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Bridging the gap between education and work

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Most people realise that traditional learning models have become cumbersome and irrelevant as we move into an increasingly digital future that demands a fresh skill-set. To solve this problem, Sallyann developed GLEAC, which is an education technology that helps users hone on skills that will help them in the job marketplace. “Simply put, we are solving the problem of the 21st-century skills gaps happening all around us. A large proportion of the youth and even older adults do not have the skills needed by businesses to compete in the world we live in today. Our patent pending method delivered through an app helps a user to build, measure, visualise and share their 21st-century skills. For the first time ever a school transcript or a resume can reflect your ability to learn and your complete range of non-cognitive skills.”

GLEAC has three elements: Activities, Grid and Social. Here’s how it works:

  • Step One: In 10 minutes per day, build new habits using deliberate practice. Think of it as going to the gym.
  • Step Two: This is where your engagement gets calibrated quantitatively and qualitatively using a unique methodology that is currently patent pending.
  • Step Three: Share your report on your resume, school transcript or social profiles.

Adding further, Sallyann remarks: “What we’re essentially doing is enabling people to find someone based on 21-first century skills and assess their capability in modern areas of learning. Moreover, our product can integrate and change how we profile ourselves on LinkedIn, Facebook, employment sites etc. That’s groundbreaking!”

Building the product

GLEAC launched on Google Play at the end of August and on iOS in the end of September. The app has only been on the market for the last 30 to 60 days but has hit over 300 downloads organically with active use over 30 days at over 25 per cent. “We are growing at over 100 per cent per month and are measuring our growth with Firebase. We have pilots running in schools across entire grades,” she beams proudly.

The innovative concept is also gaining traction beyond the realm of education. “HR companies and consultants who have viewed our product are interested in licensing it and our algorithms to push their own learning and development agenda so this is a new business model that opened to us.”

One of the biggest challenges the app currently faces, however, is building its network of subject matter experts and tutors. “Subject matter talent in the region in areas of neuroscience, psychology, data science etc. is proving to be a challenge. This is something we look to invest in when we do go for funding. We would like to bulk up on subject matter experts, data scientists and an in-house product/bus development team. Our pending patent on a method to completely transform the education and employment sector is a key driver for an investor to invest with us.”

Sallyann explains that her team is working all over the world virtually, but this doesn’t pose too much of a threat to her business as she has significant experience running other businesses with virtual teams. “Not everyone has to be sitting in the same office in one location to get the job done,” she says confidently.

Now, she’s focusing her energy on growth, engagement and perfecting your product. “We are first to market on this product so we have every opportunity to stand out by staying on the cutting edge of what is happening in transforming education to ensure the skills gap is closed. This means perfecting the product based on User engagement and feedback. Users drive your product design and development.”

Shaping the future of education

When it comes to the education sector, Sallyann believes we are just scratching the surface. She foresees a lot more Edu-tech start-ups entering this space since OECD and every major global organisation is focused on bridging the skills gap. The skills and what we share on resumes, school transcripts and what we learn in school as we know it today will be entirely different, or at least so I hope!”

In terms of her own product, Sallyann aims for GLEAC to become a global leader in education technology and position itself as a solution to that can reinvent learning worldwide. Speaking of her ambitious plans, she adds: “We launch internationally in January 2018. The plan of action is simple: to work on growth and engagement as well as seek feedback on how we can deliver and solve the problem better for stakeholders.”

She reflects on a piece of advice that she implemented during her inception days and something that she would like to share with budding entrepreneurs: “Don’t wait for perfection to get started. You want to be embarrassed by the first version of a product you put out there. Keep perfecting and prototyping based on your customer feedback. Stop watching on the sidelines and get into the game.” 

Rushika Bhatia

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.