Pitch your solution.
Less than 40% of girl students in India complete their secondary education, further decreasing post COVID-19. With broadband internet in only 10% of households and computers in 5%, digital literacy, let alone remote learning, is inaccessible to India’s 'bottom billion'. Girls are disproportionately affected since their mobility outside the home is often limited, worsening digital gender inequality. This limits career advances and completely restricts entry to India's growing STEM and IT fields.
JumpToPC provides technology to improve digital literacy and enables access to online learning, especially for young women in low-income households. With an experience tailored for first-time PC owners, JumpToPC pairs with a user’s smartphone and television to create an affordable home computer. It is compatible with most existing digital learning content and offers a platform to build and distribute new content and services, making it adaptable to the specific needs of underserved communities around the world.
What specific problem are you solving?
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated what was already a journey full of barriers for Indian girls and their education. Gender norms and lack of in-home infrastructure for learning results in less than 20% of girls completing their under-graduation schooling. Online learning, compulsory during COVID-19 and effective at supplementing regular classroom learning, is inaccessible and ineffective for 95% of Indian households without a computer or broadband internet access. The digital learning divide will leave an estimated 170 million girls unable to further their primary education and achieve careers in India’s tech industry that already has less than 25% women representation.
Educational technology (EdTech) companies and government initiatives have risen to this challenge and are producing e-classrooms, learning content, training and certificates tailored for class, subject and language. Crunchbase lists over 400 Ed-tech companies in India alone that “are changing the face of education”. However, while the face is changing, the arms and hands to reach students across India have not changed. In addition to digital content, learners need the tools to effectively use and practice new knowledge and skills.
What is your solution?
A growing body of digital learning content exists, and many households already have most of the components needed for an in-home PC. JumpToPC technology augments these assets to enable learners to jump across the digital divide. The solution consists of three components: a device that pairs the user’s existing smartphone and television, a mobile application that transforms the mobile OS into a big screen desktop experience, and peripherals that allow the user to interact in the digital environment.
JumpToPC also includes technology advances responsive to her needs. The device connects any smartphone to any television, including old CRTs, using a wireless protocol that does not require external WiFi. The base peripherals include a keyboard and mouse designed for mobile-first users, which are extensively stress-tested. Each user receives a base set of compatible applications (e.g. browser, word processor, spreadsheet), and can easily add more from the curated JumpToPC Library as she advances. Users who opt-in can receive free content recommendations driven by JumpToPC’s recommendation engine.
For institutions that may require customized solutions, JumpToPC can be implemented with additional features including e-classroom software, video and voice peripherals, and pre-installed offline content.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
India ranks in the lowest quartile globally for gender inequality, women with at least some secondary education, and women in the labor force, despite being a medium human development country and the world’s largest democracy. More than 60% of young women drop out before they complete their secondary education. With an average annual income of 40,000 INR (525 USD), the bottom 50% of Indian households cannot afford conventional computers.
With renewed focus on increasing digital literacy in the last years, several at-home programs were created for individuals ages 20 to 50 - women comprised 81% of those who signed up. There is also enough research to prove that young women derive the most impact from remote-learning solutions. The missing piece is just access to affordable in-home technology.
Alongside our partner, Greenway Appliances, we have spent years on the field with women and children across the Indian diaspora. JumpToPC has been developed with user-feedback, with peripherals and interface designed for a mobile-first user. This is how we knew that quick adoption would depend on minimal behavioural changes. JumpToPC is an in-home solution, comprising devices that she is innately familiar with, encouraging her to actively use it.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?Increase the number of girls and young women participating in formal and informal learning and training
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Challenge and your selected dimension.
In India, girls are disadvantaged when it comes to learning and practicing digital skills due to several reasons - a lack of access to technology, gender norms, concerns over safety and hygiene. JumpToPC provides physical and virtual tools to enable formal remote classroom participation and informal extracurricular learning - essential to career prep for girls. Through gender-inclusive, guided-learning and practice in a safe and acceptable at-home environment, JumpToPC fills a major gap in reducing barriers and strengthening practical digital skills.
JumpToPC aims to increase participation in formal and informal learning and training and strengthen STEM competencies for employment transitions.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
What is your solution’s stage of development?Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new application of an existing technology
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
JumpToPC’s innovation arises from scarcity in low-income households, every family’s desire to create a better future for their children, and the recent increase in penetration of mobile technology. With an average annual income of 40,000 INR (525 USD), the bottom 50% of Indian households cannot afford conventional computers. However, with an average 20% of their income spent on education, JumpToPC fits within household constraints as an educational investment. By focusing on this cost constraint, we took a different approach compared to competitors like Sentio and Nexdock who pair the smartphone with a laptop shell. Since 70% of Indian households already own a television, JumpToPC leverages that for the display instead of a dedicated monitor, eliminating 15% of the cost of a computer.
