Impact investor company Gray Matters Capital has selected eight startups for the first cohort of its accelerator program, GMC Calibrator.
These startups are selected on basis of parameters such as vision articulation; potential to address problems at scale; potential to be disruptive; team quality; scope for impact in terms of gender and affordability; and the suitability of the mobile app for the GMC Calibrator.
Launched in April this year, GMC Calibrator is focused on improving learning outcomes via better “User Engagement Design” of mobile apps of enterprises in the ‘Learning to Earning” space.
The six-month blended zero-equity accelerator programme aims to work towards its mission of reaching one million users by 2020, of which 50% will be women and girls.
Commenting on the development, Ragini Chaudhary, India CEO, Gray Matters Capital said, “We are betting on the mobile apps of these eight organisations to help change the education and skilling paradigm as well as bridge gender gaps in education and workplace participation in India.”
Meet The Eight Startups From The First Cohort of GMC Calibrator
Laqsh Job Skills Academy: Bengaluru-based Laqsh Job Skills Academy was founded in 2008 by Revathi Kasturi. The for-profit startup offers vocational training for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Working with the National Skills Development Corporation, LAQSH offers skills training in IT, ITes, retail etc. It delivers vocational education to students from 469 schools across 11 states.
MadGuy Labs: The Hyderabad-headquartered MadGuy Labs was founded in 2014 by Alok Katiyar. The for-profit startup brings offline coaching services online and is mainly utilised for government job exam preparations in vernacular languages. It recently launched Preparation Tracker and Integrated Job Eligibility Engine etc. It currently boasts of 4027 paid users on its platform.
Meghshala: Bengaluru-based Meghshala was founded in 2013 by Jyoti Thyagarajan. Using a combination of curriculum, technology, and mentorship, Meghshala aims to meet the urgent need for quality education in India, keeping teachers a necessary focus. Meghshala’s content of over 2,500 teachkits is used by more than 16,000 users across India.
Million Sparks Foundation: The Noida-headquartered Million sparks foundation was founded in 2015 by Abhinav Mathur and envisions to give every child access to great teachers. To this end, it’s building a mobile-centred platform that focuses on teacher capacity building. It has also built a mobile-centred platform called ChalkLit, which allows synergistic partnerships with NGOs, training organisations, and governments.
Multibhashi: Bengaluru-based Multibhashi was founded in 2016 by Anuradha Agarwal. The for-profit startup is working to Upskill the Blue Collar workers in English. The product is an interactive audio-visual journey for the learner where the user gets to work on his/her reading, listening and speaking skills with least focus on writing.
Ockypocky (WhizKidz Media Pvt. Ltd): Gurugram headquartered Ocky pocky was founded in 2015 by Amit Agrawal. The for-profit startup aims to provide kids with fun, safe and engaging videos by equating their emotions with the real world, at the same time, facilitating brain development and skill development by taking advantage of kids’ natural desire to learn.
Sarkari Pariksha (Graposs Edutech): Delhi headquartered Sarkari Pariksha was founded in 2011 and is an online test preparation platform that is available on the web and mobile formats. The service provides test prep for over 60 Central and State level exams in Hindi and English languages.
Stones2Milestones: Gurugram-based Stones2Milestones was founded in 2008. The startup is on a mission to ‘Create a Nation of Readers’, by providing diagnostic, affordable, research-based and intuitive reading and literacy solutions for schools, teachers & parents, which are systematic, culturally relevant and age-appropriate.
GMC Calibrator: What’s In It For The Selected Startups?
GMC Calibrator aims to focus on the behavioural understanding of users leading to product tweaks that improve learner engagement.
The accelerator programme will also provide support to the product strategy, monetisation, optimization, distribution and user testing.
The Accelerator Programme will start in Bengaluru from June 20, 2018, with the cohort members getting mentorship and engaging in one-on-one workshops in the areas of behavioural design, mobile product strategy, monetization and product optimisation.
Raj Lalwani (Monetisation Lead – Ola Play, ANI Technologies), Siddharth Mathur (Founder & CEO, Fastah) and Vishalini Paliwal (Senior Director, Product Manager, MindTickle) are some of the mentors besides experts from partner organisations such as Worldwide Academia Industry Network (WAIN) and Final Mile Consulting which the cohort will have access to during the programme.
GMC has been an active investor in the Indian startup community. It also backs Bengaluru-based education-focused VC fund CBA Capital. The number of mobile internet users in India is estimated to touch 478 million by June 2018, however, only 30% of this user base is women.
In such times, the initiatives like GMC Calibrator are certainly the need of the hour. To what extent these eight startups can help Gray Matters Capital fulfil its mission will be something to watch out for.