We are publishing an interview of Mr. Sunil Sathyavolu & Kiran J, Founders of EdSense.
About the founders
Education System in India, has been a topic of concern and discussion for ages, yet very little has been done for it. Almost every aspect of life today, has been modernized with changing technology, but something as critical as education stayed far from its shadows, still clinging to the same old arrangements that didn’t stay on par with the current generation’s needs. Although technology did make its way into schools, replacing blackboards with smart screens and note books with laptops, it failed to infiltrate into what really mattered – the several aspects of learning.
Having noticed the vast gap between the learnings offered and the learning potential available at large, We Kiran J Founder CEO, Sunil Sathyavolu Co Founder, Vijay Pothula Co Founder & Vivek C Co Founder from Hyderabad, Telangana, all holding several years of rich experience in technology domain, decided to bring about a change in this obsolete education system, that has been in a dire need for change, with our startup “EdSense”, an Educator’s digital strategy partner.
Give us a brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.
Kiran J – Founder & CEO a computer science graduate and a technology geek has over 15 yrs of vast experience in building such solutions in US. Kiran also wears a CTO not as a responsibility but as a passion.
Sunil Sathyavolu – Co Founder & an Ex-Microsoft is a computer science graduate & has Post Graduate Certification in Business Management from XLRI Jamshedpur bring a rich experience of Digital Supply Chain, Service Management & Business Development.
Vijay Pothula – Co Founder & a computer science graduate and holds a post graduation degree from Osmania University, has over 15 yrs of experience in Operational excellence, SDLC & Quality Assurance.
Vivek C – Co Founder a computer science graduate brings a rich project management experience with great deal of domain knowledge in Education Domain. Vivek has over 15 yrs of rich experience in building similar solutions.
List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles. How do you see them evolving over time?
Dr. Dakshayani Kanna – Phd – Academician – Harvest International School
Mrs.Sri Lakshmi Reddy – Founder Keystone International School
Dr.Vajra Kumar – Rtd School Principal
Dr. M Suman Roy – Phd, Psychology, MCP Educational Society
Dr. David Lamitina – PhD, Educational Data Scientist
Sridhar Muppidi – Founder, Education for Free, PurpleTalk
Sahana Rabindranath – Life Skill Expert
Madhuri Chaganti – Acadamecian
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Last year when I had to look for a good school for my kid, I inquired with friends & family, and everyone were referring to schools with large campuses, AC classrooms, GPS tracking, pass percentage etc but I did not get any input with regards to education which is the essense of an institution.
- I went to several schools to inquire as a parent and surprised to know that there are no digital record-keeping of student behaviors, personality, interests, strengths etc.
- In today’s scenario, students are getting randomized with a lot of supplemental education material to meet their academic goals, whereas the school is supposed to cater all learning needs. Ironically, the teachers do not know about the learning that happening outside of the classroom.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
Proof of Concept, Market Analysis and Resistance from educators on Technology entering in to mainstream education.
How did you get the initial capital? What returns does it have? Tell us about the investors (if any)
We got an undisclosed amount of Angel Investment.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
EdSense platform has many features which helps a school define & implement a digital strategy to incorporate new ways of teaching and learning for today’s generation of learners. We have a perfect mix of features that engage learners and educators in a single system.
- A lot of data collections from teachers, students and parents keep occuring in the system on which we apply our patented formulas leveraging cognitive services.
- Profiles not just limited to academics, but also Child phycologists, nutritionists, sport choaches, parents will all contribute in building a comprehensive learner profile with academic, behavioral, personality, nutrition, health, strengths, goals, interests details which helps in deeply understanding student’s learning perferences and pace.
- Research-backed psychometric tests are incorporated in the platform.
- Any teacher can know about a student immediately rather than observing them for 3-6 months.
- All this contibutes in building personlized learning paths for each student with appropriate content to unleash their true potential.
- This essentially builds a Transferable digital record of the learner.
The system provides educators to build & schedule digital curriculum and aggregate content from the internet that helps in student learning. New teaching concepts are being introduced like Flipped Classrooms and Learn-from-one-another to cut on student apprehensions and student taking more control over learning. Sharing of lesson plans & best practices of teaching is now possible within the entire school network.
- We give emphasis on teachers’ continuous professional development with courses to introduce new ways of teaching and managing their work.
- Auto-grading & tagging, relives teacher by going digital.
- Parents will be able to strike a meaningful conversation with thier child with access to tailor-made classroom material with parents in mind. They will be able to collaborate with schools in intervening in child behavior.
Administration of education by HOD, Coordinators, Prinicipals, Founders is far more easy now with all stakeholders being in a single system. They can monitor curriculum progress like never before and activities by students & teachers and guide them with proper process in recording the data on a regular basis and taking appropriate actions. Now, admins can also have a tab on data from all of their schools in the network. Compare performances, progress, get insights into special cases.
- All of this, with no software installation and no maintenance and no requirement for a computer for teachers & students. Data always stays secured with industry-standards like FERPA and HIPPA.
- The system is powered with congitive services which helps every stakeholder in their activities.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? *
Initial thought was EdSense would be well received by schools and teachers, but the parents and students also loving the platform equally
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
No focus on mainstream Education, no digitization to help teachers & Teachers and Schools are taken away from students with so much of supplemental content.
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Determination to bring change in education system, market understanding, technical expertise and hands on experience on sales & marketing function.
Pearson – MyPedia
What is the revenue model? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Subscription based revenue, this offers various packages depending up on volume and tenure.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
CBSE Schools in India, benefits mentioned above clearly.
How did you get your first customer?
Met few educators in EdTech Conference at Bengalore when we were at POC stage and now we are on boarding the product to them.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
We will be aggressively moving to Collages and Universities across india.
Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? What is the current turnover? (From Launching till date total no. of visitors on website/persons registered/enquiries and enrollment). Please explain in details:
We are not generating any revenue so far. all our customers are in pilot mode.
We have about 2000 students and 300 teachers and 8 schools in bengalore and hyderabad
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
50,000 Students under pain subscription model
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
You are Unique, build right team, identify right pain point – sky is the limit.
Any other information you would like to share:
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/edsense/
FB – EdSenseInd
Twitter – IndiaEdsense
Thanks. Best of luck!