How to raise the chances of being accepted to Harvard? Mentoring platform Upgrade Academy has answer
Quality education at some of the world's top universities is often a prerequisite for a successful career. And the Upgrade Academy is trying to make it easier for high school students to find their dream of learning. The startup runs an online mentoring platform where students receive professional application support, career guidance, and academic and extracurricular counseling.
The startup has now received funding of 450,000 euros, which will be used for expansion into other European markets and product development. The angel fund DEPO Ventures supported the Upgrade Academy in this investment round and invested 50,000 euros. DEPO Ventures sees a great opportunity in supporting startups in the field of educational technologies, or EdTech.
"We see Edtech as one of the key areas we want to focus on in our investments. In addition, it is a fast-growing market globally. It is currently estimated at $ 250 billion worldwide and is expected to triple in the next five years. Educational technology is an industry that we enjoy immensely, we have experience in it, and we can add value to our startups," explains Jan Krahulík, a partner of the angel fund DEPO Ventures
Upgrade Academy was founded in Bucharest, Romania, in 2017 and is now based in London. The platform provides high school students with individual pre-admission support and helps recent university students as well. It relies on a broad community of mentors. The company's team consists of graduates from renowned universities, including Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, and St. John's. Andrews.
First steps towards international expansion
The startup boasts high success. 84 percent of clients went to the world's top universities. At the same time, the mentoring platform can triple the chances of admission to English universities such as Oxford or Cambridge and the prestigious American Ivy League universities.
"2021 was our best year so far. Sales rose 100 percent from the previous year. We have also taken the first steps towards international expansion. We want to grow to help as many students as possible achieve their educational goals. We want to offer the best possible services at the right price. Our goal is to democratize access to quality higher education in the coming years. We are confident that the partnership with DEPO Ventures and the advice we receive from experienced investors will help us make our vision a reality," says Upgrade Academy founder Tinu Bosînceanu.
A graduate of Harvard University Bosînceanu has more than ten years of experience in technology and finance from Romania and the United States. Camelia Diaconu and Alex Bulintis, with experience in technology, content creation, and business, later joined as co-founders. The Upgrade Academy has already helped more than five hundred students and now intends to expand mentoring to all areas of education and, in addition to the US and the UK, to universities in other European countries.
DEPO Ventures angel funds invest mainly in startups in the early stages of development. They have already made a total of 20 investments. In addition to the angel fund DEPO Ventures, investors in the accelerator focused on educational technologies Supercharges Ventures, the network of angel investors Growceanu Angel Investment and SeedBlink and other small investors joined the current Upgrade Academy investor round.