Tanzanian start-up Ubongo, a localised educational media platform that reaches millions of families through accessible technologies, has won the ‘Next Billion’ Edtech Prize launched by The Varkey Foundation to recognise the most innovative technology destined to have a radical impact on education in low income and emerging world countries.
Ubongo leverages the power of entertainment, the reach of mass media, and the connectivity of mobile devices, to deliver effective, localized learning to African families at low cost and massive scale. Through learning at home and in the family through a variety of channels, from online to radio and TV – multi-channel players, cartoons are a central part of its storytelling approach.
“We’re delighted to have won the Next Billion Prize. We’re already having an impact reaching children but this award will mean we can do so much more. By 2022 we plan to reach 30 million children in Africa and our ultimate goal is to reach 440 million – every child in Africa,” said Ubongo Chief Executive Nisha Ligon.
The start-up was voted for by delegates at The Global Education & Skills Forum from three startup finalists which include PraxiLabs, and Dost. All three winners will be awarded $25,000.
30 startups were selected to pitch for the ‘Next Billion’ Edtech Prize, which focuses on low income and emerging economies. The winners were chosen from six finalists which included FinEazy, Signa, and Sabaq.
Led by TechCrunch Editor-at-Large Mike Butcher, the expert panel of judges was made up of venture capitalists, philanthropic investors, experts in Edtech and learning sciences, and senior education policy makers.