StartupBus Africa’s Sterio.me has announced a new partnership with Zimbabwe’s Higher Life Foundation making it the first startup from the batch to have real life commercial commitments.
Sterio.me will is set to partner with the institution for a pilot phase after the StartupBus trip. Founded by Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa, Higher Life Foundation manages thousands of schools and has agreed to give Sterio.me access to its schools. in the country.
Speaking to TechMoran, Christopher Pruijsen, Sterio.me’s partnerships and marketing lead and co-founder of StartupBus Africa said, “We are therefore the first startup on the bus to have real life commercial commitments. We will be raising funds for the pilot phase and I will be moving from London to South Africa and Zimbabwe soon to pursue sterio.me
Launched after less than 72 hours of work, Sterio.Me engages young rural African learners through a simple, teacher-generated, pre-recorded and free phone-call to reinforce learning outside the classroom. The startup aims to end the difficulties of engaging learners out of the classroom and an even bigger difficulty tracking their performance especially in Africa.
According to the team, there are some solutions on the market using data, video streaming among others which offer open-source and free educational materials, however not all learners have access to a smartphone or even stable data connections required to consume content. Using only GSM voice signal for quick quiz delivery, Sterio.me is able to cover almost the entirety of the African continent with pre-recorded lessons and SMS quizzes.
“When a learner texts this code, an automated and free VOIP call from our servers to the learner is triggered,” said Chris. “This VOIP call is interactive, including multiple-choice answers and open-ended questions in the same way a call from your bank would work, but with the familiar voice of your teacher. The teachers receive real-time analytics on our platform, which saves them time on collecting results and marking. These analytics empower teachers to measure how their individual learners understand class content, as well as providing regional and national comparisons with other learners using the platform, allowing long-term tracking and measurable learning improvement.
The free for teachers and learners platform also has a marketplace for teachers to share their Sterio quizzes amongst each other and aim to work with local celebrity-created content to increase learner engagement in education and public information via Sterio.Me.
Sterio.me aim to monetize from both professional Sterio creation and strategic advertisements.
Chris grew up in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He is a former President of the Oxford Entrepreneurs and co-founded Startupbus Africa and FounderBus UK in addition to organising the April 2013 Startup Career Launchpad in London. He is a global advisory board member for the Kairos Society and has received numerous fellowships including World Economic Forum “Global Shaper” and membership in the Nexus Youth Summit community. He leads on partnerships and dabbles in marketing for Sterio.me
The other co-founder Danielle Reid, in charge of design and product, for Sterio.me grew up in Melbourne, Australia. She is also building Capsule.fm and product owner of the first showcase of Capsule.fm’s technology. Danielle is a member of Sandbox Network, being recognized for products such as Snapcat and is a mentor at Startupbootcamp Berlin. As designer for Sterio.me, she has worked on branding and front-end development.
Dean Rotherham, the third co-founder is in charge of product integration for Sterio.me. Dean was born in Johannesburg but now living in Cape Town and has a passion for making “stuff” do “things”