The Next Generation of Edtech Entrepreneurs Hail from Europe
Building the technology that supports education excites edtech entrepreneurs, and with good reason.
The edtech industry is poised for launch on a high-arcing trajectory of success. Teachers need edtech solutions because of the demands that have been placed on them to meet the needs of every student.
Edtech’s response to student need is both innovative and agile, making this an exciting field for entrepreneurs, especially in Europe, where boldness and collaboration are prized.
Follow the money
Edtech investors have been taking notice of the opportunity Europe offers. In a three-year period (2014-2017), European edtech growth tripled. Investors have shown an eagerness to get in on innovation technology startups in their earliest stages.
Four areas, in particular, have the highest concentration of funds:
· Study tools
· Corporate training
· Online learning
· Language learning
European edtech startups are filling the need for learners and their time-strapped instructors.
It’s a plan
One of the most exciting edtech accelerators in Europe is xEdu, which occurs in Spring and Fall. The three-month long Finnish accelerator helps with funding, collaboration, publicity, and other support.
The edtech entrepreneurs accepted at xEdu are immersed in ample opportunity to launch a product. The concerted effort catapults edtech entrepreneurs into a superior position in the edtech market.
Other accelerators in the European edtech industry include Founders Factory in London and Learnspace in Paris. These accelerators take hopeful entrepreneurs step by step through the process of putting their product on the market.
The synergy is real
Known for a superior education program, Finland uses edtech less than any other nation in Europe, and far less than schools in the United States. Less than a third of students say they use a computer once a week; most learning is done the old fashioned way: with note-taking.
It’s important to note that the frequency in which a student uses a computer is far less important than the reasons for using it. Edtech in Finland is a tool, not a panacea. Edtech use grows with the child. Finnish schools don’t compartmentalize education; instead, it’s treated as a collaborative process, and edtech is one of the tools used.
That same urgency for collaboration has made Helsinki a favorite location for edtech entrepreneurs. Edtech centers also have taken root in London, Paris, and Oslo, for similar reasons. In doing so, these hubs are leading the way in edtech innovation. Other incubators have popped up in Berlin, Krakow, and Zurich.
Europe has begun to look favorably on startups, and edtech is an industry that appeals to many, from entrepreneurs to investors. Angel investors are more than willing to drop seed money for startup-ups, but the real draw is the collaboration and mentoring that takes place during the incubation period.
Innovations in edtech won’t solve all of the world’s problems, but the students using these digital initiatives will be our next generation of problem-solvers. European edtech accelerators and incubators are already putting the tools in the hands of today’s students.