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AWS expands its tech support for early-stage edtech startups

Three Indian startups—Eckovation, Kings Learning and PlayAblo —have joined the AWS EdStart programme.

Vincent Quah, regional head, Apac & Japan, Amazon Web Services

With digital transformation going deeper and wider in the education sector, several edtech startups are launching innovative teaching and learning technologies that create positive student outcomes. Recently, three Indian startups—Eckovation, Kings Learning and PlayAblo —have joined Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) startup programme which assists entrepreneurs with building the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions on the AWS cloud.

The AWS EdStart is a free global programme, but this year, AWS has introduced innovator tier for startups less than two years old, annual revenue less than $1 million and no/ few customers in its portfolio. These early-stage innovators will get benefits from AWS promotional credits worth $500 to experiment with new ideas, deploy and roll out services, get customised training and marketing opportunities, mentorship, and technical support to help them move faster in building and growing their businesses. Once the innovator tier members have advanced their business and are working with customers, they can apply for the second tier, named ‘members tier’.

Currently, the AWS EdStart is available in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia. Indian edtech startups are among the early pioneers in Asia to adopt AWS EdStart program. In India, AWS has been a technology provider for edtech startups such as Byjus, Doubtbox, Classplus, Neetprep.com, upGrad, Quizizz, Examly, Makkajai, Virohan, Vedantu, Reculta, and many others.

Akshat Goel, founder and chief technology officer, Eckovation, one of the members of the programme, said, “We have an AI-enabled education platform that focuses on three segments: professional learning, test preparation, and school education. On the technology front, we are using machine learning tools such as Amazon SageMaker and other advanced tools like EC2, Rekognition and Transcribe for improving our efficiency and increase our network.”

Another Bangalore-based edtech startup, PlayAblo Edtech, provides an online game-based learning platform for K12 students, focused on math, English grammar and communicative English. “We work as a supplement to the structured educational environment and provide a platform that uses elements of gamification to inherently motivate learners to practise more and in turn improve their learning outcomes. With AWS, learners from every corner of India have been able to experience advanced technology capabilities, thereby leveling the learning field for one and all,” said Ananthakrishnan G, co-founder and CTO, PlayAblo.

Speaking on the early response to this global programme in India, Vincent Quah, regional head – education, research, healthcare and not-for-profit organisations, worldwide public sector, Asia Pacific and Japan, Amazon Web Services, said, “We are excited to see the growing base of eductaion technology startup ecosystems in India. AWS have been a technology provider for large education technology institution, but now we want to support the innovative education startups and empower them with our cloud technology.”

Today, over 5,000 government agencies, over 10,000 academic institutions and over 28,000 nonprofit organisations around the world use AWS. In India,

AWS has hundreds of thousands of active customers.

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