AWS’s Ed Start Bringing Together Local Education Startups

While not every Secondary School in Thailand works with online learning solutions and education startups, they have become more and more popular across the country. In response, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has recently moved into the market to capitalize on one of Thailand’s fastest growing industries.

The company’s newest program, educational tech startup accelerator EdStart, is aimed at providing assistance to local education tech startups in Thailand, aiding in building online learning, analytics, as well as campus management solutions on the AWS cloud.

AWS Regional Head for Education, Research, Healthcare, and Not-For-Profit, Asia Pacific, Vincent Quah says that the number of online students has been improving annually, but the environment hasn’t really kept up. Edtech has limited resources, while online educational platforms aren’t unified and standardized, and the environment, in general, isn’t properly set up or handled.

A recent survey conducted by Kasikornbank’s research arm noted how the tutoring business in Thailand sat at a value of 8 billion baht in 2018.

Quah, meanwhile, says that AWS launched the EdStart program in the country in 2018 simultaneously with other countries in the region. The program helps out online educational startups in the countries it operates in via community, technical, and financial support, especially with the AWS’s non-cash promo credits.

The challenge of online learning platforms is ensuring that students’ quality of learning is at least on par with many a Secondary School in Thailand, as well as ensuring that they grow and expand their business quickly.

Recently, the AWS held an official press conference for their EdStart, alongside one of their partners, OpenDurian, which they’ve been cooperating with since early in 2019.

Quah says that, by operating under the EdStart program, the companies can scale their businesses with minimal issue, and go global by taking advantage of their AWS Regions, which operates 66 availability zones to allow for the expansion of products.

EdStart is aimed at educational tech startups founded within the last half-decade, and generated less than US$10 million in annual revenue.

Quah says that OpenDurian is an example of a successful EdStart startup, but didn’t say how many companies are actually in the program.