You may hear stories favored by TechCrunch venture-backed companies, or you may only write about startups that come from specific VCs. Well, I can tell you that this is absolutely wrong. In fact, it could not be further from the truth. I like talking to successful bootstrapped companies. Obtaining money can be a validation, but it is certainly not a measure of success in itself … more money goes hand in hand with more responsibilities.
This is an unusual preamble, but it sets the stage for Skill-Lync, an online provider based in India A training company currently part of the Y Combinator program in the US. The company becomes persistent and develops a fascinating service that helps the thousands of engineers in India turn their smart books into workable skills and jobs.
Skill-Lync started as a YouTube channel for sharing technical tips, but today it's an online training course for mechanical engineering candidates. It offers three different types of courses, ranging from individual modules to full-time curricula.
With an estimated 1
Skill-Lync seeks to directly align mechanical engineers with US Masters programs and / or employers. This is done through an online learning course that uses video content developed in collaboration with industrial companies – the goal is to provide students with job skills and experience.
Students watch videos independently, but meet in groups on WhatsApp to work on assignments. Teachers offer virtual "opening hours" on a Friday to allow interaction with students, questions and more.
The regular courses cost US $ 250 per unit and cover specific areas of mechanical engineering and its application in the workplace.
Last Last year, some 2,500 students took part in Skill-Lync courses, and although courses are demanding at a completion rate of 22 percent, the results for those crossing the finish line are impressive. So impressive that Skill-Lync launches a new and more comprehensive course that will end up guaranteeing a job or giving participants a full refund.
The new course, which guarantees employment or a refund, lasts for eight months of 40 hours per week, with a part-time option of 20 hours per week over 15 months. It's set at Rs. 245,000 – around $ 3,500 – and accessible to qualified candidates based in India.
"Students learn in-depth technical concepts in developing a full-fledged hybrid electric vehicle," founders Suryanarayanan Paneerselvam and Sarangarajan Iyengar – who have previously studied in India on Masters Degrees and later get jobs in the US – said TechCrunch. "The course provides students with concepts such as Battery Performance Management, Electric & IC Engine Powertrain, Strength Analysis (Finite Element Analysis), External Aerodynamics & Design."
The first cohort will open in April and applications will be open until March 15
Increase their graduation rate at 67%, which is twice as much as for individual courses. The duo looks for ways in which students can earn money through crowd-sourcing support.
"We believe that education is a product," said Paneerselvam in an interview. "The way you buy a product from Amazon, but if it does not work, you can return it for a refund."
The company also prepares to launch a similar program for US-based students in June, currently accounting for about 10 percent of monthly course registrations.
But instead of guaranteeing money, this US-focused course will be completely free of $ 700 to pay for software licenses for required engineering services. Instead, Skill-Lync will earn its money by acquiring graduates.
"We guarantee everyone who finishes our course a full-time position," said Paneerselvam. "Once they join a business, they pay us 15 percent of their salary for two years. The tuition is limited to a maximum of $ 20,000. The student may also choose to pay $ 10,000 as a one-time fee if they get a job after the course. "
The ambitious company wants to apply its playbook to other industries than mechanical engineering.
"We want to get into biotechnology and chemical engineering," said Iyengar. "Basically, we made a mechanical engineering book, now we have to apply it to other engineering disciplines."
This means hiring experts for these disciplines and continuing to work with industry leaders to develop course content. It is also a step that is likely to encourage women's participation – 98 percent of current students are male – and the founders of Skill-Lync are happy to make progress.
I believe that in the future, they could substitute college-based training for experienced engineers.
"In the future, we may even be a college online platform where a student can say, 'Hey, I do not need 4 years. In college, I'll take this course and get a job,' said Paneerselvam. "We know the way, but right now we are not concentrating on it."
The immediate goal is to scale the new courses.
Y Combinator is known for its impressive network connecting promising startups to VCs. Skill-Lync wants to use that to raise something on the order of $ 5 million to expand its service to this broader vision.
"We do not need money for what we're doing right now," Paneerselvam said. "But the goal is to set this masters program at 30,000 students over the next two years. We seriously believe that this is possible in different areas. "
On the positive side, Skill-Lync has chosen a good time to go after funding with a number of companies that put digital learning to the fore. Never before has it been important for investors to explore the potential for democratization of Internet knowledge in India.
Byjus recently raised $ 550 million for the globalization of its courses targeting grades 4-12, and spent $ 120 million on the acquisition of Osmo a Startup, the hardware for online and offline learning Children developed. While US Indian company Emeritus benefited from a $ 40 million C series, Topper raised $ 35 million in December.