Startup Wildfire have been awarded investment and support to further develop their artificial intelligence (AI) answer to Wikipedia.
Wildfire was announced the winner of our edtech startup competition at our annual Digifest event. The company will now get access to an intensive business accelerator programme and be provided with a support package to the value of £20,000, to allow them to develop their business and successfully deliver a fully-fledged product to UK education.
Wildfire have created the world's first AI content production tool that creates online content in minutes not months. Wildfire takes any document, PowerPoint or video and creates high-retention content in minutes. It’s based on recent academic learning theory on active 'effortful' learning, retention and recall.
Entrants to the edtech startup competition were subject to a panel interview and a pitch to Digifest attendees, who had the chance to vote for their favourite startup using the event app. The winner was then selected based on the vote and interview process that took place at the event.
Previously known as the Summer of Student Innovation, the competition is in its fifth year and seeks to find educational technology products that will benefit UK higher education, further education and skills.
After beating the competition to the investment, Wildfire CEO Donald Clark said:
"We're absolutely delighted to win. Not only did we win, we came top of a live audience poll which is pleasing! It’s great, it’s not just about the money, it’s about access.
It’s about Jisc helping me and other entrepreneurs to open the door to the addressable market of higher education, and also further education and apprenticeships and workplace learning."
Andy McGregor, our deputy chief innovation officer, added:
"We were excited by all the innovative ideas presented to us, each in their own way could improve and enhance UK higher and further education.
For members of the Jisc the panel, Wildfire really stood out but the panel were really impressed by the quality of entrants to this year’s competition so will be awarding up to £100,000 of funding plus support to five startups: Wildfire, Hubbub, Lumici Slate, Ublend and VineUp.
The competition has shown that the sector is set for a really exciting period of digital transformation, with edtech startups reimagining the world of education and the way it works."
Hubbub also won a slice of the prize. Their aim is to build a culture of giving in universities, making alumni, student and staff fundraising fun, engaging and inclusive. Hubbub helps university fundraising teams build strong relationships with students, staff, and alumni, engage them as volunteers or ambassadors, acquire new donors, and convert donors into regular supporters.
Jonathan May, CEO of Hubbub said:
"It’s the first engagement we’ve had with Jisc, we’ve been on the edge of edtech and have been for a long time. We were looking for good ways to engage and programmes to participate in. When the opportunity emerged we were delighted to see the quality of the competition.
The depth of the questioning and the amount of work that we had to do to persuade people that this (Hubbub) is a good thing to invest in. We’re really excited to be working with Jisc because the impact of the work could lead to a huge amount of money coming into the higher education sector."