Personally, it has been an amazing journey. I believe we have survived this far because we have created some form of value for our audience and managed to stay cashflow positive. I will share some important decisions we have taken to define a way forward. But before that, let’s see what happened in 2023!
Turnip signs MoU with AICTE
This is easily the biggest highlight of 2023 for us. Our 2-Week Patent Course, along with some other courses, are now approved by AICTE.
We can see a visible effect of this credibility boost on our course sales. Academic institutes are more forthcoming and less apprehensive about engaging with us. Reaching the 5 year mark as an organisation and the credibility boost provided by AICTE will allow us to break the ice with educational institutes across India.
I truly believe that the AICTE approval makes the 2-Week Patent Course one of the best IPR certifications in India. All scholars should first undergo this certification to get a clear understanding about patents. It lays the ground to working as inventors, analysts or professionals in the IPR field!
Online versus offline
Online education saw a meteoric rise during Covid times. But this changed dramatically in 2022. Educational institutions opened up and offline student enrolments soared. This coincided with the worst of fortunes for edtech companies. Layoffs and funding crunch hit startup giants and smaller players alike.
2023 was a year when offline education reasserted its dominance while online education found their feet again.
There is no question that students prefer offline. Fellowship and camaraderie are the most important aspects of an education. I hope that it remains so despite the advent of artificial intelligence.
In 2023, online education rediscovered the biggest leverage they always had. Availability of top professionals at any time, at any place, and at low cost. The best of educational institutes struggle to rope in top industry professionals in the classroom. The economies of scale available with edtech companies has the potential to create macroeconomic change.
💡 This is the guiding vision for Turnip for the next 5 years: To leverage our technology architecture to create macroeconomic change in the society. We will continue to be online first and conduct offline workshops via MOU partnerships where possible.
I believe it is not about whether online is better or offline. It is about what stand you take!
Effects of Artificial Intelligence
OpenAI launched ChatGPT on 30th November 2022. But 2023 will be remembered as the year when the world woke up to AI’s magical leaps.
We already had Google, YouTube, Coursera and Udemy for free access to information. AI could pose the stiffest challenge yet to the relevance of educational institutes.
This is not to say that educational institutes have an existential crises because of AI. But it sure will increase the benchmark output expected to be produced by academic institutions.
Currently, it does not appear that AI can be applied to major new business models. The use-cases have centred around augmenting older models where distribution and knowledge base already exists.
Almost all output produced by AI requires significant last mile effort. Seemingly rudimentary tasks like writing email, essays, blog posts, social media posts cannot be meaningfully created with AI alone.
AI is a real threat if the education system continues to produce “non-thinkers”. AI has shown that asking questions will never get old.
💡 The biggest obsession for academic institutes should be to focus on the new age skill “prompt engineering”; and not whether an assignment was AI assisted. If a student can use AI to submit an assignment, it says more about the relevance of the assignment than about the integrity of the student.
💡 Artificial Intelligence will be like a new paintbrush. Every one can own it; but not everyone can produce a fine piece of art with it.
Changing nature of scholar engagement
Classroom education, as we know it, is under increasing pressure. A few years of Covid has significantly increased “screentime”. The advent of “AI” and so-called “content”, is causing fundamental changes to learning patterns. High quality educational material is at everybody’s fingertips.
💡 The young generation has shorter attention spans but faster receptive powers. Instead of learning from one medium deeply, students are learning in smaller quantities from multiple mediums.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 strongly promotes “experiential learning” and “hands-on” curriculum. Academic institutes will have to go out of their way to implement this in letter, spirit and deed. Structures will have to be designed so bulk of the learning will happen outside classrooms. The onus here is upon institute’s administration and faculty, not students!
Turnip signs several MoU’s with colleges across Tamil Nadu
In early 2023, I visited several colleges across Tamil Nadu. It was an eye opening experience for me. I felt there is a certain energy in the education system of Tamil Nadu.
On the streets of Chennai, I saw droves of young children being marshalled by their school teachers (mostly women). The children were having the time of their lives, laughing and screaming. I felt the teachers were diligently managing the children as if it were their duty.
The future of education should be nothing short of that.
Check out my earlier blog post on the trip: rahulkapoor.me/turnip-signs-several-mous-with-colleges-across-tamil-nadu/
We have launched turnipinno.com
This year we have opened up 8 courses in IPR, Innovation and Entrepreneurship domains free of charge for academic institutes.
turnipinno.com serves as a dedicated platform for academic institutions to conduct courses on intellectual property, innovation and entrepreneurship.
We have already signed MoU’s with several academic institutes regarding the same. In 2024, we will aggressively promote the platform across India. Feel free to get in touch with me (email@example.com) to sign an MoU with your institute.
Turnip to focus more on Entrepreneurship curriculum
While our strengths will always be in the intellectual property rights domain, we feel as a company we need to reach out to a broader audience to stay sustainable.
Despite a courageous push by the government and implementation by academic institutes, I feel IPR is still a niche subject in India.
Supplementing IPR curriculum with entrepreneurship and innovation feels like a natural extension. It adds a holistic view towards IPR as a tool to leverage for conducting profitable businesses.
Turnip is taking a funnel approach to educating scholars in the fields of IPR, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. At the top of the funnel, we need more students to get exposed to the concept of innovation. Only then can we expect more change makers at the bottom of the funnel!
A note on Turnip’s pedagogy style
I have seen academic institutes and accreditation bodies obsess over “learning outcomes”. At Turnip, we don’t believe in any specific learning outcome.
Learning is a journey. It is not something that can be “finished” or “completed.” Ask any expert and they’ll say they are learning even after being in the field for decades!
Some scholars have been on our email list for over 4 years. They take a course or attend an event when comfortable for them. We don’t promise to sell a “course bundle” that will make them experts in 45 hours or something ridiculous like that.
Check out my Twitter thread on low course completion rates at MOOC platforms: x.com/rahulkaap/status/1457176686730956803
We feel course takers want convenience. They don’t want to feel obligated. We offer a slow and consistent pedagogy style that enhances retention.
Qualcomm presents Turnip Innovation Festival 2024
Very quietly, we are ready to organise the 4th Edition of Turnip Innovation Festival. I am proud to announce that this year we will have Qualcomm Inc. as our lead sponsor.
The theme for the online conference is Intellectual Property and Startups. We will host 10+ eminent speakers in the fields of IPR and Entrepreneurship for a day-long live stream event.
Turnip’s current numbers
- This year we have hit a peak of close to 1200 paying customers per month
- We have over 85,000 email subscribers who have undergone some course or an event
- Including our free offerings, we expect to add 1200 to 6000 users monthly on our platform.
- Till date we have hosted 120 professional live streamed webinars.
- I have lost count of all the private sessions for Turnip (about 100) and for institutes. In 2023, I got notable invitations from IIT Bombay Research Cell and Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell to deliver lectures on AI, Research and IPR.
- Check out currently active Turnip courses: linktr.ee/turnipinno
- Turnip website: turnip.co.in
- Follow up on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/turnipinno
- Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: youtube.com/@turnipinno
- Join Turnip’s Mailing List
Here’s wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2024! 🎉