Amazon Web Services has today announced some of the results of its local education technology startup program, AWS EdStart, sharing details on the progress of two startups; School Bytes and Saasyan.

School Bytes is a cloud based school management platform for education staff. Saasyan is a cyberbullying prevention company providing software which integrates with existing applications and firewalls.

Both startups used AWS provided resources including cloud technology, community engagements and training to fast track their development, according to AWS.

While startups don’t formally graduate the AWS EdStart program this is the first time AWS has detailed the progress of its latest participants. The program debuted in Australia last year. AWS says it does not take an equity stake in the startups.

“These EdTech startups are pushing boundaries to improve the education environment for teachers, students, and parents alike,” said Vincent Quah, APAC regional head for education, research, healthcare and not-for-profit, worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services.

“As these EdTech companies grow, they can scale their businesses seamlessly and go global by utilising 20 AWS Regions with 61 Availability Zones around the world to expand their solutions globally.”

Startups can apply to join the AWS EdStart program if they are less than five years old, and generate less than US$10 million in annual revenue. Applications need to include a plan for an innovative solution for students, teachers, or administrators that solves a current problem or positively disrupts an existing educational model.

School Bytes and Saasyan

School Bytes says 326 New South Wales government schools have now adopted its management platform, removing many of the financial administrative pain points identified by the company’s founder, Blake Garrett.

Garrett’s solution allows schools to automatically email parents with payment requests, reducing much of the manual printing and handling of cash, while reducing stress for school principals. The founder says the AWS support has allowed the company to scale without costly infrastructure investments.

“One of the biggest benefits has been the ability to scale our system to a large number of schools without significant investment in our infrastructure, meaning we can focus on the solutions and our customers,” said Garrett. “AWS has allowed our parent payment portal to manage substantial workloads even with thousands of logins at the same time.”

Saasyan looks to tackle the problem of cyberbullying by allowing schools to better engage in children’s online lives. Saasyan’s Assure product integrates with existing school firewalls and detects unusual online behaviour and also creates risk ratings for individual students.

“AWS EdStart enabled us to gain access to experienced AWS Solution Architects as mentors to validate and improve our technology designs,” said Greg Margossian, founder and managing director at Saasyan.

“With the program, we can focus on developing software without worrying about the underlying infrastructure, and Saasyan has been able to innovate quickly and continuously for our customers.”

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