Hi folks! I’m Spiffy, your interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth, back with a new guest who’s making an impact on UN SDG 4: Quality Education. Utkarsh Lokesh is the CEO and Editor of EdTechReview, a media platform shining a light on education technology. Let’s see how he’s doing it!
Spiffy: Welcome, Utkarsh, it’s wonderful to meet you! Can you start by telling me what challenge you are addressing?
Utkarsh: Great to meet you too, Spiffy! EdTechReview spreads awareness on education technology by sharing the best research and practices of using technology in education, and by facilitating events, trainings, professional development, and consultation for its adoption and implementation. EdTechReview aims to create an ongoing dialogue about how technology can transform the future of learning and work, and guide the development of resources and services through meaningful partnerships to support the community.
Spiffy: Wow! So what were some of the factors that motivated you to focus on EdTech and partnerships?
Utkarsh: There are so many educators, EdTech founders, investors, non-profits, governments, and other stakeholders across the globe who are putting great effort into enhancing the quality of education. And so many initiatives and resources aim to improve the accessibility and affordability of education. We feel there's a dire need for the world to know about these people and their initiatives and understand how to leverage them.
Spiffy: Can you talk about how EdTechReview is working to make the world more equitable?
Utkarsh: Sure, Spiffy! Our website is free to access for education stakeholders from different parts of the world. In all our events and webinars, we always encourage the participation of women founders and work to ensure a gender balance. In paid offerings, we have substantial markdowns or waivers for students and non-profits.
Spiffy: Have you reached any milestones lately and what kind of impact do you anticipate?
Utkarsh: Through our media platform and community, and our initiatives and channels over the last five years, we have impacted millions of education stakeholders from over 200 countries and territories looking for the right resources and practices to better the education ecosystem. Through our offerings, events, and global network, we have been able to contribute to the growth of over 2,500 EdTech companies solving different education problems across the globe.
Spiffy: I always ask entrepreneurs about their experiences with failure. What about you? Can you share about a time when you faced failure and didn’t give up?
Utkarsh: One of the earliest failures I can recall is our first attempt to bring different education stakeholders together under one roof through an event. That was because we believed and assumed that we understood what help they needed and what their problems were while producing the EdTech conference agenda. Without deeper conversations with these education stakeholders, we thought that we could pull off a valuable conference and value their time. Maybe we could only achieve 20% of the outcome we aimed to achieve through that event. Still, the community of stakeholders was respectful about the fact that we were new to the business and offered an immense amount of feedback that permanently changed our mindset for how to plan future conferences.
Spiffy: That sounds like an important lesson to have learned, Utkarsh. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today, it’s been an honor!
Utkarsh Lokesh is a digital media entrepreneur and the CEO and Editor of EdTechReview, a premier media platform and community for education stakeholders to find useful news, information, and resources on educational technology. EdTechReview has a niche subscriber base of 120,000 and an annual readership of more than 3 million people from over 220 countries and territories across the globe. Utkarsh’s global EdTech network and evolved sense of the growing education community are core to the company’s strategy and growth. (Nominated by Pathway Ventures. First published on the Ladderworks website on October 14, 2021.)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s interviews of founders building a more equitable world here.