The US/India ed-tech startup differs from other platforms by pairing students with mentors and allow access to a community of fellow students and program alumni
Springboard, formerly known as SlideRule, has just picked up a US$1.7 million seed round from 500 Startups, Blue Fog Capital and a host of angel investors. LinkedIn Co-founder Allen Blue, The Princeton Review Founder John Katzman, InMobi Founder and CEO Naveen Tewari also joined in the round.
According to a release, the US/Bangalore startup will be using the cash to grow as many of their courses are already at capacity. As a platform currently offering data science and UX design programs, Springboard will be leveraging the funds to launch workshops in new fields and provide more student support services.
Springboard is a self-paced, mentor-led e-learning platform for Millennials so the recent rebranding was to better reflect their mission. Unlike other e-learning platforms, Springboard offers more than just content and pairs students with industry mentors, some of which work at Airbnb, Etsy and LinkedIn. Users can also tap into a community of fellow students and program alums.
Thanks to these weekly 1-on-1 video calls and access to an engaged community, Springboard reports completion rates of up to 10x more than your average online course.
“As the tech industry grows, employers can’t hire talent fast enough. There is incredible demand for trained data scientists and UX designers, even as 45 per cent of recent college grads are underemployed and struggle to find affordable, effective ways to learn career-related skills,” said Gautam Tambay, Co-founder and CEO of Springboard said in a release.
“We’re addressing these problems at Springboard by offering something truly impactful — an incredibly personalised education that doesn’t break the bank. Our approach of combining a project-heavy curriculum with 1-on-1 mentorship from industry experts creates accountability and ensures that our graduates are ready to thrive in the new economy.”
The two-year-old startup was initially launched as a search engine for online courses, before growing to include curated content. Over the years, Springboard listened intently to their users who cited needs for “more guidance and interaction,” so they added the mentorship and community layers in 2014.
Since inception, Springboard has seen demand from students across six continents and is home to a network of 100+ mentors, which include data science and design professionals. Success stories include Springboard alumni landing jobs at IBM, Boeing and Reddit.
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