Education has been called the great equalizer, but it isn’t evenly distributed. Families in the lowest income brackets can benefit from education the most—and often need it the most—but have the most limited access to it.
AWS EdStart is AWS’s educational technology startup accelerator. It was established to provide resources that entrepreneurs need for building the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions. Under the initiative, startups that develop and offer services within the education sector are provided with AWS Promotional Credits, community engagement, training, marketing opportunities, mentorship, and technical support for using AWS’s Cloud solutions. The program makes it easier for early-stage companies to find the resources and relationships they need to be successful.
In this week’s “Early Stage,” we take a look at some of the companies that took part in this year’s AWS EdStart and the contributions they hope to bring to Southeast Asia’s education sector.
Singapore-based Solve Education! is a nonprofit organization that developed a mobile learning platform for people of all ages to learn on the go for free. The platform utilizes gamification and artificial intelligence to engage students. The company also includes real-life incentives by directly linking success in the game to opportunities on its online employment platform.
Since its launch in Japan in 2014, Hanamaru Lab has developed teaching materials to improve children’s problem-solving skills and critical thinking. Their app Think! Think! was developed by visiting elementary schools and orphanages in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Laos for field tests, where the company’s personnel observed how children interacted with the platform. The app was fine-tuned until it was ready for launch. It is designed to encourage problem-solving among youngsters and develop users’ spatial recognition as well as logical and mathematical thinking.
According to a report from the Economic Intelligence Center, a unit of Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited, there are more than 500,000 students in Thailand that use tutoring centers and test prep courses, altogether generating THB 10 billion (USD 325 million) in annual revenue. Homegrown startup OpenDurian has developed test preparation materials and videos of online courses on subjects that are in high demand. It distributes the course notes for free, while charging for online courses that students can view anywhere, at any time.
“Early Stage” is a series where the writers of KrASIA highlight startups that caught our eye for the week, whether they achieved an important milestone, rolled out a truly innovative product, or became embroiled in controversy.