March 3, 2014
Launching Mobile Education Apps in the Philippines with Gian Scottie Javelona, Founder of OrangeApps
Gian, please introduce yourself…
My name is Gian Scottie Javelona and I founded the very first school portal mobile application during my junior year at Polytechnic University, and then began my own company based around it when I was 19.
A year later, I am the cofounder and chief visionary officer of that same company – OrangeApps Inc. My vision is to change the way the world learns. That’s why we wanted to build a product that can transform the education market, not just in the in the Philippines, but throughout the entire world.
What do you do at Orange Apps?
I’m the founder and the chief visionary officer. I basically focus on design, especially in relation to user experience. I also take care of the marketing.
What’s the story behind creating your app Khawna and can you explain how it works?
I know that everyone heard about typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban. I was there before it happened, and was shocked at just how hungry the students there were to learn. However, the problem is that there’s a huge gap between the skills being taught in the classroom and the skills needed in the industry today.
Having a startup here in the Philippines is also very new and rather strange. When I visited different schools across the country, it appeared to be their first time seeing a young kid with such a big dream – to create a company large enough to compete with and even beat Apple. Actually, that goal was the exact reason I named my company OrangeApps.
I’m really happy that these kids believe in my vision and want to work with us to make this a reality, but a few days after the typhoon happened, I told myself that it was destiny! I was there for a reason. God wanted me to see the problem and to solve it, so I took a risk and turned my original product into something that anyone could use to make a positive change in their lives.
Our company then launched the new product, which we named Khawna. The name was inspired by the Tagalog phrase ikaw na (“you already”). It’s a learning platform where you can obtain the skills needed in today’s industries.
Using big data analytics in education and mobile technology, Khawna bridges the gap of industry learning and makes education available to everyone around the world. This platform focuses on science and technology, engineering, mathematics, and entrepreneurship classes.
Imagine a rural kid with a mobile phone attending a class in entrepreneurship that is being taught by a business tycoon. Can you imagine what will happen in this country? There are 7.93 million underemployed citizens, and 6.24 million Filipino youth that are no longer attending school.
Our vision is to change the way the world learns, and our goal is to make every Filipino employable. That’s why we’ve developed this revolutionary educational product that, if given a chance, can definitely solve the problem.
How’s traction working out so far with OrangeApps?
OrangeApps Inc. has been funded by the Ideaspace foundation, Microsoft, and other Angel Investors from the Philippines. Our board of directors includes some big names, such as Coach Chot Reyes, the head coach of the Gilas Philipinas, and PV Aquino, CEO of JackenPoy.
We also represented the Philippines on the first reality TV show on Channel NewsAsia Singapore, where we were both the youngest team and the only Filipino company to make it to the top 10.
We are now used in 3 big schools in the Philippines, are members of the Spring.ph software industry association, and have partnered with Elance, a Silicon Valley company.
How does being based in the Philippines impact the business?
Having a startup in the Philippines is a big advantage because there are so many problems that we can solve – education, transportation, health care, and a whole lot more. Unfortunately, the main problems we face by being here are funding and acceptance.
What’s next for you and OrangeApps?
My goal for OrangeApps is to become a global brand for education. We aim to provide amazing technology which can improve the lives of anyone around the world.