AY16/17 Sem 2 Week 2: Ed-Tech for Startups
On 18 Jan, N-house hosted Payal, founder of Motivated Tech, and Lionel, founder of Immersively at VentureLab, to discuss on Ed Tech for Startups.
Payal started by describing what got her inspired to be an entrepreneur. Having done exceptionally well in her high school, Payal was accepted into law school, towards her dream of being a lawyer. A few days into law school, however, Payal felt that law was not a right fit for her. She quitted law school, and started her first venture, Tutor Connect, a platform for students to seek affordable and good tutors. Though the project did not take off, her initiative drew the attention of numerous entrepreneurship fellowships and organisations, such as the prestigious Thiel Fellowship.
Next, Payal shared various experiences since joining the Fellowship. She started Pash, a lifestyle sweatshirt brand aimed to undercut the major brands in the market. She also enrolled into Yale-NUS College, and participated in NUS Overseas College (Israel). These experiences built her perspectives and enhanced her exposure to entrepreneurship. With these lessons, she started her current company, Motivated Tech.
Motivated Tech targets the self-improvement market. Currently many massive open online course (MOOC) course are available. However, due to the lack of engagement of content materials, and the misfit of difficulty level, many could not complete the course that they started. Motivated Tech approached this problem by grouping MOOC students into small clusters. Via active group discussions and setting achievable milestones, participants can keep track of one another’s milestones. Through community engagement, Payal hoped to reduce the dropout rate of MOOC courses.
Next, Lionel presented on his motivation to jump into Ed-Tech.
Previously, Lionel worked in Mediacorp as a content creator. During this time, he produced films that engaged Singaporeans to singapore. As the hype in Virtual Reality (VR) caught on, Lionel developed an interest in this area. Then, the VR ecosystem was still in its infancy. Despite so, Lionel saw the potential of VR in presenting engaging content. Soon, he quitted his job, and pursued further studies in VR.
Lionel shared some the technology he learnt in the course, including Augmented technology and the concept of 360 degree spheric. As well as the school projects he had done with virtual reality.
However, the acquisition of Oculus by Facebook confirmed his belief that Virtual Reality would be significant in the future. With his experience in creating 360 videos in his school projects, and his network in Singapore’s entertainment industry, he started, Immersively, a 360 video content start-up.
Lionel shared how Immersively’s first client, Singapore Space and Technology Association introduced the company into the Ed-tech space. Immersively was invited to set up a vitrtual reality booth for Singapore Space Challenge organised by Singapore Space and Technology Association and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). As the effect of virtual animation was indeed very immersive, Immersively’s booth drew a large audience of children. The popular reception showed Lionel the potential of VR in Ed-tech.
Riding on the traction by Singapore Space Challenge, Lionel created more educational content for various clients and partners. In addition, he also spin off a subsidiary brand (EduVR) to focus on delivering educational VR contents to children.
After each speaker presented on the experience, questions were opened to the floor. The audience had a great time voicing their doubts to the speakers.
All in all, it was an informative session for all participants!