education_startupsGlobal publishing and education company Pearson and Village Capital have partnered to support and invest in education entrepreneurs in India who are serving some of the less privileged students. The winning startups, selected through peer review by fellow entrepreneurs, will receive up to $75,000 in funding from the partnership.

The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund, set up last year, invests in low-cost private schools and other affordable educational solutions.

Upto 16 start-ups will participate in organized workshops where they will receive mentoring advice from other entrepreneurs, investors and professionals, the company said. Entrepreneurs will be assessed based on 6 criteria, and the top two ranking companies will receive up to $75,000 each. Pearson and Village capital have committed $100,000 and $50,000 towards the award, respectively.

The programme is restricted to entrepreneurs in the education space, who operate in India and serve the less privileged students. The programme is open to both technology and non-technology for-profit startups. If you fall in this category, you can apply here.

With education for the poor a big problem in India, programmes like these will surely bring a boost to such initiatives.

Earlier this year Pearson had launched Power School, a web-based student information system in eight of its schools across four states in the country. The Power school technology uses ERP to help parents and teachers keep track of students’ safety, academic performance and behaviour at school. The platform also gave parents, teachers and students easy access to school circulars, fee payment, and student assessments.

Toward the end of last year, the company had also launched MX Touch,tabled based education solution for schools in India, that contained digital learning content and was planned to be priced under Rs 7000 for a 7 inch version and a 10 inch version for approximately Rs 12,000.

In February Pearson acquired K Ganesh’s stake in Tutorvista, the online tutoring company which the serial entrepreneur co-founded with his wife Meena Ganesh in 2005.