablers under one roof for visioning, brainstorming and exploring the latest technological trends in education.

10 shortlisted startups will be part of the TiE EdTech Day 2017 wherein they will pitch to the jury, get first access to funds, mentors and industry experts. The winner will further get an opportunity to pitch for up to INR 3 crore in investment.

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High Enrolment but Poor Learning Levels is Resulting in Massive Unemployability

Today, with more than 1.4 million schools enrolling over 227 million students, and more than 36,000 higher education institutes, ours is a nation of highly competitive students hungry to be the best and willing to go to great lengths to make that happen. The Indian education market is estimated to be INR 5.9 trillion and the online education space expected to touch $40 billion by 2017.

However, according to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016, India’s educational outcomes have largely remained unchanged since 2009.  Further, there are nearly 11 lakh teachers in the country who are currently inadequately or not trained.

Now, if we add to this already “pretty disappointing” scenario, the fact that at least 280 million youth will enter the workforce by 2050, India has a growing, urgent need for quality education and there is a huge potential to leverage technology as learning aids. And the last decade has witnessed a surge in EdTech start-ups that are attempting to bridge the gaps of availability, accessibility and affordability of quality education for India’s masses.

Unitus Ventures’s and Sylvant’s EdTech Investees are Disrupting Abysmal Educational Outcomes

Unitus Ventures’s EdTech investees continue to deliver innovative, differentiated offerings to accelerate learning outcomes for India’s low-income population.

LabInApp, a previous StartEdu winner is a 3D simulation- based, curriculum-mapped interactive software solution for K-12 and is now present across 20, 000 classrooms and steadily growing. The company raised a seed round from Unitus Ventures in July 2015. Other investees include, Cuemath – micro-franchised learning programs and Curiositi – provides science activity kits for class 3-10 students.

“In the last year alone, our EdTech investees impacted nearly 40,000 low-income students, displayed 83 per-cent revenue growth and raised 8.4x additional capital”, said Will Poole, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Unitus Ventures. “We are committed to furthering EdTech innovation in India and this is evidenced through our all-inclusive approach of providing seed capital, strategic support, helping secure growth capital and intensifying mentor-advisor network; the value of which is evident in our investees’ continued growth.”

Kunal Kashyap, Executive Director, TiE Bangalore shared his thoughts on the Bangalore EdTech ecosystem saying, “The last few years have seen the education sector become an attractive bet, with companies like Byju’s, Vedantu, Simplilearn and the likes gaining tremendous traction and following. The sector is garnering interest from technovangelists and changemakers to deliver quality education through technology with over 2,400 Ed-Tech startups in India currently with over 200 startups formed every year since 2012 and funding of over $180 million in just 2016.” He further said, “At TiE, the Education Forum has helped startups like LabInApp, HashLearn, Gyan Labs, Walnut Knowledge Solutions, vChalk and many more to iterate their businesses to reach a steady state. This sector is one of our key focus areas for the coming years and collaborations with investment arms, advisory and the Government will help drive the cause of edtech entrepreneurship.”

Anand Sudarshan, Founder and Director, Sylvant Advisors said, “Sylvant has incubated, invested in, and advised over 20 start-ups such as Guru-G, LabInApp, Littlemore Innovation, PALGenie, and EntLogics to name a few. Sylvant’s mission is to scale India’s education startups to improve the overall ecosystem and we are thrilled to partner with Unitus Ventures and TiE Bangalore to find high-quality entrepreneurs.”

Since inception, StartEdu has received over 700 applications and mentored nearly 100 promising EdTech startups through bootcamps and 1:1 mentorship programs. Other StartEdu winners such as HashLearn – an on-demand mobile tutoring platform raised funding from marquee tech angels – Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal, Google India head Rajan Anandan and People Group founder Anupam Mittal and last year’s winner Dost Education entered the prestigious Y Combinator’s winter 2017 batch.

About Unitus Ventures

Unitus Ventures is the leading impact venture fund investing in businesses innovating for the masses in India. Unitus invests in sectors including healthcare, education and financial technology. Unitus Ventures is backed by leading individual, family office, and foundation investors in the USA and India. Unitus Ventures is part of the Unitus Group, a premier financial services group operating in India and other emerging markets since 2000. Unitus Ventures is based in Bangalore and is a member of the Capria Network.
More about Unitus Ventures >

About TiE Bangalore

TiE is a non-profit, global community fostering entrepreneurship from all over the world. Started in 1999, TiE Bangalore was the first step towards TiE’s presence in the country. Mr. Nandan Nilekani, the first President of TiE Bangalore, had the vision of making Bangalore the “Start-Up Capital” of the country. Under the leadership of many industry stalwarts like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Ashok Soota, B.V. Naidu, Dr. Sridhar Mitta and Pradeep Kar, the Chapter has grown from about 190 members with 9 Charter members in 1999 to over 800 members and 120 Charter Members today. The mission of TiE Bangalore is to enable budding entrepreneurs to Get, Set and Grow! More about TiE Bangalore >

About Sylvant Advisors

Sylvant works with entrepreneurs and early stage companies in the education & EdTech sectors to accelerate their growth. Beginning with critical early-stage angel investment, Sylvant stays with its each of its portfolio companies through every aspect & stage of its growth – from drafting vision & business strategies, to helping in acquiring talent, participating in the fundraising effort, drafting business strategies, providing operational support, and being a part of an entire growth lifecycle, leveraging each key driver to accelerate the growth of these entrepreneurial ventures. Sylvant is based in Bangalore. More about Sylvant >

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