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According to the last census report, over one third of American adults hold a degree from a four-year institution. This is the highest number ever measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. However, as new generations enter college, a shift on the “so-called” traditional route to education has begun. The way knowledge is acquired is changing. Back in 2017, entrepreneur Stavan Patel anticipated this shift and decided to act. Here is his story.
How It All Started
Stavan moved to the United States from India at the age of sixteen. This was his first experience immersed in a new culture. In the U.S., Stavan followed the traditional education path and became a successful engineer working remotely on cloud computing for MicrosoftⓇ. His ability to work from anywhere coupled with his earlier traveling experience, encouraged him to see the rest of the world. It was during his travels that Stavan noticed a gap between formal education and skills required for the workforce.
“[The educational system] puts you in a box and forces you to think a certain way… This prohibits you from thinking creatively.” The traditional education path dictates that one must go from K-12 to college to a career, and that is when education stops. Stavan knew that “learning is a life-long process.” This realization became one of the major factors that pushed Stavan to redefine the way the world thinks of education.
Stavan left his career behind and founded Quze believing that human potential is the most valuable resource we have
The other factor–and perhaps the most important factor–that inspired Stavan in his business venture was his passion for helping people maximize their full potential. He visited developing countries where he taught English and STEM to the locals and experienced a taste of their culture. While working with people from countries in Africa, South East Asia, and Central America, Stavan noticed that although these individuals had internet access and greatly desired to receive an education, they were not aware of how to use their online resources. To level the educational playing field for people in developing and emerging countries, Stavan left his career behind and founded Quze.
What Is Quze?
Stavan recognized that “human potential is the most valuable resource we have.” He assembled a global team of passionate individuals who resonated deeply with this philosophy and that’s how the idea of Quze began to flourish. Quze–which stands for Quantum Zen–is an online platform that helps learners find the best way to learn. Whether they are confused, looking for a new career opportunity or just acquiring new skills, Quze makes it extremely simple for them to get started. The Quze catalog aggregates online and offline courses, trainings, videos, bootcamps, podcasts–and everything in between–covering all topics imaginable in all different formats available. Whether a user learns best in an online community, in person, or through interactive videos, one can find the perfect learning opportunity, free or paid. Learners can also find apprenticeships around them, if they prefer to learn by doing.
The Future of Quze
Stavan believes education should become less about obtaining a piece of paper and more about skill acquisition. “I want Quze to be known as the cornerstone company that redefines and transitions us into the next chapter of education and learning.” Stavan thinks the notion of education should no longer be confined to the four walls of a classroom or a straight one-dimensional path. His belief is that learning should never stop.
Stavan–as the first official ID member–makes full use of the resources available at Innovation DuPage. Stavan and his team are working continuously in the ID coworking area to get Quze off the ground. Their hard work is now coming to fruition as their beta version is ready to launch. Looking ahead, Stavan wants to integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a personalized virtual advisor that allows users to map a learning plan depending on their own goals. But, as Stavan says, “the future of Quze is always in progression.”
When Stavan’s vision becomes a reality, the forthcoming U.S. Census may report fewer people earning college degrees, but the world will be more educated thanks to Quze.
By Michelle Gallardo