Halfway through his studies in medical sciences, Dev Sangha realized that the world of medicine was not for him and that his true passion for helping others would involve a career with even greater social impact in the business world.
Upon graduating from college, he began researching business management courses and spent hours scouring the web for something that matched his skills and would provide a stepping stone to his new line. work, but to no avail. Instead, he developed his own solution, Learnedan AI-powered platform that matches candidates to their ideal learning program in three minutes.
With over 600,000 live job postings and over 110,000 courses in everything from beekeeping to banking, the site has seen an 89% increase in traffic since the end of the Kingdom’s furlough scheme United last September.
Sangha, 27, says, “You can train at the most prestigious institutions, such as Harvard University or Google, from the comfort of your own couch. However, I didn’t know what roles I could move into given my existing skills, or what skills I needed to succeed in a new industry. I did some research and realized it wasn’t just a problem I was having.
Eventually, he enrolled for a master’s degree at Imperial College Business School in London and from there began exploring different avenues to develop Learnisa. “I looked for mentors and advisers who could point me in the right direction to start a business,” says Sangha. “From a product perspective, I explored a number of avenues to grow the platform, both internally and externally through outsourcing.”
He joined research accelerator EdTech by joining EDUCATE, which allowed Learnisa to be developed into a research-backed proposition, before partnering with Cognition Foundry to develop the technology that powered the platform .
Sangha initially started the business, but managed to secure two grants; £50,000 from the Department of Education and Nesta CareerTech Challenge, and £100,000 from Innovate UK. This would allow Learnisa to develop a platform that could use AI to not only match people to their ideal courses, but also to suitable job openings.
His journey as an entrepreneur, however, was far from straightforward. At the start of 2019, and again at the dawn of 2020, Sangha was struck by the realization that he had spent a lot of time and money building the business, but had no managed to generate the traction and impact he was hoping for.
He says, “I reflected on my own understanding of what I could do differently to solve this problem for millions of learners and job seekers, and took online courses to help me develop the business. I also started talking to my dad about it, which turned out to be uplifting as he truly believed in Learnisa’s potential to positively impact the education and employment sectors.
The platform, which was launched last year, consists of three main elements; Learnisa Courses, which matches people with their ideal online courses, Learnisa Hired, which matches job seekers with the most suitable job offers from thousands available on the market, and Learnisa Enterprise, an innovative learning tool and development for employers and recruiters which offers direct access to the Learnisa catalog of more than 110,000 courses and can facilitate the training of more than 1,800 trades.
The company aims to support nearly one million learners and job seekers worldwide by 2023 and was recently listed by IRCAI (International Center for Research on Artificial Intelligence (UNESCO) as one of the top 100 global projects using AI to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The platform can enable the retraining and upskilling of many people who have lost their jobs as a result of the global pandemic and facilitate the efficient migration of labor between sectors. Learnisa has also developed tools to support organizations directly from employers to recruiters to governments.
Sangha says, “Learning no longer stops when people leave school or university. Advances in technology mean that industries are constantly emerging and dissolving. There are continuous pressures on the workforce to adapt to the changing demands of technology and the ever-changing pressures of the world of work. A career change can sometimes be daunting and unexpected. But it can also be seen as an opportunity to grow, develop, and reconnect with what is truly important in life.