“Creativity is the key to success in the future, and primary education is where teachers can bring creativity in children at that level.” These words from India’s ex-President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam may seem overly virtuous but, unfortunately, our current education system seems bent on going in the opposite direction. However, the three co-founders of Bengaluru-based, DIY robotics startup QtPi, are on a mission to teach children ‘how to think’ and not ‘what to think’.
“Today’s kids are in consumer mode. They have so many mobile apps and gadgets around them that we are never able to let them into the love of creating things. They have a really short attention span and it requires more effort to get them involved in using their own imagination to create things. Unfortunately, our education system also does not encourage these kinds of activities and more emphasis is laid on finishing the syllabus and imparting theoretical knowledge rather than giving the practical nuances,” said QtPi co-founder, Jasion Leon.
With the world swiftly moving towards automation, it is imperative to make the future generation ready with the skills required at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution. Thus, the QtPi founders are aiming to make them solve real problems and become entrepreneurs, rather than learning programming languages to find a job.
QtPi (pronounced as cutie pie, a term of endearment) was launched officially in November 2016 by the cousin brother duo of Anto Jerlin and Jaison Leon, along with Raghunath Are. Both Jaison and Raghunath are ex-veterans of Yahoo and Microsoft. The founders’ interest in areas such as AI, IoT, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and design and data analytics skills led them to build the foundation for QtPi.
Within a few months of being launched, the startup stands as a frontrunner amidst various homegrown as well as international players in the DIY robotics space. This includes names such as Lego, MakeBlock, Sphero, Bibox Tern, Electron Blocks, Electro Bricks, Titanbots and more.
QtPi was recently selected in the first cohort of DesignGild, a Pune-based, design-led accelerator, for a six-month intensive programme. It was also part of Innofest (now InnoNation) 2016 which actually ended up with QtPi registering as a private company.