In addition, India has the cheapest mobile data in the world and fastest growing smartphone ownership, which serves as the processor and storage in JumpToPC, eliminating an additional 50% cost. The display adapter functions similarly to a Chromecast and Fire TV stick, but meets the specific needs of our target customers by using a secure peer-to-peer wireless connection instead of WiFi, no subscription- or pay-wall, and easy setup with local customer support. Today, all Indians are familiar with using mobile applications including ShareChat, WhatsApp and TikTok, which was not the case when products like One Laptop Per Child, Aakash tablet, and Intel’s Classmate PC were introduced. JumpToPC is built in Android for the mobile-first user to make the transition to digital literacy easier.
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
The major technical hurdle for JumpToPC was connecting devices that are otherwise incompatible to create a cohesive PC experience. 80% of televisions in Indian households are 15+ year-old CRTs. JumpToPC accommodates all televisions with HDMI and A/V connectors, and adaptive aspect ratio. Existing screen mirroring products provide a foundation that JumpToPC builds on for low-income users. To operate independent of an internet connection, JumpToPC uses a high-bandwidth, peer-to-peer wireless protocol, WiFi Direct, that operates on the ubiquitous 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands. To overcome signal interference that plagues many WiFi Direct products, JumpToPC uses a high-power MIMO antenna which achieves <100ms latency in high RF traffic environments. The smartphone is used for computing, UI and storage, so the display adapter is purpose-built for receiving and displaying content, allowing for a low-cost ARM A7 SoC and minimal software. Low-cost, wireless peripherals allow the user to interact in the digital environment.
Most existing software for converting a mobile UI to large-format desktop requires installing a new OS (e.g. Ubuntu Touch, Maru). JumpToPC uses Sentio Desktop which augments any Android OS to a desktop UI without rooting. Pre-installed learning content from across online platforms is included via the JumpToPC Library app, which is curated based on input from educators and researchers, and features content targeted for girls STEM learning. A high priority for future development is streamlining the desktop application setup, improving the UI through co-design with early adopters, and opening the software platform for custom development.
Provide evidence that this technology works.
While our goal throughout has been a product which improves access to computing at home, we understood that an entertainment product would be an easier sell and would require less behaviour change for many households. Therefore we first introduced JumpToTV, a low-cost device and app to discover and jump photos and videos from smartphone to television (www.jumptotv.com). The JumpToTV device is in use by 1000s of households in India confirming that the core technology works and is acceptable to our target market. In 2019, we began prototyping JumpToPC using the JumpToTV device. We carried those early models to schools and households for user testing and feedback, including girls who wanted to learn coding at home, rural schools with no computer lab, and women who wanted to do data entry jobs from home. The response so far has been very positive and several demos and testimonials are available on our youtube channel: www.youtube.com/c/JumpStream
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
What is your theory of change?
Alongside our partner, Greenway Appliances, we have ample time to interact with our target households, and truly understand what they need to improve their lives. Several times, we have seen young girls and women rise to challenges and seek opportunities for education and vocations. But they are limited by their decision-makers, by safety issues and sanitation concerns. With JumpToPC, we aim to be their leverage to access quality education and enhanced career options, especially in STEM fields.
Our Theory of Change Model:
Inputs: JumpToPC technology, curated learning content at home, funding for scale
Outputs: Production and distribution of JumpToPC units, Girls accessing appropriate learning content and practicing digital skills at home
Outcomes: Girls become digitally literate, complete courses and certificate programs and are qualified for professional careers including in STEM and IT
Impacts: Women are more equally represented in the workforce and serve as role models for girls
At each point, we have metrics to calculate the tangible outcomes, while spending time with our users to analyse impact. This is also where our MIT partnership would be very useful; they would help define learning outcomes, content curation, and impact assessment.
An HBR review provided a matrix based on the degree of product change involved and the degree of behaviour change required to adopt it successfully, which stated that the focus of any innovator should be to minimise behavioural change but provide maximum benefits in return. Since the TV and the smartphone form two out of the three main components of JumpToPC - devices that our users are innately familiar with, it reduces an aversion of trying new products or of needing vigorous training, additional costs which further decrease adoption.
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?
In which countries do you currently operate?
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?
JumpToPC is currently being used by the first 50 users for learning and working from home. We define a user as a family member who is the primary user of the device. Basis their feedback, we are constantly value engineering and optimising for functionality and making data + observation driven improvements to the UI/UX.
In the next one year, we are on track to have 75,000 users and aim to scale to 2 million users in the next 5 years.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
Our goals over the next year are to solidify our distribution and sales channels, gather and implement feedback from our initial users, establish new institutional partnerships, distribute our first 10,000 units and introduce a software as a service (SaaS) institutional model. While the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty and delayed some planned activities, it has also made access to online learning a priority worldwide. To reach these goals we will need to achieve an MVP in the next six months, set up manufacturing with our existing partners in Shenzhen and secure distribution agreements.
