Chalkboard Education

1 min read
01 Jan 2024
We are an edtech company improving access to quality and relevant education for adult learners by digitizing the traditional learning experience and bridging the skills gap with technology.

Learning can be an overwhelming experience, even more so if you don’t have access to the relevant materials. Chalkboard Education’s COO Genevieve Simiyu explains that in many parts of Africa, there is a shortage of tertiary-level textbooks, and students often photocopy learning materials to create their own books to use and resell to their peers. In response to this, in 2015, Adrien Bouillot and Miora Randriambeloma founded Chalkboard Education, which offers a simple, accessible platform allowing tertiary-level students to access high-quality learning materials on their phone, tablet or laptop.

— Photo by Team1000words

Because data plans can be expensive and internet access is not always available, the startup ensured that the app can be used offline and users can switch between using the app and learning via SMS. The aim is for students to be able to access their materials easily, regardless of what technology they have. The app also tracks students’ progress, and teachers can use it to ask for feedback. By working alongside NGOs and corporate organizations, Chalkboard Education also identified a need for up-to-date information and has deployed a data analytics dashboard. These organizations and institutions need to record and access data, but remote locations without the internet often go underdocumented. Through the app, these key players are able to access accurate data about remote communities without being physically present.

— Photo by Team1000words

Funding Story

In 2017, Chalkboard Education secured €200,000 ($220,200) in funding from the Jacobs Foundation. In 2020, it secured $40,000 from the Mastercard Foundation. 


  • Growing from seventy-eight users in 2016 to twelve thousand in 2020. 
  • Being chosen as one of twelve edtech startups to receive funding from the Mastercard Foundation. 
  • Working with Global Affairs Canada, Sick Kids Hospital and ADRA Canada to save the lives of mothers and children through continuous distance education.
  • Expanding to other African countries including Côte D’Ivoire, Uganda and Rwanda.