University of Birmingham alumni raise £ 800,000 for the automatic assessment platform

Three former University of Birmingham students who developed STEM course evaluation software raised £ 800,000 to expand their business.

Funding came from angelic investors, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), managed by Mercia – a specialist assistance manager with 19 university partnerships – and Mercia’s Enterprise Investment Scheme.

The software, known as Graide, is the result of a doctoral thesis written by Birmingham alumni Robert Stanyon. He and co-developers Manjinder Kainth and George Bartlett recognized the need for the system as they worked as teaching assistants during their postgraduate studies.

The developers estimate that the technology reduces the time it takes teachers to evaluate math and science documents by 89%. It is being tested in six universities.

Graide is aimed at higher education institutions and can be used to mark both courses and exam papers for STEM subjects.

The system, which incorporates artificial intelligence, learns an evaluator’s evaluation style so they don’t have to evaluate the same answer twice. As the evaluator works on the document, Graide automates more and more feedback.

The developers also set up a company to market the software.

6 Bit Education is based at Birmingham Research Park on the University of Birmingham campus. The funding will allow the team to expand by creating two new jobs and adding new features to the platform.

As part of the investment, Mercia has introduced two edtech specialists from its network of non-executive directors.

Andrew Doyle has been named president while Tony Austwick joins as an adviser. Both have significant experience in early and growth stage technology companies and in the education sector.

Manjinder Kainth, CEO of 6 Bit Education, said: “Providing high quality feedback is essential for students, but it is time consuming and can be plagued by inconsistencies. Graide faces this challenge.

“This investment will accelerate our traction by increasing the size of our sales team. It will also fund some exciting features on the product roadmap that could see Graide extend from the science and math departments to the entire campus. “

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund projects are financially supported by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Program 2014-2020 and the Bank European Investment Fund.

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University of Birmingham alumni raise £ 800,000 for the automatic assessment platform

Source link University of Birmingham alumni raise £ 800,000 for the automatic assessment platform

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