Admissions is one of the processes for educational institutions and parents that can be simplified and made easier with the help of technology.
We have been covering several edtech startups trying hard to fix this admission piece of the ecosystem in a modern way. Out of the various startups, EdTechReview's most recent conversation was with SchoolGully Founders - Anshul Mittal and Pankhuri Agarwal. Here's where they have reached in their edtech journey!
1. What would be an elevator pitch for someone who does not know about your product?
Parents running around to various schools, utter confusion and chaos are characteristics of school admission process. This chaos is caused due to incomplete/ incorrect information and numerous admission criteria. We at schoolgully.com take the hassle out of admissions by providing this information in an organized easy to access manner and providing a criteria checker on our web platform www.schoolgully.com.
2. What is your company's core value proposition? What problem are you solving and for whom?
Our services are targeted at the parents of young children seeking school admissions. We aim to simplify the admission process for them and make it more informative. We have researched the reason for the chaos during admissions. 95% of it is caused because parents do not possess complete information and are therefore unable to plan their work efficiently. Schoolgully.com provides the information and resources to plan for example, our criteria checker functionality enables parents identify schools that they have a good chance of gaining admission in. The system is self learning and correcting. It works in a crowd sourced fashion, where more the user checks, better it gets. We also have a platform where parents can collaborate with one another to get admission forms or news.
3. How do you plan to check on the user satisfaction?
We have a number of mechanisms to capture user satisfaction. Bounce rate and duration of stay of our readers are good primary indicators. We also receive comments on our pages and blog where readers request information or give feedback, this shows engagement. We have built various forms and checkpoints into the website which capture user interaction. We also take our Social Media presence very seriously and consider it a medium to interact with our readers.
4. What is the driving passion, why are you passionate about this product? What is your vision?
The reason we started with Schoolgully was because we saw we have ecommerce platform for every small product, directory for restaurants, businesses and places. But when it comes to Schools, there were hardly any. Most of them if any were half baked solutions. There is a dire need to unify the admission process, reform our education system and make school admissions a less of nightmare for parents. There is a dire need to help parents narrow their focus, make informative decisions and channelize their efforts in right direction. We understand the pain as we did our schooling from top schools in Delhi. Anshul studied from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya and Pankhuri did her schooling at St. Thomas. And we realize how confusing and exhausting it was for our parents and the satisfaction on their face when we made through. Today we have the technology that can help us eliminate the guesswork and make the process more transparent. It is up to us to make the best of it.
5. What is the stage of the product? Where do you see your company in 12 or 18 months from now?
Product is developed and Schoolgully has been launched. We are reaching out to parent to get their feedback. Over the next 2 years we plan to get more and more parents onboard so they can experience the power of this crowd-sourced platform. We plan to introduce more analytics with time to to cut down a lot of hassle and make the system more transparent for parents. They wont be missing any admission dates, and would not have to run around to get information. We plan to team up with schools and introduce a unified admission platform within a year. With more funding we are looking at expanding team and acquire more resources.
6. What is the biggest need for your startup?
Right now, we need funding and outreach. Our product has the capability to help millions of people and save a lot of time, but it cannot do that if people are not aware of it. With more funding we are looking to expand our team , collect more in depth data about the schools, expand to more cities and assist parents in a more informed and personal way .
7. What are your views about the growth of education technology industry?
Education is a basic necessity for every individual and in the busy life of today we need solutions that can simplify the education without compromising on quality. This is where technology comes in. Due to the large scale of education industry and the latest trends in technology, I believe the Edtech industry is has an enormous scope for growth.With the evolution of online communications technology for eg. webRTC protocols, e-learning platforms are getting more effective. The ever expanding learning options and more challenging careers and increased focus on application ed tech definitely has a very bright future and it is one of the fastest evolving vertical.
8. Tell us about your team, who do you have supporting you? How did this start?
We are two co founders sharing a same dream. Anshul is a technology guy and is solely responsible for the technology part. He has vast experience in software technology and is a very motivated and passion driven personality. Pankhuri handles the data and business operations and the rest of the team. We both complement each others. We have a team of interns assisting us with blogs and inbound marketing. Overall it is a small but very impactful team.
9. What/Who motivates you? Any thought leader or companies with innovation which you follow for success?
Google is doing a fantastic role in making our life much more a dream. It is a perfect example of how technology can help in managing and distributing information. It is hard to imagine the world without Google today, all within 16 years. Larry Page and Sergey Brin made Google a verb today. Their ideas and approach are extremely inspirational, progressive and impactful.
10. Who would you call your competitors? And how are you different?
Our competitors are unable to answer the basic question that every parent needs “what are my chances of getting into this school”. A new parent has no idea of admission process or the complicated school criteria. We hand lead the parents to calculate their chances of getting in a particular school. Show them recommended schools based on ratings. Make them aware of the documents required and alert them of the approaching school admission dates. We have a very easy and intuitive UI. We are enabling the parents to do their work in a better and more organized way. We are trying to strengthen the parental community.
11. What are the biggest challenges of your edtech startup?
The biggest challenge has been making parents aware of our products so they can take benefit from our services. Being a self-learning platform, with more and more parents this is bound to get better and more accurate for future parents ! We are also trying to reach out to the schools and get them onboard under uniform admission process. It is a bit of challenge due to the current structure but it is doable.
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