The World Wide Web presents opportunities for education especially for children but in its vastness, there is a challenge to find appropriate and relevant data for your child. YoungCurrent founded by Mydhili Bayyapunedi aggregates child-safe news from across the internet and presents it to each child based on the child’s reading ability. Students can practice the vocabulary they learn here and receive weekly reports of their progress too. Mydhili is passionate about the effects of Technology on real world problem such as Education, creating global citizens and English language. We chat with Mydhili about the venture. An Excerpt from the Interview:
- What made you start your venture?
As part of my job, I worked with students after-school. A pattern I saw across students from IB schools to students at Government schools was that as the students went to higher grades, their curiosity levels completely dropped. They were focused on understanding their subject matter for the only for the purpose of doing well at exams. I realized we were preparing our children for the wrong things. Our children have to be prepared for a world of uncertainty and for jobs that have not yet been created. However, we are preparing them with skills that are outdated even for today.
- What has been the key to your business’s success?
We have made it a point to ‘follow the user.’ Looking back, we invested time and effort in prototyping, testing and reiterating the product’s market-fit, user-interface and validation in general before we started out to build the product.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
Education is a market that requires patient capital. This, we are told is in direct conflict with what most Indian Investors prefer. This is perhaps the hardest challenge you can throw at a growing startup because this make it hard to hire talent or raise funds. We do have a long way to go before claiming we have solved these problems but here’s what keeps us motivated. EdTech has an amazing amount of potential in the Indian Market. As a plus, if you solve a problem for the Indian Edu market, the solution has the potential of going global with very few tweaks. So when played right, EdTech has an enormous amount of potential. The space we are dealing in specifically is untouched in India. There are a few startups in the US getting into the space now. However, we are well on the road to a product that will compete efficiently with these products as of today.
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
We have three advisors on board. Praneet Koppula who advises on business strategy, Anenth Guru who advises us on Front end and Sandeep Bhaskar advising us on Backend and Tech assets in general. This is a superstar set of advisors as these are driven individuals who are here with the sole purpose of wanting to see YoungCurrent succeed. We are looking to have investors on board who will not just bring an investment but their connections and counsel to the table.
- Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Slack for team communications ToDoisto to keep tabs on the To Do list. And Trello.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
Customer Satisfaction: We are obsessed with making sure that our users see the immediate value of the product in their lives. For example, every week se send out the parent and student a progress report of the student wherein we highlight the top 10 words they learnt that week. The idea is to not only about encouraging them about spending more time on YoungCurrent, it is also to motivate them to use these words in their day to day communication with their parents and peers having a more real-world effect to their progress. Customer Expansion: Indian education scene is ready for innovation. The market size and the opportunities to grow are enough and more to keep an EdTech Entrepreneur to reach the scale they dream of. That said, since YoungCurrent has a global relevance, we would like to quickly scale in India before we move to global markets such as China and the US.
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Listening to users. Having an emotional connect with their problem and not your solution Being open to help and take help. Ability to see patterns that a very few else can see Visit their Website: http://www.youngcurrent.com/ Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YoungCurrent