The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF) and Village Capital (VilCap) have partnered to recruit education start-ups across india for Edupreneurs, an exciting new 3 month business incubator with a twist.
Rather than asking analysts, panels, and prize committees to deem which innovations are worthwhile, the innovators themselves chose the two ventures that received funding. PALF and VilCap worked with 14** social impact education entrepreneurs, or “edupreneurs,” to complete a 12-week program from September to November (2013) focused on building their businesses and improving their investability.
The selected companies participated in workshops in which they were offered mentorship from other entrepreneurs, investors and professionals. These entrepreneurs then assessed one another against six criteria, with the top two ranking companies receiving up to $75,000 each drawn from $100,000 and $50,000 of capital committed by the Affordable Learning Fund and Village Capital, respectively.
“Pearson is proud to announce this unique initiative in collaboration with Village Capital. The program underscores our commitment to quality education in the country. Through this we hope to reach out to the brilliant minds who have the knowledge and the dedication to make a substantial difference in the domain of education and learning at the grass-root level.” – Ranu Kawatra, CEO and President, Pearson Education India
“We are thrilled to bring this programme to entrepreneurs striving to develop businesses that enhance outcomes and access for low-income learners in India. We’ve seen a lack of early support and risk capital in the low-cost education space and we are pleased to take the lead in creating a robust ecosystem for impact-oriented edupreneurs and incubate innovative models of education, to dramatically improve learning at scale.” – Katelyn Donnelly, Executive Director, PALF
“We’re incredibly excited to combine PALF and Pearson’s education expertise, with our peer review model, to drive greater impact in learning outcomes. In our experience launching 20 programs in India, the US, the UK, Kenya, and Brazil, entrepreneurs investing in each other uncover innovations no one would have anticipated – and universally engage in the process in an astoundingly collegial and disciplined way.” – Ross Baird, Executive Director, VilCap