InstructAI founders and CS majors Arnav Chintawar, Dhruv Roongta, and Sahibpreet Singh earned a $100,000 offer for winning the Klaus Startup Challenge

A student startup company that uses generative artificial intelligence (AI) to teach individuals the latest programming languages has earned a potential seven-figure initial valuation.

As winners of the 2024 Klaus Startup Challenge at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, the founders of InstructAI have been offered $100,000 in seed funding for a 10% equity stake in their company. If the team accepts the offer, the valuation of the company would be $1,000,000.

The investment offer is from Fusen, a nonprofit organization founded by philanthropist and Georgia Tech alumnus Christopher W. Klaus in 2022 to empower student entrepreneurs.

InstructAI is an AI-powered tutoring platform offering customized lessons in NumPy Basics, Python Data Structures, React, and other coding and programming resources. The platform lets users tailor courses based on their schedule, skill level, and learning objectives.

The team, computer science (CS) majors and entrepreneurs Arnav ChintawarDhruv Roongta, and Sahibpreet Singh, says online programming instruction is a $5 billion global business opportunity. 

However, its research finds that current learning models for self-instruction are ineffective and that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for most students.

“Our surveys revealed that only 10% of students successfully learn programming from YouTube while other online platforms have a completion rate between 20 to 30%,” says Roongta.

“Nearly 80% of students complain about a lack of guidance and help on other platforms.”

InstructAI has a student completion rate of 62%. It achieves this by offering a personalized learning experience with an AI-based instructor available 24 hours daily for guidance and review. The platform features self-adaptive content for students, which the founders call “automated pill-sized course generation.”

“Our platform ensures that students learn from real-world coding tasks that challenge them to apply what they have learned while reinforcing their knowledge and building their skill sets,” said Roongta.

The InstructAI team sees opportunities for its platform in business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. It personalizes introductory programming courses, including Georgia Tech’s CS 1301: Intro to Computing, for individual students. It can also help prepare students for internships with leading tech companies.

The platform’s ability to generate courses of varying lengths and skill levels, coupled with an AI-powered teaching assistant, makes InstructAI ideal for universities and other school systems.

“We also think it’s a great way for businesses to upskill their employees through customized courses. InstructAI could help to bring new employees up to speed quickly on the latest programming languages,” said Roongta.

He adds that the team is seeking feedback from its customers and prospects so they can continue to update and improve the product.

“In the short term, we aim to sell to more educational institutions and businesses so they can create better courses. In the long term, our goal is to create the best method to learn programming,” said Roongta.

Winning the Klaus Startup Challenge was not the team’s first taste of entrepreneurial success.

The team won multiple awards, including Best Hack for Health, Best Use of Zilliz, and Best Use of GitHub at Cal Hacks 10.0, a hackathon organized by a University of California Berkeley student group. The team won for JARVIS, an AI-powered app that empowers visually impaired people to lead more independent lives.