Ed-Tech Fellowship

The great unbundling of education
Historically education was an amorphous bundle of core skills, soft skills, critical thinking, signaling value and networking (think of school as a place where kids go to socialize. Learning is a byproduct. In fact many like Naval Ravikant believe that most schools are hyper inefficient when it comes to actual learning value. Their core purpose is for kids to meet and learn to connect, thereby inculcating a precious life skill).

The great unbundling 

What we are witnessing now is the great unbundling of education where different companies and communities are attempting to capture one part of the bundle. What that means is that education companies these days are fundamentally different than the educational institutions we are all familiar with. For example, Lambda School is focused only on core skill building for making people of all backgrounds ready for computer science careers. They have a single-minded focus and pay much less attention (if at all) to things like signalling value, soft skills, networking etc.

The change in attitudes

1. ROI: Post-recessions and emergencies, there is usually a spike in ROI-driven specializations. 80% of students surveyed at UCLA said that education for them was means towards employment. Only 50% of University Presidents shared their view. Clearly there is a mismatch between what students want and what traditional universities offer.

Students want to learn tangible skills like coding, marketing, sales in a condensed timeframe. One can argue that this is short term thinking that will backfire but we are mainly pointing to the existing customer demand.

2. Lifelong Learning: The traditional model was to conclude all education, including MBA/masters as quickly as possible and then apply that learning to jobs. This model no longer works today. The new normal is Study -> Work -> Study > Work (Lifelong)

Financially, this is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors. The 26-35 year old ambitious people looking for self-improvement/ lifelong learning is the largest opportunity in China, much greater than K-12 or test preparation. While this analysis is focused on China, it is going to be true for the rest of the world as well. Why? Because China is the trendsetter when it comes to education and technology.

3. Shorter Duration: Because of the focus on lifelong learning, people are more keen to spend shorter duration during one block of learning. Make School, which also has an offline campus, is a two year program with very high employment rates. There are many similar examples. The rationale is that if people have to go to school multiple times, then one block school should not be too long. People want to make their time count and capitalize on latest trends and carve meaningful careers in them.

4. Business Model Shifts: There is whole movement towards ISAs (Income Share Agreements) which reflects a broader shift towards a new business model where students are not willing to pay a huge, one time payment upfront. They are trading it for no payment upfront and parting with a small percentage of their future earning to their alma mater. This not only changes the student financing market but also forces educational institutions to focus on student outcomes, specifically their employment.

Fellowship Structure

Live Expert Sessions

To provide you actionable insights and structured approach to understand the Ed-Tech landscape.

Group Sessions & 1:1 mentoring

Workshops & peer-groups to help you discuss and share your ideas on Ed-Tech

Build your thesis on Ed-Tech

At the end of the fellowship, you will be equipped to build you understanding of Ed-Tech and will be presenting it to the cohort.

Faculty Members

Namya Mahajan
Co-Founder at Rocket Learning | HBS
Azeez Gupta
Co-Founder at Rocket Learning | HBS | Ex-Pratham
Sharath Jeevan
Executive Chairman of Intrinsic Labs | Founder of STiR Education
Bhanu Potta
Global Executive Member and India Board Director at Worldreader
Utsav Kheria
Co-Founder at Rocket Learning

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Frequently asked questions

Who is this fellowship for?

While this fellowship is open for anyone who is exploring the domain of Ed-Tech, some specific people for whom it might be helpful include -
1. Scholars and researchers working in the space
2. Policy professional working build educational systems.
3. Entrepreneurs solving for Ed-Tech
4. Operators and executives working at Ed-Tech companies
5. Investors investing in the space. 

What would the fellowship schedule look like?

We would have live faculty-lead sessions on the weekends between 7 to 11 pm IST. 

1:1 office hours will be held everyday. You can book a slot as and when you like. 

All fellows would be assigned accountability groups with whom you’ll be working. 

What if I miss a session?

You will have access to the recordings of all sessions. You can go through that. 

I would like to gift this fellowship to someone. How can I do that?

You can gift this fellowship and a Network Capital subscription to someone here
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