Nairobi-based elearning platform M-Shule last night clinched the runner up spot at the 2017 Global Edtech Startup Awards (GESA) held in London.
M-Shule was one of 15 finalists that took part in the final event which culminated in Japanese startup Arcterus taking top honours. Indian platform MentorMind won third place.
M-Shule’s platform makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) and SMS to deliver personalised, accessible education to primary school students across Africa.
“We were honoured to win first runner-up in the GES Awards last night and promote African edtech to the world!” M-Shule CEO and founder Claire Mongeau said in an email.
Mongeau said at the end of the awards, one of the judges spoke about the criteria that had been used to select the winning startups, namely scalability, a strong business model, innovation and ambition.
“I think M-Shule combines all four of those attributes in bringing personalised learning technology through SMS to African primary students for the first time,” she said.
M-Shule is also Kenya’s representative to the Seedstars Summit and is one of eight startups selected to join one of Africa’s first edtech incubators Injini
She believes the fact that M-Shule works without an internet connection makes the startup stand out, in comparison to other companies at the awards which require an internet connection and a smart device to function.
“Only 10% of schools in developing countries currently have an internet connection. We need to be more creative and more innovative in connecting them to powerful learning tools and M-Shule wants to be that platform for students across the entire African continent. I think that’s what the judges and the audience appreciated about our idea,” she said.
The startup was in October last year selected along with seven other startups to join one of Africa’s first edtech incubators, Cape Town-based Injini.