A while ago, we posted about the arrival of Emerge Education – a startup accelerator specifically focussed on education, based at Google Campus in London, and backed by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and David Cameron’s old stomping ground Eton College. This is a big week for them, as they’ve just announced their first cohort of startups.
Here’s what Emerge say about themselves:
Software is eating education, whether in schools, universities or on your kitchen table. In 2013, a mindblowing $452M was invested in education technology in the United States and the trend is infecting the UK and Europe. Much of this activity is driven by startups like Coursera, with over 5.5M students signed up for its online higher education classes in 2013. Despite this trend, the investment market has been slow to back very early stage edtech businesses.
Edtech startups face all the difficulties of any early stage business plus a number of obstacles unique to the education market. Emerge Education (www.emergeventurelab.com), a new edtech accelerator, seeks to help edtech startups overcome these difficulties with access to customers, a large community of specialist business mentors, tech-savvy educational institutions and industry-focussed investors.
So, who are the chosen ones?
One place to login, manage and run all educational apps for primary and secondary school teachers. Removes the administrative headache of having to remember and facilitate hundreds of daily app logins by each teacher and student in a school.
Mobile-first course-platform that enables delivery of any learning content in an adaptive, social and self-directed environment.
Personalised vocabulary trainer that remembers the context in which the user first encountered new words.
Helps schools record and communicate good and bad behaviour to students, parents and other teachers, which measurably improves student behaviour.
Increases parent involvement in their children’s education by enabling nurseries to track and share daily updates about children’s progress.
The accelerator programme lasts 14 weeks and, Emerge say that “the cohort will run beta-tests with the accelerator’s school and university partners, work with industry partners to acquire customers, and receive mentoring from distinguished entrepreneurs and investors. The mentor network includes Brent Hobertman (Lastminute.com), Jan Reichelt (Mendeley), Conrad Wolfram (Mathematica, Wolfram Alpha), Bernhard Niessner (Busuu), and Rogan Angelini-Hurll (PROFounders Capital).”
This build up to a Demo Day, to be held in April, where the startups get the chance to pitch to 100 high value angel and venture capital investors in the hope of getting further investment.
Interesting to see that two of the six are language related. And the themes seem to be: mobile, adaptive/personalised, classroom management. We’ll be keeping tabs on how they develop, and hopefully talking to some of them soon to find out more.