Australian start-up Dystech was recently invited to attend a special three-day educational event held at Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Singapore. Currently creating an assessment app for Dyslexia, Dystech was one of only five Australian startups to be invited. Co-Founders Hugo Richard and Jim Radford were given the opportunity to access free training and workshops, pitch to investors, receive mentoring and be presented with valuable global networking opportunities within the education sector in the Asia Pacific Region.
“Sam Harris, the Education Program Lead at Amazon reached out to us and invited us to the event held in their Singapore office. It was a compliment to us as we were not members of the Edstart program at that stage. We quickly flew overnight to meet with both startups and industry leaders from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan,” said Hugo, CEO and Co-Founder of Dystech.
Likening the experience to a fantastical boot camp and ‘whirlwind’, Hugo said that the experience provided them with a great insight into how technology is implemented in both private and government-run schools throughout the region.
“As well as hearing from the Asian Development Bank, we were talked through specific laws that technology companies must adhere to in educational institutions from each country. We spoke to the governing body for private schools in Singapore, a whole team of Chinese experts told us about how to expand into China. We also pitched for 7 minutes with key venture capitalists and were given training on AWS machine learning platforms.”
Co-Founder Jim Radford said that the trip highlighted that every education system in the region wants to solve assessment issues around Dyslexia.
“As soon as we mentioned Dyslexia, every professional around the table nodded their head in agreement. Every education system is having this problem, every language in the world is impacted by Dyslexia, and a mobile device that can help assess this is very accessible.”
“I was surprised to find that much of the financial support to help create this technology is being funded through philanthropic sources. Many schools that have little money will benefit from using mobile devices to solve these problems in education. It’s clear to us now that our app will have a global impact,” Mr Radford added.
Amazon EdStart Program is assisting technology founders by providing startups like Dystech access to a AWS Technical Architect to support their development team, marketing support, access to AWS machine learning algorithms, insight into the education industry and industry-specific mentoring.
“Becoming part of Amazon’s EdStart program has a great financial benefit to us, we expect to reduce our costs by about 30% with this support. We have also met some incredible people to network with, including Andrew Smith who created the well known Mathletics app that is used in schools all over Australia today.” continued Hugo.
Hugo said that a working app is on track and is ready for their anticipated deadline of March 2020. Currently, they are working with psychologists and speech therapists to collect professional data. They are also creating industry links within the education sector in Australia, and are planning events to link up with school principal’s in the near future, so they can be made aware of the advantages of assessing children for dyslexia in the education sector.
Dystech has also now made it to the top 5 finalists for a large Startup Edtech competition in Australia, which means they have been given $10,000 by Amazon in credit to use their infrastructure.
“We are also heading to Melbourne on October 30th to pitch our app in the competition and if successful will head to the USA to it’s largest EdTech competition in the world” Hugo concluded.
Dystech is creating the world’s first assessment app for dyslexia using artificial intelligence. They are a team of passionate academics and entrepreneurs united by this one shared goal, envisioning a future where this dyslexia assessment is available to children all around the world. Visit www.dystech.com.au for more information.