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Jisc launches edtech startup comp

UK edtech industry ready for take-off with startups competition

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | December 05, 2016 | Higher education

The hunt is on for the next breakthrough edtech startups companies. Entries are now being accepted for the startups category of Jisc’s Edtech Competition which supports startups and student ideas for education. 

With the UKs first Edtech UK Global Summit having taken place in London earlier this month, it certainly seems that the edtech sector is tipped for take-off, and Jisc’s startups competition could give emerging edtech companies the boost that they need. Winners will provide real solutions for education sector issues, stand to bag funding of up to £20,000 and receive business support for their growing edtech enterprise. 

Ten startups will be chosen to give a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch at Jisc’s Digifest event (which celebrates and supports learning and teaching for Higher and Further Education and Skills sector) in a bid to get through to the next round. Once through, the winning startups will enter a six month ‘accelerator programme’, where they will receive mentoring business support. That’s not all, there’s even a chance to pitch to Jisc (and other potential investors) for support packages and investment to become successful edtech products. Previous startups supported by Jisc have set out to solve numerous sector issues with their innovative ideas. 

This year it’s more important than ever that we find and support fantastic edtech ideas

Anish Bagga, Unitu founder, said: ‘‘Being part of the accelerator programme has been instrumental to the success of developing Unitu and building a truly effective business model. Thanks to the programme, our platform has taken off in a real way, and we have created a place where students, course representatives and staff can collectively raise, discuss and resolve academic issues all in one place. We’ve had support navigating our startups business through the HE technology sector, enabling us to build key contacts along the way, and the funding we received and continuing support from Jisc has been invaluable. We urge anyone thinking of entering to just go for it.” 

Paul Bailey Senior co-design manager at Jisc said: “This year it’s more important than ever that we find and support fantastic edtech ideas. At Jisc we believe that digital has the power to revolutionise learning and teaching, for universities, colleges and learners alike. In our current economic climate, edtech startups could really benefit from a financial boost, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer funding along with business advice and support. This will be the fifth year of our competition, and I’m looking forward to seeing what inspiring and innovative startups we can work with this time around.”

To enter or to learn more about the competition, visit the Jisc website.

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