08 November 2019

Cape Town Edtech Startup MindZu in Finals of Global Awards

Submitted by Godfrey
Cape Town Edtech Startup MindZu in Finals of Global Awards

Cape Town’s MindZu has made it into the finals of the Global Edtech Startup Awards. Over 3,000 companies from more than 80 countries entered the GESAwards competition, which provides an unmatched showcase for the most innovative companies from across the world.

Godfrey Parkin, co-founder of MindZu (www.mindzu.com), said, “Being selected for the finals is a huge endorsement for a company that has an ambitious mission. Through quality gamified maths education we improve the lives of millions in South Africa, and worldwide – irrespective of how dire or non-existent their school circumstances are.”

MindZu provides a full year of the highest quality maths education, via the learner’s own phone, for the price of a meal.

“The education system has failed the masses in South Africa and throughout the developing world,” says Parkin. “Most edtech operates within this failed system, so it too fails the masses.” MindZu is disrupting education by going direct to learners.

The company’s focus is on maths, particularly the final years of high school. To MindZu, learning maths is more than just being able to regurgitate Pythagoras or pass exams. “The early teenage brain is evolving faster than at any time other than the first years of life,” says Parkin. “The teen brain is ‘wiring’ itself to process complexity, and the quality of that wiring is determined by what stimulates or challenges it. Learning maths creates teenage minds which excel at creativity and complex problem-solving. It multiplies an individual's prosperity options. And as a consequence it collectively lifts the economy – not over decades but almost immediately.”

Learning maths - the most important developer of 21st century mental skills capacity in teens - should never be dumbed down in educational curricula, and the already disadvantaged should never be deprived of the upliftment benefits it brings. Yet our school system and our teachers struggle to teach the subject.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of youngsters aged 15-17 are not even in school, and this will get worse as migration levels grow. How do you get maths education to mobile, un-schooled or poorly schooled kids? The only way is to make it truly inexpensive, and deliver it via their mobile phone in a format which is compelling, exciting, and gamified. This is what MindZu does.

“We are solving not just a South African maths problem. We are solving a developing world prosperity problem. And we can do it profitably, which means we grow without depending on grants or donations,” says Parkin.

The GESAwards are a joint project of leading edtech organizations from across the world. In South Africa the awards are sponsored by the UK South Africa Tech Hub, a UK government initiative.