Academicians, CEOs and entrepreneurs join hands to build edutech startup Edbrix for collaborative online learning
The number of edutech startups in the country is simply mind boggling. From April 2000 to January 2015, the FDI flow into the education sector was close to USD 1,071.15 million. The India Brand Equity Foundation suggests that India is looking to have close to 500 million skilled workers by 2022. However, the founders at Edbrix felt that the current edutech platforms were lacking a few things. Looking at the gap, they decided to build a core education platform that had a universal sign-on using Microsoft and Google.
Edbrix has a unique integration API capability that brings effective collaboration and communication among all stakeholders. It also provides a single-click broadcast and record capability.
What does it do?
Ashutosh Parab, who Co-founded Edbrix with Sathish Manduva says the company offers study group creation for online collaboration communication. This means even if the students are not in the classroom, they can still participate and communicate with their classmates virtually. The open XML and APIs allow users to connect with thousands of educational apps.
He says, “Our Proprietary Notes Generation Module for Edbrix allows students to create notes with a single click. Students can highlight topics allowing our advanced search engine tools to find the best videos, articles, and questions/answers to provide a better and more in-depth understanding of the subject matter.”
Solving the problem areas
Students were finding it difficult to log in to multiple systems. Most schools were using Google for education drive and email service. The teachers were using other applications for curriculum and assignments. There was no single system for students to access this information, leading to confusion, missed assignments and homework.
Edbrix is an interactive and collaborative learning platform for education and corporate training sectors. Ashutosh says that Edbrix also has the features found in other platforms.
“We have development partnerships with Google and Microsoft and have developed unique API connections and proprietary codes for interacting with Google apps and services. Our developers are technically equipped to understand the dynamics and changes in Google services to implement and integrate into the Edbrix platform,” he adds.
Backgrounds and team building
Ashutosh has international experience in the educational market from the Middle East, Africa and United States. He also has experience in building various products in the past, from conceptualision and designing to packaging. He started exploring the right development team for this product. Satish Manduva has been the CEO of Intellisoft Technology and one of first persons to introduce private IT-software-employment-focussed education programme in Dallas-Forth Worth in 1997.
“Ganesh Chaudhari is working with us for different projects. His technical knowledge and problem solving skills help us build this platform with the right team in place,” adds Ashutosh.
When the platform was ready to be introduced to schools, the team contacted Robert P. Mendoza, who has over 30 years of experience in building many organisations and successful businesses in the US.
Sourabh Mishra joined as the Director, Operations. He is a graduate from IIT Varanasi as a Bachelor of Technology, and was awarded a PhD in Materials Science from University of Alabama. He has also obtained an MBA in General Management from University of Texas, Austin.
Growth and traction
The company launched the first version in May 2015. The Academy of Dallas has decided to work with them to run a pilot programme for over 500 students. The Bridge Builder Academy, USA, a school for students with special needs, is planning to use the Edbrix platform for online scheduling and collaborative communication.
“We are implementing for 50 students. We have set up five agents for cold-calling 98,000 schools in the United States,” says Ashutosh.
The product development and testing is done in India from their development centres at Kolhapur, Chennai and Hyderabad. Currently, they have a team of five employees actively involved in the development of Edbrix platform. The plan is to have 100 employees in development, quality control and support.
Satish has invested around USD 2,15,000 in Edbrix. “We are looking for the next step of funding to take this production nationally as well internationally. We are planning to set up a non-profit site www.edbrix.org, where schools could post requirements for software and hardware or any other need for their support,” Ashutosh adds.
Vedantu, Simplilearn, Toppr, Iprof, Meritnation, Talentedge and embibe.com among others are some of the names in the segment which have been using aforementioned education methods and technologies to reach a wider audience. In the past two years, these platforms have shown enormous growth and have been able to draw investor interest as well.