The one thing about tech startups that excites us most is their fresh thinking. And if there's anything which comes close to that it is the experience of meeting would-be-startups. So Techcircle.in caught up with a group of entrepreneurs-in-waiting at the latest Startup Weekend at TLabs, a mentorship-driven accelerator program developed by Times Internet Limited (TIL), in Delhi which was focused on the business of education. Startup Weekend was brought to India by Pankaj Jain, a mentor at TLabs. Over 30 ideas were pitched in the event which counted among its mentors (who can be investors but not necessarily so). Some of the mentors presents were Tom Hall, head of partnerships at Pearson, Mark Hand, investment associate, First Light India Accelerator, Rashi Thakur, founder at Mentor Mpact, Ishan Gupta, CEO, Edukart.com, Harpreet S Grover, Co-Founder and CEO, CoCubes.com.
In the final lap 3 ideas were selected as winners by the panel of judges which included Amit Rai, chairman of Radcliffe Schools, Max Gabriel, SVP and chief technology officer, Pearson, Shailesh Vikram Singh, executive director, Seedfund , Satyam Darmora, program officer at Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Mohit Chhabra, business head at Skillment Edu Private Limited. Here's a quick look at the winners.PerfectMyEnglish: The idea is centered around an Android app to improve one's professional English communication skills. The team claimed one would see 50 per cent improvement in one's English communications skill level if interested candidates spend 20 minutes a day working through the platform's lesson plans. We are not too sure if anyone can even quantify something like communications skills but the idea appealed the judges.
EdVille/ EdPulse: It aims to bring adaptive tests across topics targeting more than 5.5 million high school students in India who are apparently active on social media. The idea is to engage students by using the social gaming dynamics while providing them some relevant stimulating exercises. Through this students will be able to do self-assessments in topics that interest them while at the same time getting a pulse of where they stand among friends, in their city and in the world.
eduWidget : The idea revolves around a platform, which fits a plethora of educational tools/component within a single screen 'box' giving the end user a platform to create and discover interactive (interactive video based) educational content. It aims to help the educators, learners and a community as a whole. The educators will have to use drag and drop authoring tool to create an interactive educational widget complete with feedback and analysis tools, all embedded within a 'box' and publish the same to the 'marketplace'. For learners, there will be an interactive user experience within a 'box' with an intuitive, innovative and seamless UI. And for communities, there will be a playground for users to 'create, discover and educate'.
Besides these three the event also identified two other ideas as 'honourable mentions'. These included EarthLab Schools (a programme designed to help communities use their schools as laboratories for sustainability) and Book Pool (an online community to share used books).
We don't know how many of these ideas will actually takeoff beyond the ideation stage (and some of the winners were unsure too as they are in full time jobs). But we will keep updating you with more as and when they do decide to take the plunge and think big.