Having started life as a simple robotics club, Tunisian ed-tech startup Junior Robotics Lab now has resellers in various African and European markets, and is targeting further growth.
Born in 2017 as an organiser of robotics clubs, with kids starting from the age of eight and learn how to design, code, and build robots, Junior Robotics Lab has gradually transitioned into the ed-tech space and was officially announced as a startup in January 2020.
These days, the startup is a cloud-based platform that helps schools to teach robotics and coding in their classrooms.
“We are committed to providing a one-stop solution for STEM education to foster 21st century skills in kids by enabling them to tinker with electronics, robotics, coding, and artificial intelligence at an early age,” Atef Ben Bekri, Junior Robotics Lab chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, told Disrupt Africa.
“Our startup offers a dedicated curriculum with rich content for any educational institution. Junior Robotics Lab provides a complete online tool for any educational institution to teach robotics managing workflow between the different stakeholders – school management, teachers, and students.”
Junior Robotics Lab has developed more than 70 interactive lessons with real-life examples, 3D animations, gamification, coding challenges, and a progress tracker. Its lesson plans are easy to follow and do not require any prior knowledge in robotics or coding. There are two main gaps the startup was formed to solve.
“The education curriculum in Tunisia and in Africa generally lacks interactivity, innovation, and technology, which created a wide market gap in the labour market. For that, we brought real robots to the classroom and transformed it from their traditional definition into a lab experience,” Ben Bekri.
“The market of educational robotics lacks a consistent curriculum and education cycle. We offer a tailored educational programme with over 70 lessons worth three years of training curriculum compatible with the Lego hardware.”
Junior Robotics Lab has proven popular, and it already has resellers in Algeria, Benin, Morocco, and France. Now, it is planning further expansion, and is working on a variety of projects and competitions across various markets. Running a software as a service (SaaS) model, the startup generates income from school partnerships and its own labs.