EdTechReview has been extensively covering interesting players and cutting edge developments in Education Technology. In our quest to review every EdTech in the world, today we would like to present to you an EdTech startup called "Teer Design" who have come up with the product called "Classalyze".
1. What would be an elevator pitch for someone who does not know about your company?
Our company, Teer Design has developed an online platform for schools called Classalyze that tracks & analyses assessment data to improve performance.
Our visual dashboards display information at the click of a button, which help:
- Teachers identify strengths & weaknesses in the classroom, and plan future lessons accordingly. They no longer have to spend hours entering marks into report cards.
- Principals manage performance across classes, and evaluate & review teacher effectiveness.
- Parents receive continuous feedback on their child’s progress.
2. What is your company's core value proposition? What problem are you solving and for whom?
Data driven instruction is the practice of tailoring classroom instruction based on feedback gained from analyzing assessment results. In order to identify learning gaps and improve instruction accordingly, teachers need easy access to information to make objective decisions. School leaders rely on this information to hold their teachers accountable and drive improvements.
Currently, all of that information exists offline and is not systematically accessed or analyzed. Classalyze provides an easy & efficient means to track & analyze data in the form of an affordable solution.
3. What has been the market response till now? How do you plan to check on the user satisfaction?
We are just launching our product in the market for the upcoming academic year. Thus far, we have conducted pilot projects in schools in the Delhi/NCR region, which have received positive response. We are confident of getting at least 5-10 schools to use our product for their scholastic analysis & reporting needs in this calendar year.
Through the course of the year, we will collect feedback from the user to drive future iterations of product development. This would include (but not be limited to) the following:
- Ease of use
- Effectiveness of analysis
- Impact on future instruction & planning
4. What inspired the idea of Classalyze? What is the driving passion for this company? What is your vision?
Our own experience within the education system drove us to quit our jobs to start Classalyze. We observed that students were often reduced to a number, which served to reward or penalize. There was no concerted effort to analyze assessment results as a means of feedback, be it for the teacher or the school. Schools stand to improve learning if they make informed decisions based on data.
In the larger scheme of things, we found that the quality of tech products in the country left a lot to be desired. We set up Teer Design to create innovative products that would impact society, positively. Our focus is on crafting well-designed & utilitarian products, which influence behaviour & process.
5. What is the stage of the product? Where do you see Classalyze in 6 or 12 or 18 months from now?
The first release of Classalyze will be rolled out within the next month. As mentioned earlier, we would want the product to be in use in 10 schools by the end of the year. In this early adoption phase, we will be providing training & support to create a culture for data driven instruction/decision making. Based on the feedback from users, advanced analytics features would be rolled out. We would seek funding thereafter to grow our team to scale & to expand our portfolio of services. 3rd party assessments in particular, are an area of interest.
6. What is the biggest need for your company at this point of time?
The biggest need for our company at this point in time is market access. Principals in this sector are flooded with sub-standard tech products, because of which it’s difficult to get an audience with them. Our conversion rate has been very high, but the first barrier needs to be crossed.
7. What are your views about the growth of the Education Technology industry in India?
We feel the Education Technology industry is poised to make a significant impact in the years to come. There are a number of promising startups experimenting with different solutions. However, there are a lot of structural issues that need to be addressed first – infrastructure, teacher capacity & even government regulations. Startups that can effectively deliver a solution at scale will be few, but we are confident the numbers will increase over time. Effective implementation is the key.
8. Tell us about your team, who do you have supporting you? How did this start?
The team has the necessary mix of technical & commercial expertise to deliver Classalyze effectively. Rahul Joseph is an undergrad in Maths from St. Stephen’s college & an M.B.A from IIM Lucknow. He has spent 4+ years advising corporations on how best to optimize their supply chains and manage performance within these structures. Nikhil Swaminathan graduated from the university of Waterloo’s Computer Engineering program, and has worked for 5 years in Toronto in the mobile industry building Google Android smartphones. We quit our jobs overseas, and moved back to start Teer Design from scratch in 2013. This involved dipping into our savings, moving back in with our parents & operating out of our basement – but we have come a long way since then. We were placed 3rd nationwide in the PALF-Village Capital Edupreneurs program narrowly missing out on $75,000 in funding. We also receive support from NASSCOM as one of the shortlisted startups in their “10,000 startups” initiative.
9. What/Who motivates you? Any thought leader or companies with innovation which you follow for success? (whether in the EdTech space or in general)
Companies that have built innovative, well designed, simple to use products to scale inspire us. Beyond giants like Apple & Google, we also look to products such as Trello, Sketch for ideas. In the EdTech space globally, we are following Knewton & Khan Academy closely. Closer home, Educational Initiatives have done some phenomenal work in assessing students across the country over the last decade.
In the broader field of education, we draw our inspiration from the likes of Ken Robinson, Richard Gerver & Salman Khan among others.
10. What are the biggest challenges of your Edtech startup?
Gaining access to decision makers in schools is particularly difficult, and sales cycles are long. Teachers, who are overburdened with administrative work, are initially resistant to most tech solutions & require a fair bit of handholding. With multiple solutions being offered, schools often demand a unified product that solves all of their problems at once. The efficacy of our solution depends on the quality of data inputted into the system, which needs to be closely monitored.
11. Who would you call your competitors? And how are you different?
Our competitors (that we know of) include existing ERP solutions, & startups such as Learning Outcomes & Report Bee. Unlike traditional solutions, our offering also analyzes & visually represents assessment data to the end user. We are also differentiated from our peers, in our ability to analyze this data at a more granular level i.e. by topic, concept. Beyond the classroom, our product is also positioned towards school leaders as a decision making tool.
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