How we got started
with Sophia Edu Labs

We're two students from Germany, studying in Switzerland, who deeply care about making great education accessible to all.
This is how we got started.
So let t be the time in years, here is our story (as short as possible):

t ≤ 2022

We (Gero & Friedrich) attend the Technical University of Berlin

We lived in the same city, went to the same university, attended the same lectures and ate in the same dining hall. For years! And yet, we never met (at least neither of us remembers)...
During his time in Berlin, Friedrich co-founded Starcode, one of Germany's most successful non-profit coding schools for girls. Gero co-founded Lern-Fair, a non-profit organizations that offers free online tutoring for school-kids, taught by university students. Lern-Fair has received countless awards and has helped over 10.000 children.

t = 2022

Gero and Friedrich study at ETH Zurich

In the meantime, a common friend of both of us (Shoutout to Tobias Djuren!) told Gero that "Frido" would also be studying at ETH in Zurich. And that he's a reasonably cool guy. But we still haven't met.
More or less by chance, we FINALLY meet for the first time in 2022 on a stairwell of the computer science building at ETH. Pretty cool. But we don't talk at that point.
A few more weeks go by, until at an event hosted ETH Computer Scientists, we meet and finally start talking.
We also found out, that not only are they both friends with Tobias, but that another person from Lern-Fair has had contact with Frido before because Lern-Fair and Starcode collaborated on a project. Small world.
Anyway, now we knew each other. Later that year, we get Burgers and talk about the idea for Sophia. This is the start of more and more conversations and thoughts.

t = 2023

Gero and Friedrich spend a lot of time in ETH's startup home

Supported by ETH's vibrant ecosystem (especially the Student Project House) and embedded in an almost unbeatable distance to ETH and UZH, two leading universities, the project became more and more serious. We finally released the first beta version of Sophia Edu Labs' interactive, fully computer-generated short video app with math content.
Here's another picture of the us twoproud programmers on the roof of the Student Project House:

t > 2023

At this point, at the latest, the self-focus as implied by the previous story and the images above will stop.
The following story will now be clearly shaped by the users. And updated accordingly.

The motivation:
Why are we doing this?

For large parts of their careers, we have been thinking a lot about educating people.
One reason G was impressed with F's idea after thinking about it for a long time: he read UNICEF's "Every Child Learns" education strategy. It's why we think our work on Sophia is valuable in any case
So this is just the story about why we think Sophia will hopefully have some kind of impact.

Quality Education Matters.

We don't need to say why.
It's a very old and long-lasting story.

However, we believe that a smartphone should be sufficient to learn math on a school-like level.


school age children by 2030

According to UNICEF, by 2030 there will be 2B school age children living on this planet. 1.2B will live in middle to low income countries. And 420M will most likely never learn the basic skills.


of children are not achieving basic math skills

Math is one of the core skills for tomorrow's labour market. People with profound knowledge in mathematics are able to understand our today's world better. They have better chances. And more opportunities. But more than 600M children don't have those skills.


of children who don't learn enough basic skills go to school

High quality education content isn't available for everyone. Data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics suggest that two-thirds of all children who are not learning are in schools.
But a school in a refugee camp greatly differs from one in Switzerland.


countries in Europe are facing teacher shortages (including 🇨🇭)

Back to Europe, where the education systems in most countries are struggling too. In most of them there is a severe shortage of teachers, which does not allow teachers to spend as much time teaching content as they would like.
And as they should.