201811 Blink Gets Funding
Arun Fernandez, 31, from Chennai, had several schools and colleges shutting doors on him because he was dyslexic. Now, he is one of the five social entrepreneurs being supported by Mphasis Foundation and NSRCEL, the startup incubation centre at IIM Bangalore, to scale up their earlystage social ventures. Determined to ensure that no child with learning disabilities faces what he had gone through, Arun has co-founded Blink Research and Services, incubated at Loyala College and 3R-Labs that nurtures reading, writing and arithmetic capabilities of students with learning disabilities and counsels parents and teachers.
Arun was in Class 6 when he first got to know that he was dyslexic. By the time he completed his education, he had to change seven schools. “No one was ready to accept a student who is dyslexic, as they were not equipped enough to deal with the learning disability” said Arun at IIMB on Wednesday when Mphasis Foundation’s partnership with NSRCEL was announced. Undeterred by the many colleges denying him admission to BCom, Arun proved himself capable and completed his higher studies from Loyala College. He joined his alma mater as a lecturer later. “I still remember that when I went into the college staff room to sign the register, they thought I am a student and were astonished to know how I had become lecturer despite being dyslexic and denied admissions so many time in schools and colleges,” Arun said.
Incidentally, Blink’s first lab was opened in one of the schools that had denied him admission. “I wanted that school to be equipped. We have covered five to six learning disabilities so far through our assessment with the help of 3R-Lab,” Arun said.