Together with Emerge Education, we're looking for fresh ideas from individuals, as well as products from startups and established companies, that have the potential to benefit the further and higher education sector.
The edtech launchpad is split into four parts:
- Edtech challenges: for staff, students and other interested individuals who have an idea to solve our challenges but have not yet developed it
- Edtech startups: a competitive process to identify teams who have an edtech product who need help getting their market-ready edtech product seen
- Accelerator: for companies already delivering a service to one or two institutions who are looking to expand to deliver to others
- Step up programme: a new strand which will provide a "healthcheck" for edtech startups
We are setting a series of idea challenges, running activities and hackathons over the next year. This year we are opening the challenges to staff, students and other interested individuals.
Previously known as the student ideas competition, it is designed to find innovative technology solutions to improve education, research and student life often based on your own experiences.
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We were looking for early-stage startups with a product that could improve UK education and research who needed help getting their market-ready edtech product seen by universities and colleges.
Successful applicants will receive mentorship from Jisc, Emerge Education and a small group of industry experts to help develop their product and find their market niche worth £10,000.
Our 2019 winners
Our winning startups from 2019 were:
Connecting industry experts to online course providers to develop and deliver relevant courses and use the connection as a way to increase enrolment, engagement and employability.
A better way of connecting school leavers with the world of work
Scholarcy uses machine learning to digest any research paper, book chapter or report into a summary flashcard that you can read on any device, instantly giving you background reading, key facts and findings.
StudyBundles (trading as CampusConnect)
CampusConnect is a mobile app service connecting up students with fellow applicants and student ambassadors prior to enrolment, solving an acute college and university need to improve pre-arrival engagement and boost offer-enrolment conversion rates.
Virti is a medical training platform using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Our 2018 winners
The accelerator is aimed at startups with a small number of paying customers.
Successful applicants will receive up to £30,000 equity investment (subject to terms and conditions) as well as detailed mentorship, from Jisc, Emerge Education and industry experts, to help them grow and secure further investment.
The accelerator competition is open to all startups, as well as successful companies from the previous stage.
Call for Participants
Take part in the widest selection of academic research and earn rewards.
An AI for biomedical cause and effect discovery. It helps you validate causal claims and generate hypotheses in biomedical systems.
A cloud-based research collaboration platform where you can store, analyse and share your data using open-source tools like R and Python.
An integrated end-to-end solution for modern campus management at academic institutions. Their unique framework concept, based on open adoption software (OAS) technology not only improves institutional services but also drastically reduces administrative management efforts.
A unique platform and app offering work experience and graduate job opportunities to students in higher education.
A beautiful note taking tool combined with a reliable knowledge database. Discover the best learning materials in the world and organise your own knowledge in a clean structure.
Brings the world's greatest games to your class, supercharged for school with lesson plans and learning analytics. It puts great games in the hands of teachers and students who can make the most of them.
Unitu improves student satisfaction by allowing universities to collect and act on student feedback in real time.
Create and share 360° virtual reality (VR) interactive experiences. With Wonda VR, you can create immersive experiences and enrich your 360° photos and videos with interactive visual annotations, links and sounds.
Companies taking part in our accelerator could have a significant impact on our members and become suppliers of essential services. By developing relationships with them in the early stages, we can steer them in the right direction to ensure they meet the needs of the further and higher education sectors. We can also mitigate risks and provide reassurance to members when they're buying products from startups.
The step up programme is a new strand of activity we are investigating that will reduce the risk to our members of contracting with startups.
This will be supported by a series of roadshows and market insight reports.
Questions to consider (as members and startups)
As members, when you’re interested in working with a startup on a pilot or other activity, these are the minimum questions you need to be asking. As startups, you need to be prepared to answer these.
Relevance and credibility
- Has the product been used at other HE institutions in the UK or abroad?
- What integrations with common HE IT systems does your product provide?
- In a few sentences, describe the problem your product will be helping our institution to address
- What is the background of your key team members?
- Is your company legally established to trade within the UK?
- Do you have professional and employee’s liability insurance?
- Do your terms of service cover GDPR and data security?
- Is all data transfer encrypted?
- Is all web traffic over TLS, including non-sensitive data?
- What is your SSL Labs rating?
- Is all data stored in the UK/EU?
- Is the product hosted in the UK/EU?
- Does the web service meet, or is working towards, WCAG 2.1 checklist Level AA? Yes/no; and/or:
- Describe how your app takes into account accessibility best practice
- Describe your backup strategy, including retention of backups
- Describe your process for dealing with security incidents
- Describe their approach to service continuity and resilience
Why this matters: the growth of edtech
Edtech is now undergoing a period of unprecedented growth, with significant investment flowing into startup ventures.
Global spend on education is $6 trillion, and is growing at 7% annually. In 2015 Edtech UK estimated the global educational technology sector was worth £45 billion. This is projected to grow to £128 billion by 2020 owing to the many opportunities for digital transformation and the global trends (such as the world's ageing population, shortage of qualified teachers, transformational technologies such as artificial intelligence) that will shape these opportunities for decades to come.
Project partner: Emerge Education
We're working with Emerge Education who have a successful track record at helping startups develop into sustainable companies that meet the needs of schools, universities and colleges.
Combining our contacts in the further and higher education sector with Emerge’s extensive contacts in the startup world makes us ideal partners.
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