Helsinki: first incubation programme for education technology

EdTech Incubator Helsinki is the first business incubator in Finland to focus on supporting young start-ups in education technology. It started operating in early November.

It is a free 20-week incubation programme for the best innovations in education technology. The companies selected for the programme have the chance to grow their ideas into a commercialisable, scalable and international business concepts through cooperation with business and education professionals.

The incubation programme includes workshops, mentoring, weekly tasks and keynote speeches by industry experts. It also provides the close support of a network along the way. In addition to this, companies will be offered premises at the new start-up and innovation centre for education technology, Helsinki Education Hub. At the end of the incubation programme, the teams get to pitch their ideas to leading experts, investors and influencers in the education sector. This will also help increase key stakeholders’ awareness of innovative solutions and create opportunities for the profitable expansion of businesses.

For the first round of the incubator programme, 37 EdTech growth companies from around the world submitted their applications. After expert interviews, ten teams were invited to join the programme, held from 8 November 2021 to 31 March 2022. These teams are: Alfons Education, Beesh, Big Ear Games, Graidapp, Language Club, Loru Games, Musicedu, Oppi AI, Onni Education and XR Tutor.

“We selected companies that had an innovative idea and market potential and were in the right stage with regard to the incubation programme,” says Mia-Stiina Heikkala, project lead for Helsinki Education Hub and senior business advisor.

Solutions from early childhood education to adult education and from virtual reality to AI

The companies represent the various areas and target groups of education technology widely. The solutions being developed range from early childhood education to adult education and from virtual reality to using AI. The products include educational games, online learning platforms, and applications for learning music, sexual education, assessment, and learning languages. Of the companies selected, eight are from Finland and two are from outside Finland.

“It was great to see the companies’ eagerness to develop their business with expert help. Clearly, this programme is needed,” Heikkala adds.

Next round of applications for the EdTech Incubator in January–February 2022

EdTech Incubator Helsinki accepts applications twice a year. The next round of applications will take place in January–February 2022. You can find the application criteria and more information here.

“We encourage new EdTech teams and researchers to contact us, even early in the idea stage. Come visit us at the pop-up dealflow guidance services offered on Fridays! We can look at your situation together: how we can help and where your company is on our dealflow service path. We offer services for all stages, from ideas to innovation,” Heikka says to encourage companies.

 

Source and photo: hel.fi