RocketLabs, the company that was one of the finalists of the 2013 Echelon Philippines Satellite, wants to change the conversation about education in the country. Echelon Philippines Satellite is a local competition meant to find education technology startups to showcase at Echelon2013, Asia’s largest tech conference set to take place in early June in Singapore.
According to TechInAsia.com, education is a difficult topic in the Philippines. Schools and students in the country face issues from lack of funding to lack of access, and even a debate about the best pre-school programs for young children are likely to get contentious.
That’s where RocketLabs aims to step in. The company hopes to offer a platform that puts together virtual labs, academic materials and one-on-one instructionto solve at least one of the country’s biggest ed problems: the availability of up-to-date technical training.
Founded six months ago by Dann Angelo De Guzman and Paul Harris, with help from AngelList, RocketLabs’ main focus is on fields like IT infrastructure, software engineering, business intelligence, digital marketing, and business and engineering applications. At the moment, RocketLabs has up-to-date partnerships in courses with subject matter experts from Microsoft MVP, and is in negotiations with several well known companies to include courses on various key technologies. They also have a memorandum of understanding to focus on cutting edge technologies with several high-level training centers for Cisco technologies. Finally, the development team is planning on a pilot test run in the next few months, with several of their partner companies.
The problems that RocketLabs is trying to solve are immense. Not only is technology training difficult to obtain in the country, the infrastructure to provide it online – along with opportunities for hands-on learning – isn’t there. The company hopes to fill all of those gaps with tools that are flexible and can be deployed even in a lagging IT environment.
In a country where education often means students attending or watching lectures that don’t offer many opportunities for interactivity, the RocketLabs experience is different. Not only do students get training, they get to apply what they learn through hands-on exercises. This kind of approach has proven to work better to help students gain and retain knowledge, understanding and a more useful technology skill-set.
Though still in beta, the startup touted its business model as “flexible and unique”, and the team is confident that its industry-focused approach is polished. The startup promises that accessibility and ease of use will not be an issue, and that continuous learning is guaranteed. The product is set to be monetized, with paid courses, later this year.