AWS Public Sector Blog
EdTech startups are making education more affordable and accessible to students at scale
Amazon Web Services (AWS) EdStart Members and founders—Tan Han Sing, founder of Tueetor, and Sanjay Srivastava, founder of Vocareum—are making educational resources more accessible to students at scale. Han Sing is focused on affordably connecting learners from all backgrounds with trainers, while Sanjay is focused on closing the global digital skills gap by providing turnkey virtual labs for higher education, tech training, demo, and assessment.
Tueetor is making education more affordable and accessible
Tan Han Sing’s mission is to connect students with tutors while promoting affordable education to learners and job opportunities to teachers. Tan saw a need to make education more affordable after watching a close family friend battle with her child’s high tuition costs and could not afford support outside of the classroom. Another friend had difficulty securing educational support for their child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Also during this time, the post-financial crisis of 2008, that Tan had several friends out of work. This combination of events inspired Tan to create Tueetor, a location-based, self-serve, automated matching platform bringing together tutors, trainers, and users into one place. Tueetor gives skilled professionals the opportunity to kick-start their education businesses for free, and also connect students with subject matter experts, in less than two minutes.
Since 2016, Tueetor has helped thousands of low-income families find affordable and accessible education opportunities and jobs. Neither tutors looking for work or students looking for help are required to pay a fee, unless a match is found. Tueetor is all-in on AWS and has been using the platform since 2016. They use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for secure, resizable compute capacity, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for operating and scaling in the cloud, and Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) with Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) to provide a fully managed messaging service their platform communications.
“We decided from day one that Tueetor was going to be regionally focused, and that Singapore was both a testbed and springboard. We wanted to eventually export the high standards of Singapore education to other Southeast Asian countries. We needed a cloud provider that was able to help us scale. We found that in AWS,” said Tan Han Sing. “The most important value we saw in AWS was that it is all-in-one. From messaging to mail to storage to database to facial recognition technologies, there is literally no need to use other solution providers. Everything is available on AWS and on demand.”
Using AWS, Tueetor quickly scaled from 500 to 16,000 tutors and trainers. Throughout this time, Tan became an AWS EdStart Member, attending several events, ranging from investors and technology partner meetings to showcasing their solution at large scales events such as the AWS Summit in Singapore.
Looking to the future, Tan plans to use AWS to continue to scale the Tueetor platform into additional countries. Learn more about how Tueetor is using AWS.
Vocareum is closing the global digital skills gap through cloud-based learning labs
Sanjay Srivastava founded Vocareum because he wanted to help close the global digital skills gap through cloud-based learning labs and performance-based assessments. Srivastava believes that cloud computing is critical to helping institutions respond to the growing need for proficiency in digital literacy. Vocareum is a cloud lab platform built for learning, research, and assessment in computation courses, making it possible to affordably deliver high-end computing infrastructures to learners 24/7.
Vocareum has helped offer equitable access to high-quality education by providing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for their broad set of labs, rich assessment capabilities, and integrations to support a range of use cases including residential classes, bootcamps, upskilling platforms, and performance-based assessments. Srivastava recognized that incorporating a high-quality hands-on component was critical to students as a part of the educational journey. Vocareum does this through collaborations with edX, AWS Educate, Simplilearn, University of Washington, Purdue University, Cornell University, and more.
Vocareum is cloud-native and currently uses a variety of AWS services for their infrastructure such as AWS Organizations to centrally manage their environment, AWS Auto Scaling to optimize performance and cost, and AWS Lambda to build and scale faster with serverless architecture.
“A highly reliable and globally available infrastructure has been critical to our success as we have scaled both geographically and by number of learners. Numerous built-in services provided by AWS have meant that we have been very capital efficient and have successfully bootstrapped our operations to profitability,” said Sanjay Srivastava.
In addition to being all-in on AWS, Vocareum is an AWS EdStart Member, where they have had the opportunity to attend events, network with industry leaders, and work side-by-side with AWS business and technical teams. As a result of their engagement with AWS EdStart, Vocareum learned about and incorporated AWS Cloud education programs like AWS Educate into their hands-on cloud labs.
“The biggest value that AWS EdStart provided was the opportunity to meet and network with other entrepreneurs,” said Sanjay. “Additionally, the technical support provided has been extremely helpful. AWS helped us scale our operations to 700,000 learners globally on a very tight bootstrapped budget.”
Next on the horizon, Vocareum plans to deploy services such as Amazon SageMaker and AWS IoT Greengrass to assist students with their machine learning and IoT skills within labs.
AWS EdStart, an educational technology (EdTech) startup accelerator, is designed to help entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions in the AWS Cloud. Learn more about AWS EdStart and read other stories about AWS EdStart founders.