The idea for dot Learn blossomed shortly after Sam Bhattacharyya MBA ’16 and Tunde Alawode PhD ’17 met in D-Lab’s Development Ventures class. With a shared passion for reducing global education inequality and belief in the power of technology to transform lives, the duo decided to pursue their aspirations of improving access to online learning in emerging markets like Africa and India where cost and speed of internet are cited as major barriers.
Sam and Tunde recruited Nick Del Vecchio MBA ’17 to join them on their journey and started thinking through possible solutions. Their software compression technology reduces file sizes by over 10,000x, making video learning data light and affordable, and enabling students to access educational content on devices and connections they already have.
With funding support from the Legatum Center, D-Lab, and the MIT-Africa Initiative, the dot Learn team traveled to Ghana to conduct primary market research. Their trip inspired them to develop their first product: WASSCE-Tutor, a free test-prep app to help students in West Africa study for the regional college entrance exam.
At the end of summer 2016, dot Learn graduated from the MIT delta V accelerator. Their goal is to bring online education to 50 million students by the year 2022.