This Holiday Season, Global technology brand HONOR, is celebrating “Unsung Heroes” with a moving holiday movie and an exciting social giveaway. These individuals, often…
In a remarkable achievement for Kenyan education technology, Skizaa Education, a pioneering start-up, has clinched the prestigious $25 000 Cognitive Inc. Prize at Edtech Week held in New York City. The event was part of the 14th Annual Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition, where Skizaa’s COO, Ali Buckland, showcased their innovative approach among seven finalists, securing the second prize overall.
Skizaa Education stands out for its impactful work in supporting NGOs and non-profits by revolutionising data collection and analysis from last-mile schools across Sub-Saharan Africa. By collaborating closely with teachers, the start-up digitises administrative processes in rural and slum region schools, enabling funding organisations to access accurate and timely data affordably.
Buckland expressed their joy, stating, “It felt amazing to elevate the voices and stories of the teachers, students, and organisations we work with across Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and Nigeria. Amongst such inspiring finalists, I felt incredibly proud to have won the second prize, and grateful to my whole team standing behind me to make this happen!”
With 40 000 students already benefiting from Skizaa’s technology in their schools, the start-up has ambitious plans for expansion.
Ngugi Karega, CEO of Skizaa Education, announced, “Today, 40 000 students are benefitting from Skizaa’s technology in their schools but by the third quarter of next year, this will expand to over a million students. This grant money along with angel investment we have secured will help us get there.”
The Milken–Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition, founded 14 years ago, aims to support entrepreneurs addressing persistent problems in education. Michael Golden, executive director of Catalyst @ Penn GSE, highlighted the importance of such initiatives, stating, “The latest NAEP results confirm that we need innovative solutions now more than ever. The winners show us the enormous potential of edtech innovators to expand educational equity worldwide.”
Skizaa’s win not only brings accolades to Kenya but also showcases the potential of African start-ups to lead in the global edtech arena. As a beacon of innovation, Skizaa Education continues to inspire with its dedication to transforming education for underserved communities across the continent.
In addition to Skizaa Education’s triumph, other winners at the 2023 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) include Unlocked Labs, which secured the prestigious $40 000 Michael & Lori Milken Family Foundation Grand Prize.
Storyshares was honoured with the $10 000 Magnitude Digital Prize, and Unlocked Labs received an additional accolade, the $5 000 Audience Choice Prize presented by Osage Venture Partners.
EdVisorly, a nationwide community college-to-university transfer platform, was granted a substantial $100 000 investment from Conscious Venture Partners. Moreover, all finalists were awarded a portion of $50 000 in Amazon Web Services credits and $1 500 in cash each from Catalyst @ Penn GSE, further reinforcing the competition’s commitment to fostering innovation in the education sector.