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Bangalore and US-based edtech company, Springboard (formerly known as SlideRule), has raised $1.7 Mn (about INR 11.5 Cr.) in a seed round of funding.

This round saw participation from Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn; John Katzman, founder of The Princeton Review, 2U and The Noodle Companies; Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO of InMobi; Kartik Hosanagar, the Wharton School professor; 500 Startups, Blue Fog Capital and others.

The startup will utilize the raised capital to increase its capacity in currently sold-out courses, provide additional student services & support, and launch courses in new fields.

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Started in 2013 by Parul Gupta and Gautam Tambay as SlideRule, the startup offered search engine for online courses, however it pivoted from its model, to add a human element to learning – that increases accountability and effectiveness of courses. The company now helps millennials advance their careers through self-paced, mentored courses.

In these courses, each student gets access to an industry mentor, as well as a community of fellow students and alumni every week. Here, they get 1-on-1 video calls with mentors who work at tech firms such as Airbnb, Etsy, and LinkedIn, via 1-on-1 video calls.

This level of human interaction and accountability increases the effectiveness of online education significantly – Springboard sees a completion rate up to 10X higher than other traditional online courses.

Speaking on the development, Gautam Tambay, co-founder & CEO of Springboard said, “There is incredible demand for trained data scientists and UX designers, even as 45% of recent college grads are underemployed and struggle to find affordable, effective ways to learn career-related skills. We’re addressing these problems at Springboard by offering something truly impactful – an incredibly personalised education that doesn’t break the bank. Our approach of combining a project-heavy curriculum with 1-on-1 mentorship from industry experts creates accountability and ensures that our graduates are ready to thrive in the new economy.”

Springboard has grown its network of mentors to over 110 data science and design professionals over the past 12 months. These industry experts curate the curriculum for self-paced, project-oriented courses, with the end goal to produce a portfolio-worthy capstone project. Springboard alums have used portfolios created in the course to land jobs at IBM, Boeing and Reddit, among others.


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