Edtech start-ups: Jisc invites innovators to solve HE challenges

Jisc wants 50 start-up companies to join its step up programme and offer HE institutions access to innovative edtech solutions

Start-up companies are being called upon to solve higher education’s biggest challenges as part of a new partnership programme.

The new scheme – Step up – will connect institutional decision-makers to innovative start-up businesses that can offer edtech solutions.

The initiative is being run by Jisc, the organisation which provides digital solutions for UK education and research, in association with Emerge Education, a seed investor for edtech start-ups.

Start-ups that meet the criteria will join the nine already accepted to the programme and work with universities and colleges to solve key sector problems, particularly around student experience.

Our members will find it much easier to partner with start-ups when they know sector-validated due diligence has been carried out
– Sue Attewell, Jisc

Sue Attewell, head of edtech at Jisc, said the organisation hopes to create “a vibrant community of edtech start-ups that are ready and keen to work with institutions”.

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“We’re looking to find 50 of the best and most innovative post-16 edtech start-ups that will interest and excite our members,” Ms Attewell said.

“Our members will find it much easier to partner with start-ups when they know sector-validated due diligence has been carried out and its solution is procurement ready.

“They need access to a set of reliable, vetted start-ups that are of the highest quality, and cover the range of the student experience. This is what we want to build with the Founding 50,” she added.

Jisc said entrants must demonstrate a “robust business model” and “proven solutions”. The organisation said the scheme was designed to tackle universities’ concerns around engaging with start-ups by offering them accredited suppliers. Start-ups must offer solutions ready for piloting or full-scale implementation.

The deadline for registering interest in the Founding 50 is 28 February 2020. Register interest here

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