Sramana Mitra: Talk about the companies. What problems are they solving?
Jose Duestua: We have one startup that’s focusing on changing the way teachers teach in K12. In Latin America, we’re lagging behind in using technology in classrooms.
This startup is trying to put all textbooks on a platform where you can learn from the platform but also incorporate artificial intelligence. You can customize educational training and programs for each student.
Since not all students learn in the same way, we are creating this platform in a way that students don’t advance at the same pace. This platform is going to help students who are lagging behind to learn the concepts better and avoid having these gaps in the learning progress.
Sramana Mitra: This is all in Spanish?
Jose Deustua: Yes. The market for most of our startups is Latin American countries and Spanish-speaking countries.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s go through the six company cohorts that you talked about. What are the different problems? I’m just trying to get a feel of what kind of EdTech ideas are you supporting.
Jose Deustua: Before answering that question, one of the things that we have learned by doing the program in education is that the deal flow is not as big as other sectors. Second is that you need to have a balanced portfolio. You have to balance your portfolio for social impact and also returns from your investment.
Having said that, what we are looking for in our portfolio is to balance that. We have one that’s focused on K12. It is a platform that is going to help students select a better path after high school. The average school in Latin America asks the students to answer a test and based on the answer, they select what careers are best for them.
With all the information we have right now and all the technology and resources available, it doesn’t make sense to not take advantage to advise students better. One of the solutions is Que Estudiar. That means “what to study” in English.
What they’re building is a platform where students can log in, access all the data about careers, salaries, talk to students who are in those careers, then improve their decisions. That’s one.