Clearly, technology is transforming every industrial sector from health to finance to education.
And it's STEM education which is reshaping the entire scenario of education sector and has therefore gained a momentum. Predictions are that STEM or STEAM education is the future of many jobs as it will create leaders who are not going to be job seekers but job creators too. They are workers who can code, design, who can resolve challenges, innovate and take up steady steps.
Our team recently visited Hong Kong and interviewed some regional players. What we found good about the market is that the idea of such promotions of STEM learning is to encourage student to get involved into scientific based learning right from the elementary schooling level. For the educators and parents too, such information help them guide the students to acquire true STEM education that helps them move confidently from school to further study and channelize their talent on resolving challenges of the future. When students get involved into high quality research innovations, they come up with solutions which will save lives, answer both social and environmental imperatives, enhance the economic productivity and growth levels and in turn create jobs for the future ready students.
In one of the interviews, we covered the young team (Kwan Cheung Leung & James) at TURNED-E to discover their journey and see how they see the potential of STEAM learning in Hong Kong and beyond.
What would be an elevator pitch for someone who does not know about TURNED-E?
We provide all-rounded STEAM Education to students in primary and secondary schools. Hong Kong is a base for us and we target China as well. We focus on Robotic Education, such as Mbot, Lego, Micro:bit, those are the famous tools in Robotic Education.
What is your company's core value proposition? What problem are you solving and for whom?
We believe that the skills of coding will become one of the basic techniques for everyone in a new generation. Programming should not be dominated by male and every student should know more about it because it is a new language in the world.
In Asia, STEM courses are too reductive and heavily rely on one or two kinds of products. Students should learn more about the use of different hardware or applications. Therefore, we divided our courses into five levels which include basic programming skills, hardware processing and artificial intelligence.
The over-reliance on Financial sector affect the STEM development in Hong Kong. The support on STEM Education is insufficient as technology innovation is not important in Hong Kong. To raise the awareness in Hong Kong, our courses is highly related to daily life application and stimulate student’s potential. Student can have a taste of being an engineer during the courses and our courses are useful for their career development.
Tell us about your young team, who do you have supporting you? How did this start?
TURNED-E! formed with a team of four. Alex, James, Ken and Alexander. We formed a team with expert in Education, Business management & Marketing, Programming and Computer Science. With the support from HKUST Entrepreneurship Center - Entrepreneurship Acceleration Fund, we start our business with some R&D project to innovate the smart home courses that suitable for primary and secondary students.
Where do you see your company in 12 or 18 months from now?
Milestones – All-round STEM Service, i.e Robotic Education, Science Education, Big data, IoT and artificial intelligence.
Team size – 10 people, designer, Customer Service, course coordinator, Marketing & PR
Potential growth – HK STEM Service (around 50 courses in HK)
Mainland (around 50 course in mainland)
SEN service ( STEM x Speech Therapy)
Revenue targets – 2 million per year
What is the biggest need for your edtech startup?
Market access – Platform to reach primary and secondary school teachers. We also need funding to do R&D on new Education products.
What are your views about the growth of edtech industry in Asia?
Edtech industry in Asia is just a starting period. We need to study from foreign countries, not only the course materials or hardware platform, but also the teaching method and objectives. In Asia, we focus on practice rather than creating something special. If we want to be one of the innovator in the world, we need to change our mindset starting from Education.
What are some of the challenges and opportunities you see in the Hong Kong market?
Low public awareness and government support on STEM Education is definitely the major challenges in Hong Kong. However, most of parents in Hong Kong are willing to pay on education expenses. Therefore, children get many changes to explore on different areas.
What/Who motivates you? Any thought leader or companies with innovation which you follow for success? Whether in the EdTech space or in general?
The education environment in Hong Kong motivates us. Hong Kong definitely needs talents in STEM so as to develop cutting-edge technologies. We aim to provide high quality STEM courses and more youngsters can jump into science or engineering field.
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