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In case you haven’t heard, the Varkey Foundation recently organized a new competition to find the next big ideas in the edtech sector. More than 40 startups from across the developing world participated in the inaugural “Next Billion” Edtech Prize to have a shot at the cash reward of $25,000, which is accompanied by a bunch of other perks.

Three companies were declared winners after a panel of judges examined and evaluated the pitching by each individual firm. These winners are: TeachMeNow from the UAE; Chatterbox from the UK; and dot Learn from Nigeria.

Besides the lucrative cash prize of $25,000, the winners will also get the chance to deploy their technologies in partner schools in Western Cape, South Africa.

“Over one billion young people – a number growing every day – are being denied what should be the birthright of every single child in the 21st century, no matter where they live: a good education that allows them to make the most of their God-given talents,” said Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation, while elaborating the ultimate objective of the “Next Billion” Edtech Prize.

He added: “We have launched the ‘Next Billion Prize’ to highlight technology’s potential to tackle the problems that have proven too difficult for successive generations of politicians to solve. Our fervent hope is that the prize inspires practical and persistent entrepreneurs the world over to come forward with fresh tech ideas.”

TeachMeNow, the only participant from the Middle East to have made it through the finals, is a Dubai-based startup that provides a global marketplace that connects students with teachers, mentors, and experts from various disciplines. The platform supports live virtual sessions, enabling teachers from around the world to create their own online business targeting students regardless of their physical location.

Jenan Al-Mukharriq

Jenan Al-Mukharriq

A highly driven organizing member of the StartUp Bahrain ecosystem. And a Project Manager at Matter In Hand with a passion for content creation and empowering communities.