Edupreneur Village Fund Hosts The Final Battle, Successfully in Delhi, with 50+ Investors & 350+ Attendees

On 31st August at The Leela Ambience Hotel Delhi, Edupreneur Village Fund, hosted India’s first-of-its-kind live EdTech investment event: The Final Battle. Modelled on the lines of Shark Tank, the popular American Business Reality TV series, it had 12 super curated early-stage Ed-Tech Startups, finalized from 1100+ Investment Applications.

On the day of The Final Battle, the finalists pitched for investment in front of 50+ Investors, as well as 350+ EdTech industry participants and startup enthusiasts who witnessed the event.

The Final Battle followed the Edupreneur Village Challenge, which took place during Oct to Dec 2018. The Challenge was launched by the Edupreneur Village Fund, and received more than  11,000  registrations  and  1100+  investment  applications.  A  thorough  feedback  was provided to all the investment applications in order to enhance their business models. They were also encouraged to apply again in upcoming Edupreneur Village Challenges. Herein, 50 start-ups were shortlisted in the first round by Feb 2019. Edupreneur Village Fund extended support to these start-ups at every step helping them create an extensive business report. As  the  next  step,  30  out  of  those  50  start-ups  were  invited  to  pitch  their  ideas  to  the investment  board  including  some  of  the  prominent  figures  in  the  education  industry. Thereafter, the top ten finalists were made ready to pitch in their ideas at The Final Battle.

Sri Aurobindo  Society initiated the early stage Venture Capital Fund - Edupreneur  Village, with a focus on Education-Technology.  Edupreneur  Village  not only invests  in early stage EdTech  startups  across  India,  but also extends  complete  support  to startups  in acquiring Series-A  funding  through  counseling,  fund  raising,  mentorship  and  scaling-up  support, through the Society’s massive education ecosystem network.

Mr. Sambhrant Sharma, Director – Education, Sri Aurobindo Society, mentioned “In true traditions of Sri Aurobindo Society, its new initiative Edupreneur Village offered a robust platform  to  foster  education  innovation  in  the  country.  We  wish  to  make  sure  that Education Innovation  being done by country's EdTech start-ups reach millions of students across  the  country  in  an  affordable  manner.  This  is  the  only  way  to  improve  learning outcomes of teaming millions in the country.”

The Final Battle:

On  31st  August,  the  10  finalists  fought  The  Final  Battle  to  win  crores  of  VC  funding  by pitching their ideas to 50+ investors at the Investment Battle event in Delhi. The selected start-ups successfully  pitched to the investors, who were keen on investing in the EdTech space, including VC Funds, Angel Networks and Angel Investors.  

Venture Capital Funds such as SAIF Partners, Blume, Lumis Partners, Indian Angel Network, Tomorrow Capital, and many more were present at the event.   

The event was also graced with the presence of Vijay Bhai, Head of Sri Aurobindo Society, Dr. Satbir  Bedi,  IAS,  Chairperson  of  the  National  Council  for  Teacher  Education  (NCTE),  Mr. Rajesh Naithani, Advisor to MHRD, Govt. of India, and Mr. Ratnesh Jha, Managing Director, South Asia, Cambridge University Press.

Towards   the  end   of  the  event,   Mr.  Nitin   Bhalla,   Head   of  Edupreneur   Village   Fund announced, “It was amazing to see an audience of 350+ and 50+ investors attending the 1st flagship   event  of  Edupreneur   Village  -  The  Final  Battle.  Seeing  superlative   response, Edupreneur  Village will hold even bigger 'The Final Battle' next year, giving opportunity  to various Education Startups to raise capital from Education focused investors.”

Ahead of the event,  Lead Angels Network & Sri Aurobindo Society entered into a strategic partnership for investing in promising EdTech startups through the Entrepreneur Village platform.  Lead  Angels  Network  was  founded  in  2013  and  has  a  network  of  130+  angel investors across India as on date.

Among other event partners, the Fund had Marketing & PR Partnership with  SH Consultants, an  upcoming   and  aggressive   marketing   consultancy   firm   based   in  Delhi,   and  Media Partnerships  with eminent brands such as VCCircle,  Business World,  YourStory, EdTechReview and many more.

Sana Hazari, Director  of SH Consultants,  informs  aspiring  entrepreneurs  to stay tuned for Edupreneur Village Challenge 2.0, the launch of which will be announced soon.

Launch of Auro Scholar:

At  the  Edupreneur  Village  Challenge  Finale,  Sri  Aurobindo  Society  launched  their  new initiative “Auro Scholar”, a radical first-of-its-kind Scholarship platform, with the objective to give Micro-Scholarships to produce Learning Outcomes of millions.

This programme aims to create a revolutionary ripple effect among current students across India. For this project, the Society has partnered with PayZapp – Mobile Payment Solution by HDFC  Bank  – to disburse  scholarships,  Cambridge  University  Press  as the  Question  Bank Partner, and Scholr – AI driven homework helping EdTech App.

Scholr also happens  to be an investee  Company  of the Edupreneur  Village Fund, and has secured early stage round of funding from a range of financial and strategic investors, led by Edupreneur Village Fund. Using Artificial Intelligence technology, Scholr aims to cater 300mn students in any vernacular Indian language.

In addition, another initiative of the Sri Aurobindo Society -  Zero Investment Innovation in Education  Initiatives  (ZIIEI),  is an education  reform  programme  running  in 3 lakh  schools across 22 Indian states. 1.5 million school teachers and 30 million school children are part of the ZIIEI programme. Under the Programme, the Society recently launched the Teacher Innovation  Award,  which  is  a  National  Award  for  zero  investment  innovative  ideas  in education  initiatives  across  India, through  which  the campaign  has received  more than 8 lakh innovative ideas from teachers across India.

Results of The Final Battle:

The  500+  audience  was  gripped  till  the  very  end  of  the  event,  when  the  results  were declared.  The  Eduprneur  Village  Fund  declared  Investment  Declarations  in the Startups – Scholr,  (AI  powered  Digital  Learning  Assistant  App  for  students)  and  Don’t  Memorise (licensing  high  quality  curriculum  aligned  video  content  to  any  education  organization working with students). The details of the investment remain undisclosed.

The  Fund  also  announced   Partnerships   with  Mintbook   (curates   online   content   from thousands of academic publishers, making it available to students on a pay per use basis), and  with  One0x  (Blockchain  technology  to  foster  seamless  exchange  of  Learning  Data Records of learners across education institutions).

Cash Prize to Dont Memorize

The Fund also announced Cash Prizes, the details of winners are given below:

-       INR 3 lakh – Don’t Memorise

-       INR 2 lakh - One0x

-       INR 1 lakh – Clap Global (Platform  that enables a unique exchange  of cultures  by helping international  travelers visit local classrooms and engage in meaningful and often surprising conversations with students)

-       INR 50,000 – Mintbook

-       INR  25,000  –  Memory  Trix  (Helping  students  memorize  the  concepts  through crowd-sourced, engaging, humorous, locally relevant content built around memorization techniques like mind maps)

Besides the above, The Final Battle received 48 Investment Interests from the Investors to invest in the 10 finalist startups. The investment discussions shall take place over the next few weeks.

Way Forward:

The event ended  with the team  of Edupreneur  Village  inviting  the start-up  ecosystem  to connect with them to build innovative EdTech ideas, extending support to help revolutionize the Education System.

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