Unleashing social networking to collaborative & fun learning

Shivanu Shukla , Co Founder & CEO -Teamie

While at NUS, Shivanu took up technopreneurship as a subject to explore his dream of starting up & building a company, something which had always fascinated him. He credits NUS for having started several programs 15 years ago to lay the foundation of the entrepreneurial eco-system that has developed in Singapore today.  With a degree in Electrical Engineering at National University of Singapore (NUS) on a scholarship, Shivanu used his experience & idea to form Teamie a leading social networking & collaborative platform.

Teamie brings the power of social networking to education to make learning collaborative and fun. Teamie was founded with the idea of enhancing collaboration & sharing between students themselves, and with other stakeholders in the Education system (Teachers, Parents and Management). Teamie aims to improve the learning process by enabling teams of learners collaborate and learn from each other. Teamie strives to deliver education and has the vision to improve the education process and make social collaboration an inherent part of learning. It builds social learning platforms for education & training purposes

Having worked with Frost & Sullivan for about 7 years into research and consulting teams, led some of the industry practices in ICT, and heading sales for ICT & Public Sector Practices for the Asia Pacific region, Shivanu believes that the exposure & experience enabled him to understand the trends, challenges, and opportunities in the ICT space which was extremely helpful when he started Teamie. He manages the business affairs at Teamie and is responsible for Product Strategy and Go-to-market strategy & Sales. Read the interview further to know more.

Describe the motivating factor or the circumstance in which Teamie was set up
When I  was  working  at  Frost  &  Sullivan  before  starting  Teamie, I was actively tracking Enterprise communication & collaboration  space, including the impact that enterprise social networks may have. Learning systems, at the time, were (and, in many instances today, still  are) very transactional, and were built with the idea of only delivering content.
At the same time, Social had become a de-facto mode of communication & collaboration, Mobile proliferation was on the rise, and Cloud was fast becoming a reliable & scalable way to deliver IT applications. It felt like a perfect storm to disrupt the learning platform space to make  learning engaging and bring a 21st century learning experience to the classroom and beyond.

What was the biggest challenge faced so far?
To build an enterprise product in Asia with limited resources that can successfully compete with large traditional incumbent players. While our product is now differentiated and we win on the strength of our product, our challenge continues to be the reach & the marketing needed to be in front of more potential customers. Once we are in a customer conversation, our conversion rate is very high as customers can easily see the product proposition and its value to their organisation.

What was the one achievement attained by Teamie which you are proud of?
Teamie is getting picked by institutions over several other leading players in the market due to the strength of our product, and our service. Starting 5 years ago, with very little funding especially when compared to other players, I feel that is a testimony of our vision and hard work.

What is the most significant milestone achieved?
Every customer win, every new country that we reach is a big milestone. I am glad that customers with detailed evaluation processes have picked Teamie after evaluating over 10+ other products in the same category. Every time that happens, its a significant milestone. We now have customers in 9 countries, and are adding customers in new geographies.

Going forward, what are the plans you have in place for Teamie?
Our plan is to focus on building on our success, and increase our presence in the region to become the dominant learning platform for delivering a collaborative and mobile learning experience.

From a product standpoint, our vision from the start has been to make learning more engaging, accessible and personalized. We want enable learners to learn better and teachers to teach better. At Teamie, we say that there are 3 pillars of our platform — Social, Learning and Analytics. We feel, after 5 years, that we are just getting started with the potential of what can be achieved when you put these 3 words together, and the impact it can have on learning engagement, delivery and outcomes.