We are: Scholr
Incubated at: AVISHKAR Deep Tech Accelerator at IIIT-Hyderabad
The Scholr app, founded by Himanshu Nimje and Manil Gupta, focuses on providing AI-driven, on-demand instant assistance for queries specific to students. Students from Grade 1 – 12, whether from CBSE, ICSE and state boards can receive step-by-step solutions in Math and Science just by taking a snapshot of their problem.
Genesis: During our school days, we found it extremely frustrating to be stuck at a problem and unable to find a solution. For a student, getting help at that very moment is crucial to build a complete understanding of a topic. Thus, Scholr started with an idea of providing relevant instant help to all school students, which enables students to get assistance and solve any challenging problem using a convenient medium of smartphones.
Interestingly, about 87% of primary school children and up to 95% of high school students receive private tuition in metro cities. That’s approximately more than 6 crore school students, which clearly shows there’s a need to address the situation.
Students studying at home wait till the next day or next class to get their doubts clarified either by their school or tuition teacher. Even parents are unable to address this issue, since about 85% of working parents said they found it difficult to pay attention to their children’s academic needs. Scholr addresses this precise issue – it helps parents and students clarify their doubts instantly rather than waiting till they meet their teacher.
Founders: We were introduced by a batchmate at IIT Kanpur. In the initial stages, we worked on a couple of different ideas and gradually the prospects of the Indian education market and particularly the use of technology in education seemed pretty exciting. Having explored different gaps in the sector and problems faced by K-12 students, we figured that a service of virtual educational assistant (similar to Siri) will be extremely useful and we found that we have complimentary skillets to achieve that objective.
Himanshu Nimje is a Computer Science graduate from IIT Kanpur and has completed his PGDM from IIM Ahmedabad. He started working as a software engineer at Geodesic Ltd., and since then, has developed his expertise in advanced machine learning algorithms.
Manil Gupta is an Electrical Engineer from BITS Pilani and has work experience of more than 4 years as a consultant at ZS Associates. Manil specialises in the usage of advanced statistical modelling and data analytics.
Our Product: Scholr app’s core technology is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. To provide relevant learning assistance, various algorithms are developed for different purposes. One of those algorithms is mathematical optical character recognition, which has been developed to decipher math symbols in a snapshot. Such algorithms help us understand the exact question asked by the student and subsequently allows us to provide relevant learning resources.
Scholr’s USP: The flagship feature of Scholr is the ‘Instant Solution’ which provides learning assistance for any academic problem to a student. With this feature, Scholr is able to get a detailed step-by-step solution for a question in less than 10 seconds. The photo sent by students is analysed at Scholr’s server, where the exact text of question is extracted from the photo, and relevant solution is generated from the question text.
The other feature which has recently gained huge traction among students is ‘Public Community’. A student can also ask his/her query on our public community and get assistance within minutes. Scholr experts are available round the clock to provide respond to a student’s query.
Scope of Product: Scholr app is currently used by more than 3000 students and we haven’t even started publicising the android app. On an average, we are receiving more than 1200 queries per day from students and the number of queries are increasing rapidly on a weekly basis. Moreover, experts at Scholr make sure that assistance is provided within an hour in the case that technology is unable to provide assistance.
Many of our current users are also parents, who have given us extremely positive ratings and reviews about the app. Parents, who are approached by their kids with a maths problem, are now easily able to explain the complete solution to that problem just by clicking the photo of their kid’s question. As parents are slightly unaware of the exact theorems or definitions required, Scholr acts as a instant helper providing all the relevant information related to a query.
Advantages of being part of an accelerator/incubator: The core technology behind Scholr is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. As Scholr looks to constantly improve the technology to provide more accurate and relevant guidance to student’s problems, IIIT Hyderabad’s extensive research in these technologies would enable us to improve our accuracy multi-fold moving forward. Scholr has already identified the different research topics, being undertaken currently at IIIT Hyderabad, and will be working actively towards using that research in a real business environment.
In addition to our own investment of Rs. 10 lakh, spent largely on the research & product development of the app, we have also recently received a pre-seed funding of Rs. 10 lakh from IIIT Hyderabad and 50K ventures, which we are using to acquire initial customers and improve Scholr’s solution accuracy.
Vision: Scholr will always strive towards providing an instant and holistic educational experience to students. With abundance of content available on internet today, Scholr would start suggesting the most relevant learning materials to each student with the help of advanced data analytics.
Only 15% of students in India study in English medium schools. In a market where most of the companies focus on English medium students, Scholr has a huge technological advantage to extend this service in local languages. At Scholr, we strongly believe that the next education revolution will happen only from such inclusive strategies and ideologies.
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