Last year, Makers Empire was humbled to be the inaugural winner of the 2019 EdTech Asia Conference Pitch competition. Co-founder Anthony Chhoy, representing Makers Empire, made the winning pitch at the influential education conference, gaining Makers Empire prizes that included automatic entry into the first cohort of the EduSpaze Accelerator.
EduSpaze is Singapore’s first edtech accelerator supported by Enterprise Singapore. It aims to nurture a vibrant EdTech startup ecosystem that serves the education sector in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Eduspaze helps EdTech startups go to market, accelerate their growth, and co-innovate with other stakeholders in the space to address sector-specific challenges with innovative solutions that improve learning outcomes and the impact of education.
Following a selection process that garnered 200 applicants across 25 countries, Makers Empire was one of nine edtech companies to join its inaugural cohort. The other companies were:
- FutureLab is a Malaysian startup that provides a software-as-a-service mentorship platform that allows universities, companies, and accelerators to manage, track, and scale their mentoring programs.
- Vere360 is an edtech startup from Singapore that develops, curates, and democratizes virtual reality content for social issues, education, and vocational training in Southeast Asia.
- Hardskills is a Singapore-based online learning platform and framework for enterprises to train and coach teams in hard-to-teach behavioral skills such as critical thinking and influence.
- Practicle is a startup from Singapore that uses data analytics and AI to augment teachers’ skills through automating personalized formative assessments for math.
- Yumcha Studios is a content & edtech company from Singapore that helps children learn through characters and stories using a unique “translingual” learning system that bridges home languages and target languages.
- Flying Cape is a Singaporean edtech firm that is developing a global distribution system for learners and education providers.
- Acktec Technologies is a Singapore startup that uses augmented reality, VR, and 3D animation to deliver an immersive learning experience for corporate and training institutions.
- Arclab is a mobile learning and development SaaS platform that delivers corporate learning programs directly on users’ mobile phones, with no app to download.
The Eduspaze program for the first cohort ran from February – May and comprised a mixture of expert workshops, helpful training activities, mentoring by Eduspaze’s distinguished mentors, school visits, industry networking and planned country visits to Malaysia, Vietnam and the Phillipines to explore the market potential. As the 100-day program took place in South East Asia, five members of the Makers Empire team took turns travelling to Singapore to take part in the program.
Over the course of the program, Eduspaze worked with companies to accelerate their progress in market fit, client discovery, product development, scalability, revenue generation, and strategies to attract follow-on capital investment. An evidence of impact workshop led by Olli Vallo, CEO of Education Alliance Finland was particularly helpful in explaining the need to be able to demonstrate a product’s effectiveness to school leaders by showing evidence of impact.
As COVID-19 began making its presence felt in South East Asia, the Eduspaze team began adjusting the program and activities to meet the new social distancing requirements.
Planned country visits to Vietnam and the Phillipines were unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19. With the global pandemic causing unprecedented disruption, the Eduspaze team quickly adapted the remainder of the program to an online program of activities and meetings.
As part of the program, Eduspaze also facilitated a complimentary review of our Design Thinking program by the Education Alliance Finland (EAF) for possible certification. After a review process, Makers Empire was thrilled to be officially certified by EAF for pedagogical quality.
Being part of the Eduspaze accelerator has really helped Makers Empire develop our Singapore and South East Asia strategy: we are currently pursuing multiple opportunities in the region that originated with the Eduspaze program. We are grateful for the many friendships and relationship we developed through the Eduspaze program and look forward to visiting the region again when travel restrictions are lifted.