EDUGILD is a Pune based accelerator specifically focused on the EdTech space. EDUGILD offers an extensive 16 weeks mentorship and product realization program for any startup across the world in the EdTech space. Any startup with creative technology based solutions in the field of EdTech will be provided with required infrastructure to operate, seed funding options, access to mentors, SMEs, Institutional Partners and PE & VC Network.
EDUGILD is working with the vision of being a catalyst for creating tech based startups in education space that can provide applications for the future generations.
The MIT Group of Institutions is a well known name in the education space in India. Dr. Sunil Karad is the Executive Director & Trustee at The MIT Group of Institutions, Pune, India, and in January 2013, came up with a core team to understand how they could make an impact through technology in the education space other than brick and mortar education system. While the team was looking for opportunities, they realized how top universities across the world have accelerators that help startups scale their businesses which also leads to a lot of job creation close to the university.
The MIT Group of Institutions has been working in the education space and has an experience of more than 31 years of operating in this field. This has given the MIT Group a huge amount of knowledge base in the field and also a huge network of mentors, peers and customers who might be interested in EdTech products. Therefore, starting an accelerator in the EdTech seemed like the most logical next step to make the kind of social impact in the education space through technology that Mr. Karad had envisioned.
Mr. Rishi Kapal is the CEO of EDUGILD India. EDUGILD plans to empower startups by providing infrastructure, seed funding, access to mentors, SMEs, institutional partners who might be interested in becoming first customers and PE & VC Networks.
“Typically startups will be ready for EDUGILD when fundamental research, concept development and initial feasibility have been completed. Startups will received a SEED fund of 15,00,000 INR at the beginning of the 16 week in residence mentorship program in return for a small equity stake in the company,” Mr Kapal told Techstory during an interview.
“The rate of survival of a startup beyond a year is really low and we believe that the failure of startups is a reflection of failure of the ecosystem to support this space. 20 to 30 percent of the startups today are in the EdTech space and we really want to see a lot more EdTech startups becoming bigger and creating a social impact,” Mr Kapal added.
One of the basic assumptions about EdTech space right now is that EdTech is all about making education available online. EDUGILD is keen on breaking this stereotype and wants to see lot more innovative products using IoT or AI technology being built in the education space.
And what is it that makes EGUGILD the hottest accelerator for EdTech startups ? “The biggest advantage that we bring to startups besides the funding and the infrastructure of course is a huge experience in the education space and institutional partners. Our tie up with institutional partners assures startups that they have easy access to their “first customers” thereby making the process of first sale and getting into the market much easier,” says Rishi.
EDUGILD was officially launched in June 2015 at the EdTech Europe Summit in London.
The first batch of EDUGILD will start in January of 2016 and applications are open at this point of time. EDUGILD started accepting applications from the 5th of September 2015 and has already received more than 125 applications. The applications will close on the 5th of November 2015. The first batch will run for 4 months and second batch is expected to start in August 2016.
EDUGILD is also one of the accelerators participating in Global EdTech Startup Awards 2015 which has 7 accelerators (accelerators from Israel, Spain, UK, NY, Columbia and India) participating. Each accelerator is expected to send 2 startup entries each who will then compete with startups on a global scale.
After doing a thorough ground work for for 2 years, EDUGILD finally decided to set up base in Pune. “Pune scores extremely well on a number of parameters that impact the EdTech space,” says Rishi.
Pune is home to some of the best educational institutions in India. People who understand EdTech space live in and operate from Pune. Being home to a number of educational intuitions, it gives easy access to “first customers” when it comes to EdTech startups. A number of products in the EdTech space are currently also being tested in educational institutions in Pune. Pune also has a lot of tech talent available which makes it much easier for technology startups to find the right talent.
Being an educational hub, Pune sees talent coming from throughout India to Pune to get some of the best education in the country thereby giving the city a huge diverse talent with different perspectives. The connectivity and vicinity of Pune to Mumbai and the lower cost of living makes the city a hot destination for startups to set up a base.
EDUGILD currently has 51 mentors on board, 20+ institutional partners and 10 + investor partners.The company plans to help 100 to 120 companies in the next 3 years through this accelerator program.