Three students of Adani Institute of Infrastructure Engineering (AIIE), Ahmedabad, have launched an edtech startup to help young people upskill themselves to be first job-ready.
Suraj Singh, Kalpit Shah and Shreya Nallapaneni — all final-year Electrical Engineering students — founded Academix in February 2020, realising that the skill sets that students were graduating with were falling short of what the jobs needed.
“After joining college, we found that a lot of our seniors were dissatisfied with placement opportunities. They were unaware that, in addition to their regular studies, they needed to upgrade themselves to thrive in corporate jobs. So, our main goal is to help them understand the skills that a future job needs,” said Suraj, the CEO of Academix, which equips youngsters with technical, communication and cognitive skills through its courses.
Connecting interns with employers
Suraj, Kalpit and Shreya started with a free online workshop during the first nationwide lockdown in 2020. The subject was an introduction to graphic design using Canva. More than 500 students registered and around 100 turned up for the workshop.
A few weeks later, they held another workshop on MS Office with Microsoft-certified professional trainer Ambarish Tarte as the instructor. They also ran an eight-month survey to understand customer behaviour and response.
Apart from helping students develop skills, Academix develops industry-focused programmes by collaborating with corporates. The startup caters to both students and corporates by integrating their needs through live courses and workshops. After that, it connects students with vendors that offer in-depth courses.
“We provide a platform to companies to find interns who have completed specific courses,” said Suraj.
(L-R) Academix co-founders Kalpit Shah, Suraj Singh and Shreya Nallapaneni.
As part of Wadhwani Foundation’s National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) NextGen programme, Academix has held eight programmes that have been attended by more than 1,000 students.
The team has been working on an artificial intelligence-driven process to continuously evaluate students and guide them towards specific programmes for upskilling.
“Academix will become an AI-based upskilling platform within a month or two. The beta version is complete, and we are currently testing it internally. We also intend to bring on more instructors which will enable us to offer more programmes,” said Suraj.
“We do not only want to provide certificate courses to students. We want the students to apply their newly acquired skills to real-life challenges during the course,” he added.