Our goals for the next five years are to reach two million households and 1,000 schools in India, secure partnerships with learning content providers, add productivity tools for work-from-home users, partner with micro-finance institutions (MFIs), and launch JumpToPC software as an open source platform for other businesses to build on. It would be a full-service computing device on which advanced applications such as graphic design, advanced programming languages, along with full suite school learning modules can be easily accessed.
To reach these goals we will have grown an in-house team at our Mumbai headquarters. Partnering with MFIs will help achieve a significantly larger scale than our own distribution channels. To confirm we are achieving the targeted outcomes, we will implement appropriate monitoring and evaluation compliant with laws on data collection. Our partnership with MIT D-Lab includes research that will result in publications on the impact of JumpToPC as an intervention towards digital literacy in low-income households.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?
In February 2020, we had completed our pilot run, but unfortunately with the COVID-19 pandemic, we hit pause on sales and distribution after. Our immediate barriers in the next year are:
a) Supply Chain & Manufacturing Costs: In these initial stages, we are importing certain critical components, particularly the PCBs. With imports of non-essential items currently at a stand still, we will need to arrange alternate suppliers, which might increase our costs. Also, any import duty fluctuations can affect the product's end pricing.
b) Team Capacity: We need software developers who can make cost-effective production quality products, as well as integrate third-party services seamlessly.
c) Distribution: In the wake of the crisis, distribution and sales channels are now beginning to reopen. This is a challenge faced across sectors, and we are hopeful that this will be back on track at the earliest.
d) Customer Support: Our target segment is new to technology and likely to have some hiccups in the initial use of the product and deriving full value from it.
In the long-term, our main challenge would be:
Distribution/Geographical Scaling: The product requires physical distribution in rural areas where product availability and visibility, along with adequate communication is a challenge and inability to push inventory is a financial & mission risk.
How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
One good outcome of the current crisis is that across the board, individuals and families have understood the need and importance of in-home learning solutions, and digital tools for remote working. This significantly decreases our awareness-building and education marketing costs.
Here's how we hope to overcome the above mentioned barriers:
a) Supply Chain & Manufacturing Costs: We are working with local suppliers and linking them to create local manufacturing ecosystems/supply chains which can be replicated internationally. While initially this will increase our costs, it will reduce significantly upon scale and volume build-up. We also have a manufacturing unit in Vadodara, Gujarat, which can eventually be upgraded to develop components on our own.
b) Distribution: While the short-term issues will get sorted out, the team seeks to overcome the long-term challenge by utilising the right partners within our existing networks and engaging new ones who have undertaken programs on education, literacy or capacity-building. Our partnership with Greenway, with their extensive network of 250+ MFIs, producer cooperatives and self-help groups is a huge bonus, and the reason we have the ability to directly reach our users in remote pockets of the country.
c) Customer Support: We will set up a multi-language call centre offering phone and chatbot support. This will tailor the sales process to educate users on proper usage and the various features and content present in the product. The product and software are equipped and designed for AI assisted troubleshooting.
What type of organization is your solution team?For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models
If you selected Other, please explain here.
How many people work on your solution team?
The core team for JumpToPC currently has 3 members. We have a partnership agreement with Greenway, for support on manufacturing and distribution. They have a staff of 100+ on their rolls. We don't have an in-house software team, but we have 5 dedicated freelance developers - both front-end and back-end. Hardware design and firmware are done between our core team and an ODM in Shenzhen.
Dedicatedly working on JumpToPC, is a team of 12 people.
How many years have you worked on your solution?
Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
The main leads on the project are:
a) Sucheta Baliga - CEO, JumpStream
Head, Digital Products & Marketing, Greenway Appliances (2015-2019)
Product Management, Fund-Raising, Sales & Marketing Strategy, Market Research and Customer Behaviour Modelling
b) Dr. Daniel Sweeney - CTO, JumpStream
Research Scientist at MIT D-Lab (2013-Present)
Design and engineering of technology for low-resource communities, IoT for measuring product performance, design for manufacturing
Ex. Fulbright Scholar
c) Neha Juneja - Founder, Greenway Appliances
Award-winning, seasoned serial social entrepreneur
Designed, manufactured and sold over one million products to low-income Indian households
Our team has a combined 20 years of experience in manufacturing, supply chain, engineering, sales + marketing, of products specially designed for the under-served communities in India. We have designed, manufactured and launched multiple, successful rural-oriented products and generated a portfolio of over 20 intellectual property rights. The manufacturing facility helps to refine and value-engineer multiple iterations of the product now and at a later stage, develop an assembly line and scale production at lowered costs. Our vast experience in selling to the same target audience has also provided an in-depth knowledge of the need-gaps, buying behaviour and purchase psyche of the customer.
