Category — Education
Headquartered in New York City, global impact investor Acumen is planning to launch an India-dedicated fund, as the investor plans on raising funds from India.
The company was incorporated in 2001 by Jacqueline Novogratz, with seed capital from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation and individual philanthropists. Acumen’s work in India spans four sectors—healthcare, education, clean energy and agriculture.
Ajit Mahadevan, India director at Acumen said, “Across the four sectors we work in, we will look at these two enabling themes [technology and financing], because on the back of that you can create accelerated impact. All our education companies have a technology element. In agriculture, the focus is on access to markets using technology,” The impact investor is exploring new avenues such as student and school financing, health insurance and MSME debt financing, reports Livemint.
“Acumen has invested over $100 million globally and the largest country is India. About a third of that has been invested in India, around $32 million, making us the largest non-microfinance investor in our sectors,” added Mahadevan.
April 9, 2017 No Comments
A joint study by Google and KPMG titled Impact of internet and digitization on Small and Medium Businesses in India pointed out that 32% of digital businesses cater to customers outside their city, and employ five times as many people as do businesses that are offline; and profits of digitally engaged businesses grow twice as fast compared to offline small companies. The research also revealed that the rise of digital SMBs can help increase India’s GDP by 10 percentage points.
To address the offline 68% SMBs, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, announced the launch of Digital Unlocked, a training program for business owners in India that will empower them with essential digital skills to use the internet to grow their business. The program is offered as a combination of online, offline and mobile modes. The offline training will be conducted in partnership with industry body FICCI, and over the next three years 5,000 workshops will be held across 40 Indian cities. This training course is certified by Google, the Indian School of Business and FICCI, reports Mint.
Additionally, Google launched Primer, a free mobile app designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way. Available for download through the Google Play and iOS app store, Primer can work offline too, and is currently available in English and Hindi with Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions coming shortly.
January 7, 2017 No Comments
Lockheed Martin, in association with the Data Security Council of India, has launched CyberAware, an online portal with interactive content on cyber security. This initiative will increase cyber security awareness of those working in small and medium businesses, and students of vocational and technical training institutes, reports Defense World.
Dr. Robie I. Samanta Roy, vice president of Technology Strategy and Innovation, Lockheed Martin said, “Online safety and security is vital to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in India. CyberAware can help educate businesses on functioning in an ever-evolving digital landscape.”
December 31, 2016 No Comments
The National Basketball Association announced plans to open a training facility for top prospects in India — NBA Academy India will focus on instruction for athletes ages 14 to 18 and will be located in the National Capital Region. It is scheduled to begin operation in April 2017 and will provide academic education through a school partnership, reports ESPN.
“Our mission with this academy is to develop and grow basketball in India,” NBA vice president of international basketball operations Brooks Meek said. “It’s focused on improving the level of the players on the national team and to really give a vision to Indian kids that there’s a chance and a pathway for them in basketball.”
By February 2017, representatives from NBA will select the first 24 male scholarship athletes from a series of scouting camps which they plan to hold across the country. The league will also select coaches, scouts and consultants to staff the academy. Once the facility begins operations, top female athletes will be enrolled to train at the academy too.
“The strategy is a holistic approach,” Meek said. “This is off-court and on-court education, all of the things we feel that we want to have a direct impact on influencing the 360-degree development of an elite basketball player.”
December 22, 2016 No Comments
Chennai, India-based Invention Labs has created a multilingual augmentative and alternative communication ipad app, Avaz (voice) for people with speech disabilities. It is priced at $200 in the U.S. and $100 in India.
“Until the launch of Avaz, all augmentative and alternative communication devices available in the U.S. were monolingual. The U.S. has a large Spanish speaking and Asian population so the product was a natural fit for them. Even today, there is nothing in the market that is as easy to use as Avaz,” says Lucas Steuber, a speech pathologist and co-founder and development director, Aim High Ignite.
About 35,000 children with varying degrees of speech dysfunction use this app, with more than 60% of them in the U.S., 15% in Denmark, 10% in India and the rest spread across the world, reports Outlook Business.
Based on feedback from therapists that students using this app were able to articulate one word only and not a sentence, Invention Labs created FreeSpeech in which a computer generates the language and helps users communicate in complex sentences. Priced at $10 for the overseas market and $3 in India, this app is more immersive claims CEO Ajit Narayanan, who adds, “We got into this business to give children who had speech disabilities a voice. We have used technology to cater to a larger audience and solve the problem of learning a language, helping people achieve a better standard of living. Language is the best thing that we humans have created. It entertains, enlightens and most importantly empowers.”
December 5, 2016 No Comments