Nigerian startup Edves has become the first African company to take part in the Go Edtech Accelerator run by MindCET, which helps early-stage companies expand and raise capital.
Formed in 2016, Edves is an academic portal that automates operations in schools and colleges from admission to transcript generation.
The platform reduces teacher and administrator workload and gives them opportunities to mark attendance and prepare classroom lessons using AI algorithms. So far, Edves is used in over 500 schools in 17 states across Nigeria.
Since September, the startup has been taking part in the MindCET Go accelerator programme, which takes place in Israel, India, China, United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) ad concludes this month.
Owned by CET Israel, the accelerator focuses on helping ed-tech startups at revenue and growth stage expand to the five different markets, and raise capital. Edves has been attending bootcamps across these markets and meeting pre-qualified investors.
Edves, which in 2018 won the Seedstars Global Education Prize and also secured US$120,000 funding from Chinook Capital – organiser of the Founders Incubator programme – and the Growth Capital fund of the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) incubator, is now working towards a seed funding round in the next few months.
‘Dimeji Falana, the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, said the startup had bootstrapped for a few years in a highly challenging space, and was only now really beginning its work. It has just launched a programme called Edves Catalyst, which last year gathered over 1,600 schools leader and teachers to collaborate, learn and receive new insights on leadership, team building, education technology, classroom engagement and school growth.
The team is now getting set to host over 3,000 school leaders at the 2020 edition in Lagos in June.
“Globally, ed-tech is a space that requires patience and commitment to work with educators and most importantly the heart that loves the learner’s development,” said Falana.
“There are over 70,000 schools in Nigeria, yet the number of out-of-school children is over 13 million. It is no longer breaking news; we have a big problem at hand. Edves promises to tackle this problem by innovating at the core, which is the school, by reducing teacher workload so schools can deliver continuously-improved education to the students that are currently in the classroom, while creating tech-enabled, location-and-situation-base solutions to win the out-of-school children.”