Organised by Edxus Group and partner IBIS Capital, EdTech Europe, a one-day event held in London, addressed the current industry and investment trends in education technology and e-learning for both the academic and professional learning sectors. The day included simultaneous agendas addressing corporate training and academic learning, keynote speeches, panels, innovation showcases, Q&A sessions, startup pitches, and all-important networking breaks.
Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet, CEO of Edxus Group and Co-Founder of Edtech Europe, shares his thoughts on this year’s event.
Q: Has this year’s event been a success?
A: Yes. We saw more than 300 attendees this year, compared to 125 last year. More than 20 nationalities came from across Europe and the US. In fact, 15% of attendees travelled from the States. This highlights the scale and diversity of our audience and provides high quality and relevant networking opportunities for everyone involved.
The balance between our keynotes speeches, discussion panels and networking breaks worked extremely well. It can be tricky getting that balance right, but we think leaving time for discussions is an opportunity to generate ideas, identify industry trends and deliver instant feedback.
Q: How has the edtech sector changed over the past 12 months?
A: Last year we saw a lot of ideas and experiments, this year these have moved to adoption. Plans have now turned into real products and it’s great to see success and growth in the edtech sector.
We’ve noticed a parallel between the European and US edtech markets. Europe does not lag behind in terms of innovation, and there is a growing appetite from stakeholders in the US to team up with European start-ups.
Q: What are your aims for Edtech Europe 2015?
A: To focus on quality not quantity. Part of our goal is to of course, increase attendee numbers but we are also dedicated to providing a high-quality service to the edtech sector. We want to keep a dialogue between investors, industry and innovators, and make sure they take away something valuable from our event.
EdTech 20 winners announced
EdTech Europe also played host to the European EdTech 20, a round-up of e-learning companies primarily based within Europe, who have shown the most significant innovation and growth over the last year.
Judged by an industry-leading panel, including representatives from TSL, Pearson and Emerge Education, EdTech 20 ranks firms based on criteria including; innovation, scale, market impact and revenue growth in Europe over the past year.
The three winners were:
- busuu.com – a new concept for language learning which allows users to learn directly from native speakers via an integrated video-chat application. busuu.com also provides over 150 different learning units on a broad range of topics.
- bettermarks.com – an adaptive learning platform allowing users to access personalised maths learning online. Available in three languages, bettermarks offers over 100 interactive maths books for primary and secondary years.
- The Student Room – an online forum designed to support students through their studies – starting in 2001 as a conversation forum for students to share ideas and get advice, the portal has evolved to now host sample essays, quizzes, revision notes, mindmaps and study planners for over 16,000 users.
“These three companies stood out for us as having a real grasp on the opportunities and direction of the edtech and e-learning market,” Charles McIntyre, CEO of IBIS Capital and Co-Founder of EdTech Europe.