Through our affiliation with MIT, we have consulted with faculty and staff with expertise in relevant areas including digital learning, embedded systems, wireless communications and manufacturing. Additionally, we can leverage MIT’s strength in disseminating key findings to broad audiences.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
We have two main partners who will help scale JumpToPC and ensure it achieves impact.
a) Greenway Appliances: A recognised manufacturer and distributor of rural appliances in India, with over one million cookstoves distributed Pan-India and with a 250+ distributor network. They have partnered with various MFIs and NGOs to identify target markets, understand need gaps, and sell products through appropriate and scalable payment schemes. Greenway will help with the product manufacturing and distribution and use their capital and resources to help us deploy the solution effectively.
b) MIT D-Lab is assisting with technology improvements and manufacturing, adapting MIT online content, and impact measurement.
What is your business model?
With JumpToPC, we can provide an actual computing solution to 270 million households in India, who currently only access the Internet through smartphones. This market size is set to grow by 45% by 2025. (KPMG Report, 2019).
Our initial model will be to sell the JumpToPC device directly to customers and distributors. Customers will be able to access a base version of our mobile application and opt-in for free personalised content recommendations. We will seek out partnerships with learning content providers to make sure JumpToPC learners can access the best possible content.
Later, in addition to household sales we will integrate institutional sales to schools. Institutional customers can purchase additional SaaS which includes a customisable software module.We will also explore existing opportunities to introduce the product through Government schemes such as Digital India and Skill India Initiatives.
Our partner Greenway specialises in accessing rural and low-income markets. Our distributor network includes a variety of partners from women’s self-help-groups, NGOs, rural educational institutions, consumer appliances stores and more. We will build upon existing partnerships with MFIs and NBFCs to distribute the product on credit through affordable payment schemes. This is especially important for targeting women
We will train the most appropriate partners on how to introduce, sell, and monitor adoption of JumpToPC. Sales through retail partners will carry a margin. Retailers will be incentivised to hold demonstrations and get users to interact and touch-and-feel the product. The team will supplement these efforts with offline and digital communication.
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
What is your path to financial sustainability?
We are currently at the pilot stage of our business and are establishing a product-market fit. But, to launch at scale, we will need to raise investment capital which is our immediate focus. We are also applying to various grants that are focussed on ed-tech solutions for remote learning and for increasing education and employment opportunities for girls and young women.
In the longer term, we will have two models of revenue generation. We sell directly to our users, either through retail or via our partner network of MFIs and NBFCs to distribute the product on credit through affordable payment schemes. We also partner with ed tech providers and government initiatives that are producing tailor-made e-classrooms, learning content, training and certificates. They get access to a new segment of audience who were previously untapped due to a lack of affordable, decent technological infrastructure. This can be developed into a recurring revenue model through a subscription/annual retainer.
In the long-term, we also want to have ready API-integration abilities, which can integrate various (third party) software applications into our solutions that will make JumpToPC a full-service computing device on which advanced applications such as graphic design, advanced programming languages, along with full suite school learning modules can be easily accessed and used.
With these short-term and long-term approaches, we are confident of achieving financial sustainability.
Why are you applying to Solve?
In times of crisis, barriers for girls and young women to access learning tools are further exacerbated. Solve can help JumpToPC scale rapidly at a time where remote learning tools need to be ubiquitous across all sections and communities of society. We would be able to connect relevant stakeholders across the board - funding partners, technology development partners, social and gender advocates, industry authorities and more.
Alongside our existing partnership with MIT, we would be able to further access mentorship and strategic advice, specifically pertaining to education modules, learning outcomes and impact assessment.
We would also gain access to the various 2020 global challenges and grant opportunities.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
Through Solve, we would be able to access MIT's deep experience in inclusive design - using a variety of approaches to engage users and other stakeholders in the technology design process and then also measuring the initial outcomes of the technologies and processes used. We also hope to be able to work with research scientists who develop and curate education modules relevant to the target user. We could then quickly validate our impact and business model, and scale our solution at a faster rate. We will gain access to faculty and staff with expertise in relevant areas including digital learning, embedded systems, wireless communications and manufacturing. Additionally, we will be able to leverage MIT’s strength in disseminating key findings to broad audiences.
What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?
JumpToPC has already benefited greatly from our strong partnerships, and many conversations with entrepreneurs and educators around the world. We would benefit from the following partnerships:
MIT Teaching & Learning Lab: Help to make sure we are asking the right questions from our users, appropriately integrating those answers into our design, and understanding student’s learning outcomes.
MIT Open Learning: MIT’s reputation and quality of education is known worldwide. JumpToPC would benefit from integrating and adapting existing digital content from edX, OpenCourseware, Blossoms and other platforms for Indian girls.
MIT Media Lab Learning Initiative: Help us to create new learning experiences for girls and women with JumpToPC technology.