“We can teach the world” explained Raghav Badiger, founder and CEO of Skilroute. “SkilRoute is a modern-day silk road.” But rather than having the route facilitate the flow of goods, Badiger wants it to aid in the flow of knowledge and education.
“It all started when I was in graduate school” Badiger recalled. He was trying to learn guitar at the time using online resources like YouTube. He found this to be challenging. “It was impossible to replicate the experience of in-person instruction on these types of platforms.”
After earning his MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Badiger moved to Silicon Valley to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. Two years ago, Badiger sold his previous company. “It was too early to retire” he said. “I wanted to try something new.” As he looked for a project to work on, he remembered the problems he had had with online learning while at Babson, and realized that this was an opportunity to innovate.
In May of 2015, SkilRoute opened for business.
Lead by Badiger, SkilRoute is on a mission to democratize education. An online video-learning platform focusing on tactile, hands-on skills, Skilroute uses patented software to connect instructors and instructees around the world. SkilRoute was recently chosen as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America for 2016” by Entrepreneurship Magazine.
SkilRoute features a wide variety of content, including instructional videos on how to juggle, play a trumpet, and cook, just to name a few. “If you want, you could learn Flamenco from a Spaniard.” SkilRoute has been looking to expand its content. Badiger added that SkilRoute has received a lot of interest in adding content teaching non-tactile topics as well, such as mathematics and physics. Additionally, SkilRoute have used their technology to develop a platform for businesses to use for employee training
“If you have a skill, you can monetize it.” By spending a few hours creating an instructional video, you could generate revenue for years to come. And if you sign up to use SkilRoute, you will enjoy a unique learning experience where you can speed-up or slowdown instructional videos, change the video perspective, and have text and audio translations of instruction. This creates an experience which replicates in-person instruction by giving users the freedom to learn the way that works for them.
To would-be entrepreneurs, Badiger says “Do not be distracted by the glamour.” If you are in it for the money, you are in it for the wrong reason. “Be the best at what you do. The money will follow.” He also warned to not be a ‘wantrepreneur.’ “Do not keep putting it off. If you’re passionate about it – do it.”
Badiger went on to explain that the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is selling your vision. “It is difficult to share the vision of what is possible.” To overcome this, Badiger emphasized the importance of creating a ‘story’ – a narrative that connects an individual to an idea, and appeals to their experiences. In this way, an entrepreneur can inspire others to trust in the entrepreneur and their idea.
As for the entrepreneurial community as a whole in Columbia, Badiger added that “it has come a long way in the past five years.” He went on to say that he “expects to see the community grow even greater in quality and quantity.”
Badiger also stressed the importance of organizations and events such as Startup Weekend, One Million Cups, and Global Entrepreneurship Week in fostering the entrepreneurial community in the Midlands and helping to inspire and equip individual entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams.
Badiger hopes to use SkilRoute to bring education into the sharing economy – allowing people the opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with each other and around the world. If you would like to be involved, sign up for SkilRoute at http://www.skilroute.com .