Meet the 4 Indian Startups Competing for the Next Billion EdTech Prize in Dubai

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Four Indian e-learning and education technology startups are among the 30 global finalists competing in this year’s Next Billion Edtech Prize. EdTech recognizes the most outstanding and innovative exploits of technology that have the potential to make a drastic impact on education in low income and emerging countries.

Indian startups Augmented Reality, Aveti Learning, Utter, and Dost were selected to compete for the Next Billion EdTech prize. They will be competing in a pitch contest at the annual Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) 2019 in Dubai on the 22-24 of March 2019. GESF holds over 1500 delegates from around the globe with one ultimate aim- to solve the most vital world issues concerning education. The forum culminates in the awarding of the Next Billion EdTech Prize and the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize. The best three will be awarded USD 25,000 each and the winner will bring home the Next Billion Prize trophy.

Among the 30 startups, six will be chosen to return to the main GESF stage for the grand final in front of the judges and a live audience. At GESF, the finalists will have the opportunity to meet the most prominent and important from the world of both education and technology. While at the forum, the delegates will get the chance to know venture capitalists, education ministers, foundations, academics and some of the world-renowned best teachers. They will be able to showcase their expertise and support to build products that will be useful not only at the pitch competition but also in classrooms.

The Next Billion Award was created to remind the world that there are still a billion young people that cannot afford education. "Falling mobile data prices and high mobile penetration are opening up opportunities for mobile learning that can reach even the most disadvantaged students, and the online learning market alone is set to hit USD 2 billion by 2021.

Our four Indian finalists are part of this wave of innovation, and we're excited to hear their stories come March," said CEO Vikas Pota of Tmrw Digital which runs the Next Billion Prize.

"There's no doubt India is set to be a leading player on the global EdTech stage, with innovation currently sweeping across its education sector,” he added.

Get to know more of the 4 EdTech Startups in India that made it to the final 30

Augmented Learning has a digital platform that develops the skills and competencies that streams daily of current affairs and customized areas that fit the individual’s interest, integrating adjustable reading levels and interactive activities.

Aveti Learning Limited is reaching out to thousands of young people in villages and slums of India. Shikhya is the flagship program of Aveti Learning Limited that offers Grade 1 to 10 students alternative educational resources. The startup aspires to bring world-class high-quality digital education to rural and less privileged students in India. There are 64 Shikhya e-learning centers that cater over 4000+ students in Eastern India.

Utter is the world's first mobile platform that combines chatbots and live-tutoring for training in English and Workplace Skills, made for students and digital blue collar workers. The platform has made an impact to over 500, 000 learners so far.

Dost Education aspires to get every child ready for school in India. The startup is working to empower the parents to be equipped with the education needed to take charge of their child’s early education through audio content.

"The Next Billion Prize was created to shine a light on those gifted entrepreneurs that are not only ingenious but also bold and persistent enough to bring forward the revolutionary ideas that are desperately needed to transform education in those parts of the world where there is limited access to high-quality teaching," Pota added.

"The Next Billion Prize highlights technology's potential to tackle the problems that have proven too difficult for successive generations of politicians to solve," said Sunny Varkey, founder of the Next Billion Prize. "The power to change education systems at all levels no longer lies exclusively in the hands of the political and business elite through the traditional models of global policymaking. Changemakers can be those who work away from the spotlight in start-ups located across the world," he added.

In March, the Varkey Foundation will announce the winner of the 2019 Next Billion EdTech Prize.