Published: 11th June 2020
Aye aye, captain: Mentors from this IIM Bangalore incubated start-up can help you make that career switch
Incubated at NSRCEL, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, MyCaptain offers several courses through young and clued in mentors who can guide you through your career or help you change careers
On one night in 2013, right before their exam on Fluid Dynamics, three students got together to study and eventually, got talking about the future. One of them wanted to become a writer, the other an economist and the third, an astronomer. Clearly, their passion and courses weren't in sync. It wouldn't be wrong to say that many of us have felt like these three musketeers — fish out of water, square pegs in round holes and so on. This is why the one who wanted to be an astronomer, Zeeshan Mohammed, in the same year, started The Climber, an EdTech platform to help students discover their passion through the portal, MyCaptain. Zeeshan now is sure of where he belongs because, to date, they have mentored over one lakh students through 50 wide-ranging courses, from stand-up comedy to AI, and have an office in Bengaluru that houses 300 employees.
Mentors at the centre of it
The strength of MyCaptain is their mentors from the industry, who not just teach students but guide them through the twists and turns that a new career path will entail. "All the mentors are below the age of 30, most of them are actually below 25, which makes it easy for students to relate and open up to. The rapport is built faster because our mentors are so much more approachable," says the 26-year-old. When it comes to the courses, they are broadly divided into four categories — business, visual arts, creative and technology. Under these categories, they offer courses like entrepreneurship, photography, creative writing and web development, respectively, along with many more. Two trends brought on by the lockdown are that they have seen a 100 per cent growth as they went from 6,000 enrollments to 12,000 in a month and most of the students have opted for creative courses though, before the lockdown, the inclination was a lot more towards business.
Zeeshan Mohammed | (MyCaptain)
"I remember the camaraderie I felt with my mentor, it meant a lot to me. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee is indeed special, and that is our focus area," reiterates the alumni of SRM University. But what about the mentors? What kind of support do they get? After the application and screening process, newbie mentors are shadowed by more experienced mentors so that they can learn the ropes. The entire content and curriculum is developed by an in-house team and the mentors are made familiar with it. MyCaptain is also in talks with University of California, Berkeley so the latter can train their mentors. All this focus on strengthening the skill of the mentors has reaped them unexpected regards, for example, they have successfully penetrated Tier II and Tier III cities as well. "Out of a batch of 10, at least six to seven students will be from Tier II or III cities. I remember that recently, a mechanical engineer from Salem opted for a psychology course," he shares with a smile. They also seriously adhere to United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), especially SDG 4, 8 and 17, which are, quality education, decent work and economic growth, and partnerships for the goals, respectively. No wonder the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network recognized them as one of the top 50 youth-led innovations in the world!
MyCaptain was incubated at IIM-B and the incubation ended in mid-2017
The SDG connection
With over 50 one-month-long courses and 250 mentors, MyCaptain offers live classes and pre-recorded content. Yes, there are certificates offered at the end, but beyond that, the portal helps students build their portfolio. The creatives they designed as graphic designers, the stories they wrote and so on, all done during assignments thoroughly supervised by mentors. In the future, they want to offer major and minor courses to help students bag a job and pursue their hobby too.
Read more about them here, mycaptain.in