Designed to assist education technology (EdTech) startups to develop teaching and learning solutions on the AWS cloud, EdStart is helping push boundaries and innovation in the sector.
“Technology is now so prevalent and information so accessible, that there are ways we can help improve learning and teaching in schools to create a much more efficient environment within the school system. Software companies, education technology companies are really at the forefront of that seismic shift of making things better for schools, the students, the teachers and even the parents. Technology has such a wide spread implication to have a positive impact when adopted in an appropriate way” says Vincent Quah, APAC Regional Head for Education, Research, Healthcare and Not-for-Profit, Worldwide Public Sector at Amazon Web Services.
Speaking with Startup Daily (SD) Quah explains that under existing circumstances there is no single vendor or software company that can provide all the solutions a school will need.
“That’s one of the reasons we developed EdStart,” he says. “It is definitely about the ecosystem. We need the participation of a large number or EdTech startups to solve these issues. It’s through this observation we decided to create this program where we bring a level of support to the EdTech startup community to help them develop these [much needed] services.”
Launched in 2018, EdStart is already progressing well and has attracted some talented startups who are connecting schools and parents in fabulous ways. Quah says he is encouraged by the number of responses the program has received. Turnaround time for the average application is less than two weeks and Quah says AWS is seeking to work with more startups to address specific pain points in the school system.
According to Quah the school system seems to face similar pain points the world over. Quah says the subject of digital wellness is becoming a major talking point within the education sector.
“As more and more students get online it is becoming very important. We are learning some of the down side of these interactions and engagements and the challenges students face.
“Organisations of all sizes, and across all industries, including educational institutions and startups, use AWS for its breadth and depth of services. These EdTech startups are pushing boundaries to improve the
“AWS EdStart helps entrepreneurs with great ideas to gain fast access to AWS services so they can build solutions quickly to solve real-world challenges,” said Quah.
One such entrepreneur is Blake Garrett, whose School Bytes program is part of AWS EdStart.
“One of the biggest benefits has been the ability to scale our system to a large number of schools without significant investment in our infrastructure, meaning we can focus on the solutions and our customers, AWS has allowed our parent payment portal to manage substantial workloads even with thousands of logins at the same time.”
Another startup to benefit from AWS EdTech is Saasyan Assure. Developed by father of one, Greg Margossian, the system allows schools to detect, monitor and report unusual behaviour online. It protects students from Internet threats such as cyber-bullying, online predators and inappropriate content.
“AWS EdStart enabled us to gain access to experienced AWS Solution Architects as mentors to validate and improve our technology designs,” said Margossian. “With the program, we can focus on developing software without worrying about the underlying infrastructure, and