The Edtech startup ecosystem in Kerala has been flourishing amid the pandemic and the sector is poised to witness a massive growth in the coming years, going by the success stories presented at a panel discussion held as part of Techspectations Educate 2021, Manoramaonline's flagship digital summit. Kick-starting the discussion on Edtech startup ecosystem in Kerala, John M Thomas, CEO, Infopark Kerala and Kerala Startup Mission, said online education and ed-tech became part of the mainstream after the pandemic struck.
The National Education Policy 2020 will bring more opportunities for ed-tech startups in the future with online education for school curricula is poised for a 600 per cent jump in the next three years, he predicted.
He pointed out that Kerala is home to 200 Edtech startups and the sector has been witnessing a massive surge.
Thomas also noted Kerala has a huge potential in ed-tech sector with its achievements in the traditional education sector.
“Opportunities exist in the segment. And opportunity brings competition. If we get some fundamental approaches right, we should be able to translate our traditional strength in the education sector into a strong Edtech sector,” he said.
“Regions such as Africa or Middle East should be potential market for Edtech startups,” he said.
Speaking from the perspective of an ecosystem provider, Thomas said the Startup Mission has been providing early stage funding and infrastructure support, niche technical expertise and mentorship to startups.
Thomas' claims were validated by most of the other panellists.
Shery S Kurian, CEO, Tutorcomp, said the seed money provided by the Startup Mission offered huge support to him. “It's actually big money. It's all about how we utilise the funds. Startup mission has been doing a great job in mentoring and advising us on utilising the money,” he said.
He also narrated how his company got a Dubai contract, boosting its confidence.
Muhammed Rashid, Founder & CEO, Codesap Technologies LLP, echoed Kurian's views about Startup Mission's support. He said Kerala's startup mission has been more supportive compared to other states.
Codesap Technologies aims to become a unicorn in a few years, he said. Saiju Aravind, Founder & CEO, EduBrisk, narrated his Edtech entrepreneurship journey after quitting defence services.
"The realisation that technology is very much required to make an inclusive and brain-friendly learning that prompted me to launch the firm," Saiju said.
He called for some kind of a protective system to startup employees in case of failures. “Empathy for entrepreneurs must be there in the ecosystem,” he said.
Joyal Joseph Joy, Founder, Teacherind, apparently the youngest among the panellists, briefed the participants about the evolution of his venture and immediate plans.
Pointing out a serious flaw in the education system, he said the school syllabus have not been updated with the advancements in technology and as a result students face a lot of troubles when they join colleges. Joseph said his company was focussing on imparting peer-to-peer interaction that would bridge the gaps in tech education.