Last year, I had the opportunity to present my company ROYBI, an AI-powered educational robot for young children, at Alibaba Cloud’s North America contest. My company was selected from hundreds of applicants to be one of the ten finalists to compete at the regional event. This was an exciting experience for me to go on the stage and spread the word about our work in robotics and early childhood education.
It was particularly a challenging contest because I was presenting an entirely new concept: customizing education through AI and personalizing the learning experience based on every child’s learning ability. It was that exciting moment when the judges announced that ROYBI became the Runner Up and winner of the Alibaba Cloud North America contest.
At the contest, I could undoubtedly feel the support Alibaba was providing on education as well as to female founders particularly at the very early stage of our company. Often times, large organizations miss the opportunities startups can bring to this world because they are only focusing on numbers, not the team, their expertise and the long-time vision. This is remarkably different about Alibaba considering that their culture is to bring people up from the earliest or lowest possible stage and give them opportunities to grow, thanks to Jack Ma and his team.
Immediately after the contest, Alibaba sponsored ROYBI to compete in the global finals as well as visiting Alibaba Group in Hangzhou, China. 33 countries, 4000 projects, and only 45 startups were able to make it to the finals. We were thrilled by their hospitality and the great planning for our visit. Over 1000 attendees including investors, media, and industry experts from around the world came to watch our pitch on the stage.
After these successful events, Alibaba Cloud invited me to give a TED-style speech at the largest conference in the world, Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona. ROYBI stood out because of the impact it is going to make on children’s lives by providing an accessible and personalized education. Not just that, Alibaba Cloud team took the time to truly understand our vision and provide us the opportunity to share ROYBI’s story to the world. This event started as an initiative called #TechForChange. The conference was held at Sabadell Stage in Barcelona and attracted attendees from all around the world who care about initiatives such as education, humanity and social impact.
Through TechForChange initiative, Alibaba Cloud shed lights on the most pressing issues that we, as the human being, are facing. I am very impressed by their support for ROYBI considering early childhood education is an area that has gone unnoticed by many organizations. Alibaba Cloud’s support has enabled us to spread the word on the importance of early childhood education and making education accessible to any child regardless of where in the world they are or their family income status.
Our journey started when I moved to the US 11 years ago to follow my dream of making an impact on people’s lives. The dream started by utilizing technology to empower children around the world by giving them access to a personalized learning experience.
Every child learns differently and they should be given the opportunity to learn through customized content. Personalized learning has many benefits and utilizing cloud technology has enabled us to provide our technology anywhere around the world.
- ROYBI’s technology highlights children’s abilities rather than their disabilities.
- ROYBI empowers children to learn new skills every day and set personal goals.
- And most importantly, ROYBI can go to places where young children do not have access to education due to lack of having teachers or high cost of education.
Below, you can watch my speech at MWC 19 at Alibaba Cloud TechForChange conference and hear how we are changing the world for children.
On February 26, 2019, we wrapped up the conference by emphasizing the importance of developing language and educational skills at a young age. Children learn through natural and daily conversations. At this busy and fast-paced era, parents have less time than ever to spend with their children. To avoid speech delays, social, or behavior-related problems, ROYBI talks and practices with young children through daily and natural conversations. This allows children to continuously learn and helps parents and educators to keep track of the development of children at home and school through a shareable learner profile.
At ROYBI, we are on a mission to change the way children learn at home, school, or learning centers. Learning should be fun and interactive. Education should focus on children’s abilities and interests. Children should have the chance to learn what interests them not what we want them to learn. ROYBI empowers every child to be the best at what they like.