Bengaluru-based Chimple Learning, a two-year-old self-funded startup has just won a $1 million ‘milestone prize’ for becoming one of five finalists in the Global learning XPRIZE, which was provided $15 million by none other than Elon Musk.

Chimple is part of Zoolore Learning Foundation, a non-profit organization in India dedicated to radically improve children's learning. Chimple was selected to be one of the five finalists, from an initial pool of 198 entries across the world.

The aim of the Global Learning XPRIZE is to support companies/startups that create scalable solutions that will enable children to teach themselves basic reading, writing, and arithmetic. Each of the five teams shortlisted for the prize today will receive $1 million to continue the development of their work, with the winning finalist receiving an additional $15 million in funding.

With team of just 12 people, which consists of software and game developers, graphic designers, artists and storytellers, Chimple is developing a learning platform aimed at enabling children to learn reading, writing, and mathematics on a tablet through more than 60 explorative games and 70 different stories.

[caption id="attachment_121516" align="aligncenter" width="995"] Team Chimple / Image Via XPrize[/caption]

Srikanth Talapadi (45) heard about the competition, he knew he had to enter. Talapadi, who also runs a software consulting company, has pumped in his own money into Chimple Learning ever since, after he set it up to meet the Global learning XPRIZE challenge. "I have always held the belief that we need to make learning better and exciting for children. The current methods of education are getting older and we need new ones," he says.

The startup has created 60 different games that teach children basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills. A prototype developed in Kannada language was taken to a Kannada medium school in Gottigere and given, via tablets, to twenty 1st grade students there.

The startup is currently identifying several test sites where it can distribute tablets loaded with our software. These test sites are rural or located in slums in India where there is minimal access to quality education.

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