“Tell me I forget, Teach me I remember, Involve me I learn” – Xun Kuang.
Ranjith and Rahul, the Co-founders of 1 Learn App are trying to untangle a problem which every student faces during their school & college days – Forgetting of Concepts, they learned. Students have been facing this age-old problem.
Ranjith speaks from experience. During his graduation in IIT Madras, he used to tutor underprivileged kids. He noticed the same pattern with those kids as well. In January 2018, both Ranjith and Rahul came up with an idea of an interactive 1 Learn App with is shorter for 1 Minute Learn App. Their main aim is to help students learn things for a longer duration of time.
Ranjith says, “The current generation goes online to learn but there they find a plethora of content which is very cluttered and confusing. So, we micromanage one concept at a time. This makes them realize that how good they are at a certain concept and which concept needs a little bit of work. One of the purposes of this app is to help students plan out their studies before exams.”
This app has a spaced repetition approach based on each students learning pattern and pace. The app will nudge them after specific days about the topic that they learned and ask a question about the topic. It will trigger a thought process in their brain about the particular topic before they completely forget it. It will happen in a repeated fashion for a long time until they master that concept. The integration with the textbook is the apps biggest feature. If you have a doubt then place the app on the textbook, it will recognize what concept it is and it will show 1 minute animated video, summary flashcards and questions curated to the particular concept.
In January, they built a prototype based on 3d Augmented reality. Where they show the augmented 3d concepts to students and it will help them visualize the concepts. They went around schools and colleges with a notion of selling it to the students thinking everyone will buy it as it is in 3d. Without even validating and without realizing what value it is adding and what is the problem that they are solving.
Ranjith says, “We were a couple of hotheads who thought that we will quit our jobs and change the entire education system. But we realized that it is not that easy as it looks.”
As they went from school to school to sell the app and get feedback. They quickly understood that this product is not for mass market & it is not a product that sells on its own. This will work as a gaming and fun thing for kids. They quickly verified that this is not going to sell at the rate they want to because it takes a lot of resources. So, After quitting his job at a Retail Giant, It took him a couple of months to recalibrate what they are going to build and how they are going to sell it.
During their incubation from January to March, they got a reality check from the mentors. They asked a lot of questions like, “You are trying to push technology to students, is it what they want?“, “Does it add value to the problem or will it solve the problem they are facing?” These tough questions helped them add some perspective in their conquest of changing the education system. They comprehended and came to a conclusion that although it is exciting to students, the buying potential of the parents of the students is not enough. Some of them were not even willing to buy the app.
Startup Mentors helped us understand that we have to solve problems and not go around it. During interactions with the mentors, the startup ecosystem, and the workshops, they came to know what exactly they wanted to do and how they were going to do it. Mentors always guided them with exactly what to do or what not to do.
The Mentors connected them to the top App creators and App owners of Bengaluru to get proper guidance. This has been the highlight of being with mentors.
As the app shows 1-minute videos of the concepts, the 1 Learn team had to create short videos to the show their progress at the end of the incubation period. Recording the videos was the biggest problem as they would need a studio kind of environment. They tried to find a quiet place to record the video but that couldn’t happen because of all the noise around.
NSRCEL’s Startup mentorship program allowed them to use the workspace at night to record videos. Ranjith says, “We would start at night 10 o’clock after everyone would leave up to 2 in the morning. Otherwise, we would have incurred lakhs of rupees if we would have opted for a studio. It came out well and we are on track now.”
In Feb and March, they made 200 videos sitting at the campus whole night and also figuring out how to make the videos more interactive. They built the entire class 10th science prototype. Mentors and resources played a huge role during this period. Along with built 200 videos they built the app. Then started again going back to students for feedback.
A product like this has to be marketed. At the end of the day, a product has to drive revenue. They faced a marketing challenge but they were selected in the outreach program by Niti Aayog. The funding of Rs. 50,000 facilitated them to reach out and start a campaign to market their products. They are confident that once the campaign starts, they have the virality built in the app for the students.
1 Learn team has 25 interns working for them thanks to the Internship fair conducted by NSRCEL’s Startup mentorship program for all the incuabtees. All the interns belong to different parts of the country like Punjab, West Bengal etc. These interns believe that this app has the potential to change the way students learn and the way they prepare for their exams. For the next two months, the team of 25 people will be working on different aspects of the app and will be personalizing it. Ranjith says, “NSRCEL’s Startup mentorship program helped us in reaching out and getting those interns and making a path easier that we have taken.”
Ranjith says, “Those interns are getting to know the startup working environment. Internships help you understand what you want to do in life. Everyone gets their jobs during campus placements and they start hating their job after one year. We are giving them perspective on what happens in marketing, machine learning and they get to see all the aspects of the work they are doing.”
With the right intent, an amazing team and the right push from NSRCEL, 1Learn is looking forward to helping students learn better at their own pace. Students should feel that they belong to their environment at school, college or home. They should be motivated to learn and they should not be pushed to study. Every feedback that we get from a new student puts more energy into us to make the product even better and cater to a large set of students.