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Empowering parents to be leaders.

Dost Education

New Delhi and San Francisco
Dost Education empowers aspiring middle-income parents in India to improve their child’s early development and school success. Through widely available mobile technology, Dost, which means “friend” in Hindi, delivers local language curriculum and a communication platform to arm parents with the knowledge and resources they crave.
Introduction

What is Dost Education?

Our work

Dost is an EdTech nonprofit working in Early Childhood Education in India. We help parents of any literacy level to boost their child’s early learning and development at home. Through 1-minute podcasts delivered via phone calls four times a week (“phonecasts”), Dost solves everyday parent problems and nudges parents to turn regular moments into learning moments. Current content is for parents with kids aged 2-8 and covers cognitive development, socio-emotional skills, and school preparedness.

The problem

Low-income parents are motivated to give their children the best education, but struggle to do so, particularly during the early years. Their children enter primary school behind and never have a chance to catch up. The scale of the problem is enormous, especially in India, where there are 150 million illiterate women and by 5th grade, only half of children can read at a 2nd grade level.

How we are solving this problem

From neuroscientists and economists, experts agree on a high ROI method to address this cycle of illiteracy: promote early learning experiences at home. Accomplishing this task requires innovation: the millions of kids who need better early learning experiences live in low-income, low literacy homes.

Users

Our users are typically mothers who have attained a high school education or less and have household earnings of $1-10 a day.

Reach

Since our beta launch in 2017 with 300 users, we have grown 100x to 35,000 families through a network of Dost Champions and strategic partnerships with preschools. By 2021, we will scale our “phonecast” product to 1 million families, work with researchers to refine the model for deeper impact, and innovate on new, rich-media prototypes for low-income families who are increasingly gaining smartphone access. After 2021, we anticipate working closely with state governments to integrate the most cost-effective components of Dost into the public preschool system.

Funders

Y Combinator, Mulago Foundation, Chintu Gudiya Foundation, Gina Sanders/Gina's Collective, Fast Forward

Founders

Sneha Sheth (Founder, CEO) - Sneha started Dost while completing her MBA at UC Berkeley. She has experience designing programs for women’s empowerment, financial inclusion and education across the world, including Mumbai, Cairo and Nairobi. In previous roles at Dalberg and Oliver Wyman, she advised clients like Goldman Sachs, the Gates Foundation, Teach For India, and UN Women. She’s currently a Mulago Rainer Arnhold Fellow and Gratitude Network Awardee.

Sindhuja Jeyabal (Co-founder, CTO)- Sindhuja has expertise in data mining, web-service design, and mobile application development. Sindhuja received a Master in Information Management and Systems from UC Berkeley, where she specialized in technology for international development and began building Dost. She has also built and won awards for developing tools for privacy and social finance. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from BITS Pilani (India).

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Innovation Overview
PARENTS
Target Group
35 000
Children/Users
1
Country
2016
Established
Not-for-profit
Organisation
131
Views
Focus areas
Literacy, Parenting
Tips for implementation
Visit https://www.dosteducation.com/ to find out more.
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Media

See this innovation in action

The 52 startups that launched at Y Combinator W17 Demo Day 1 – TechCrunch
Dost Education, Credy And DocTalk - Get Into Y Combinator’s New Winter 2017 Batch - Inc42 Media
Dost Education: Parenting, just a podcast away
How Dost Education is empowering low-income parents to promote early childhood development at home
These Founders Killed It In 2018, And Their Returns Are All Impact
India's education technology startup, Dost Education, claims $25,000 global tech prize

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

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