9 of the Most Important Edtech Incubators and Accelerators
Edtech startups, still new in the business world that is ever challenging to adapt to, face more obstacles than previously imagined. Stiff competition and limited resources are huge obstacles to overcome. Staying afloat means forming alliances and networking with other startups, and boosts from available opportunities. A great way to get help early on is to join an Edtech incubator or Edtech accelerator.
The Importance of Incubators and Accelerators for Edtech Startups
Edtech Incubators and Edtech accelerator programs are essential for the survival of startups as they offer vital resources such as financial support and mentoring. Several startups have been given the opportunity to access critical financial resources and other forms of support from venture capitalists and angel investors.
The education sector, especially, lacks the connection between the startups and the target: teachers. The incubator and accelerator programs have an extensive network of teachers and other resources that can benefit the startups. In this article, we shall discuss some of the programs that have been significant in the survival and development of several edtech startups.
9 Top Edtech Incubators and Accelerators in Europe
Based in Helsinki, Finland, this EdTech startup accelerator program is the best for emerging companies with innovative teaching and learning solutions. Support for these startup companies includes product development and market penetration for both local and global markets. Mentoring and coaching is offered by a team comprised of the best in the industry icons to guide them through real classroom environment to experiment on product research and development. The selected companies will also get access to a global network of distinguished figures in the education sector, working together with xEdu’s partners such as Samsung and Telia in co-creating products.
Funding for this accelerator is pulled together from a network of reputable investors in both the public and private sectors. The participating companies stand a chance of receiving up €500k in the 2017 xEdu Accelerator program in the effort of speeding up their market valuation.
The application period for the accelerator’s 5th series starts in December 2017. You can subscribe to the xEdu’s newsletter to receive the latest updates. For program related questions, contact the Program Director, Niko Lindholm, at [email protected] and +358 40 778 0919. For sponsorship and other collaboration opportunities, contact the CEO, Antti Korhonen, at [email protected] and +358 400 807 211.
The Open Education Challenge (OEC), is a European incubator whose focus and support is on European education startups, although it also accepts applications from startups all over the world. However, all startups must/will eventually be registered by the European Union. OEC was founded by Pierre-Antoine Ullmo (P.A.U) and Armat Group with backing from other partners and supporters. Its headquarters are located in Spain.
What OEC looks for in startups is their ability to work as a team and most importantly their team of founders. Getting investments is only possible once you’ve satisfied their requirements, as described by their terms and conditions. They are mainly interested in startups that have gone beyond the developmental stage and can show the market response received.
Once a startup successfully joins OEC, they can receive up to €20,000 in return for small stakes, around 6%. Other services a startup can get include a 14 week immersion period where they get to visit various cities across Europe, get exposed to the education situation on the ground, and meet different experts and practitioners from all fields. They basically get to see education from a diverse perspective, that is, from different cultures across Europe.
Together with Mindcet, an Israeli edtech incubator, they organize the Global EdTech Startup Awards. It’s a global network of edtech incubators, where startups with promising potential get recognized. They aim to recognize startups with groundbreaking ideas.
Application Deadline: closed currently
Edtech UK & Edtech Incubator is an incubator project by the Education Foundation, whose focus is accelerating partnerships and support for reforms in the education sector in Britain. The incubator was founded in March 2013, as a partnership between the education foundation and Tech City UK. It supports edtech startups in London and all over the UK by helping both educators and entrepreneurs realise their innovative ideas. The incubator has helped develop edtech clusters across the UK, edtech accelerator programs, and with organizing edtech networking events.
Application is made through the online platform. Further details on the application process can be obtained by contacting the support team on their website.
4. Emprèn UPC
Emprèn UPC is an entrepreneurship space where students and graduates with business ideas can meet and work on their ideas. Graduates need to have spent 2 years or less out of school. A project brought about by a collaboration of Barcelona Activa, its corporate offices are located in Barcelona, Spain. All students with a UPC card can access the space all year round.
The Entrepreneurship Space Emprèn UPC offers a workspace of 500m2 where people can work in groups of up to 6, have access to a shared kitchen space, dining room, 30 storage lockers, and a conference space for a maximum of 9 people. They offer an array of resources that also include WI-FI.
Other than a great working space, they get to develop their first phase of their ideas, receive personal advice from experts, and training.
Application is always open as long as you are a student or a recent graduate.
British Council is an international organization that’s focused on education and cultural relations on a global scale. Though it’s from the United Kingdom, it has projects across the globe. The council works with local communities to help them to realize innovations and ideas. They also work closely with policy makers. They go beyond edtech startups and fund startups from other sectors too.
In February 2017, British Council Serbia organized one of the largest events dedicated to the use of technology in education dubbed “New Technologies in Education 2017”. They regularly organize networking events for startups, giving them the tools they require, working space and equipping them with the requisite skills.
Application is made through their website. Prior to making an application, startups can contact the British Council in their country or the UK.
Cranfield University has its main campus in Bedford, Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom. Cranfield University is a global leader in education and research technology. They have over 70 years of experience working and collaborating with business in research and innovation. Both small and large startups have a chance of working with them to get full or partial funding.
Compared to other universities in the UK, they receive the most funding from non-governmental sources, they have strategic partnership agreements with 14 multinational corporations, and whether it’s research or a project that you’re working on, you have the opportunity of working with end users from the public domain, the education industry, and non-governmental organizations.
Some of the funding schemes include:
- Cranfield Industrial Partnerships
- Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
- Co-operative Awards in Science and Engineering (Industrial CASE)
- Centres for Doctoral Training
Application is always open for membership registration through their website.
7. NUMA Paris
NUMA Paris “turns your startup into an execution engine”. Other than NUMA Paris, they also have branches in Moscow, Barcelona, and Berlin. They offer startups access to 30 plus mentors, who will be dedicated to their growth. They have accelerated over 100 plus companies, offering them a 3-month training program. To be part of the team, they offer funding in return for a 3.5% stake in your company.
They fund startups across different industries that include education. They help you realize the business aspect of your startup, execute ideas and access to mentors.
Applications are currently closed.
This edtech accelerator program, based in London and taking a 3-month duration, is for startups with the vision of elevating education standards globally. This program targets startups ranging from all developmental stages, from hopeful proposals to established entities with aims of entering the UK market.
The initial investment is between £40,000 and £100,000. The application process is on a rolling basis offered through an online portal that’s available all the time. Consideration for the EE9 session will be starting in February 2018. Partners include some of the most sought-after venture capitalists and angel investors listed below:
- Eton College
- Oxford University Press
- Saïd Business School of Oxford University
- The Student Room
9. Scholas Labs
This is a 4-month edtech accelerator program, based in Rome, offering support through mentorship, fundraising, and product tests in the Scholas network. The program is supported by Silicon Valley icons such as Microsoft, Google and IBM and other giant global icons such as Globant and Grupo Telecom of Mexico.
Scholas is promoted by Pope Francis’ Scholas Social, a worldwide, multi-religious and multicultural network whose objective is to connect schools through shared interests, collaborations, and encounters. Scholas Occurentes is creating an online platform through which students can learn. It is developed from ideas of two projects he managed as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Application: The calls for March 2018 summit have not been opened yet. When open, the application will be submitted through their website.
The availability of edtech accelerators and incubators in Europe has been vital for the development of startups in general. Other companies that have been in the picture for a while have also benefited as well. Significant resources have been made available where otherwise they would have been out of reach. The programs initiated by these facilitators have been successful to various ranges. Most notable ones have led to the development of new effective and reliable products.
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