Khan Academy Launches New Educational Program

Khan Academy announces the launch of Khan Academy Kids, a new educational app for children ages 2 to 5, available free for download. With thousands of original activities, books, videos and lessons, Khan Academy Kids combines subjects like math and reading with creative activities like drawing and storytelling, the company said in a news release. Animated characters guide children through educational materials at just the right level for them. As they learn, kids collect bugs, hats, and toys for their favorite characters, it said. "Our goal with Khan Academy Kids is to inspire a life-long love of learning," said Sal Khan, Indian American founder and CEO of Khan Academy. "We're delighted to offer a free app that engages children academically and that's also a lot of fun." The program was created by Khan Academy's award-winning early learning team, whose educational materials have won 21 Parents' Choice Awards, 18 Editor's Choice Awards from Children's Technology Review, and been voted the best children's app at the International Consumer Electronics Show, the academy said. The early learning team at Khan Academy collaborated with leading experts in child development to create Khan Academy Kids.

SRI Capital Announces $100M Early Stage US-India VC Fund

SRI Capital, an early stage VC firm focused on funding innovative startups primarily in the U.S. and in India, announced the launch of its maiden $100 million early stage VC fund focused on tech opportunities in the U.S. and India. Anchored by a $20 million commitment from the family office of Sashi Reddi, managing partner, SRI, the fund is raising capital primarily from investors in the U.S. and Europe. “There is a funding gap for Indian start-ups targeting U.S. enterprise customers,” Reddi said. “While Indian VCs have struggled to support these U.S.-focused startups, U.S. VCs typically do not understand India-based tech teams. SRI Capital will fill this gap.” The fund will typically invest $1 million to $3 million in a start-up, with the potential to invest in future rounds to support the growth of the company. It expects to complete six to eight investments annually. SRI has backed over 15 startups over the last five years. SRI also backs startups founded by entrepreneurs who have studied and/or worked in the U.S. and relocate to India to launch their companies.

Children’s Hope India Granted Consultative Status

Children’s Hope India, which helps underprivileged children progress from poverty to prosperity giving them a chance for a brighter future, was granted special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Consultative status enables an organization to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programs, funds and agencies. Special consultative status provides CHI with access to decision-makers at the highest international level. The organization can have its voice heard through its ability to deliver written and oral statements on subjects in which CHI has special competence, to hold side events and collaborative conferences at the UN, and to consult with member states and the UN system at large. CHI’s focus will be to support the work of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific whose 2030 agenda places priorities on unemployment among youth, enhancing social protections, and gender equality and women’s empowerment. “CHI is honored to receive this status which will enable us to share the 25 years of work on the ground in slum communities in India. We look forward to interacting with organizations with a similar mission to strengthen work that CHI is currently doing,” said Dina Pahlajani, M.D., president of Children’s Hope India.

Griha Pravesh Named P3 Impact Finalist

The U.S. Department of State, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society and Concordia named the five finalists of the 2018 P3 Impact Award, with Griha Pravesh named among the potential winners. The award recognizes exemplary public-private partnerships (P3s) that provide solutions to pressing issues in areas such as: economic development, housing, health and sanitation, and workforce. Griha Pravesh aims to establish a sustainable ecosystem of affordable housing for disadvantaged communities in India. Griha Pravesh is a partnership between Saath Charitable Trust, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Brick Eagle, Indian Housing Federation, DBS Affordable Housing Pvt. Ltd. and Micro Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. The other finalists were DREAMS Partnership, Kosmos Innovation Center, Lake Kivu Coffee Allliance and Mi Futaro. The winner will be announced at the Concordia Summit in New York Sept. 25.

Music Specialist Opens New International Office

Atlanta, Ga.-based company Music Specialist, an international distribution label services company, has finalized a mobile, digital and physical distribution agreement with Hungama Digital Media, signaling the beginning of great things in the S.E. Asia entertainment market, it said in a news release. The company will now have a physical presence in Mumbai. Hungama.com is one of India’s leading digital entertainment companies that launched India’s first and largest on-demand digital entertainment storefront www.hungama.com, according to a news release. Maintaining the Mumbai office is Rajat Upadhyay, a sound engineering student at The Media Tribe School, who was promoted to director of S.E. Asia. Having successfully inked contracts with major distribution partners in China, Brazil, Africa, Europe and more, Music Specialist has become an entity that is changing how artist and the industry look at their relationships with distribution, publishing and licensing forever, the company said. Music Specialist owner Allen Johnston said he is “excited to be able to bring the world to the artist that are making cutting edge music and teach them how to grow their businesses.” 

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