Brightest stars of edtech scene come together to celebrate innovation in learning
The first London EdTech Week takes place from 19-23 June. The founding co-chairs of the event, including Tes, EdTechXGlobal, Google for Education, UCL, Nesta, BESA, The EdTech Podcast and Emerge Education, expect over 6,000 people to attend events celebrating the capital’s vibrant education technology community.
London EdTech Week will feature over 30 events, exhibiting the best of educational technology. It will include live podcasts, a discussion on the future of 21st century skills and a debate on artificial intelligence and the democratisation of education. Founders, teachers and executives speaking at the event come from a rich variety of backgrounds, including the performing arts, social governance, business, and law.
The fast growing London ecosystem includes a wide of range of different organisations contributing to the sector, including over 200 edtech start-ups and SMEs based in the city. It reinforces the capital’s reputation as the Silicon Valley of edtech innovation.
Here are five reasons why we should be getting excited about the edtech sector in London right now:
The edtech sector is one of the fastest growing in the UK, accounting for 4% of all digital companies (the same as fintech) according to London & Partners.
London represents 34% of total Edtech venture capital funding (ranked #1 in Europe) in Europe and is home to more than 184 institutional investors (funds, family offices etc.) and 1,800 ultra-high net worth individuals (with assets > £20M) actively seeking investment opportunities in the Education and Education technology sector. (Source: IBIS Capital).
London and the UK represent 24% of the European edtech ecosystem in terms of number of edtech companies - 5,256 in total in Europe (Source: EdtechXglobal and IBIS Capital).
10 of the top 20 fastest edtech companies in Europe are from the UK (Source: EdTechXEurope)
The capital was recently awarded 6th place in the Global Start-up Ecosystem Report.
Quotes from the edtech community:
The global marketplace
Lord Jim Knight, Chief Education Adviser at Tes
“This is an important week for the sector in London and beyond. Edtech always needs to worry more about ed and let the tech follow. Education is all about connecting and learning from each other. It is essential in our business. At Tes we’re passionate about how technology can better support, inspire and connect our teachers. So looking ahead I’m very excited to see how AI can enhance teaching and disrupt assessment.”
The AI start-up
Priya Lakhani OBE, Founder CEO of CENTURY Tech
“With a rapidly growing EdTech market in London and the UK, it is exciting to see the huge leaps in innovation that are taking place as a consequence. By creating better EdTech using advanced technologies that solves more problems in more innovative ways, the education market is benefitting significantly and we have seen the impact data at CENTURY to demonstrate this.
“Until recently, a lot of edtech had simply digitised content, moving it from a textbook to a computer. However, the future of edtech is beginning to emerge. Taking inspiration from other industries such as healthcare, retail and travel, there is a slow but steady emergence of artificial intelligence in education.”
The literacy start-up
Paul Hutson, CEO and Founder of Night Zoo Keeper
“It is a very exciting time to be involved in the edtech sector, as teachers begin to look for more digital content than ever before. Schools are becoming more globally connected and want their students to experience an education which will prepare them for the international world of work. There are currently a wealth of edtech products being developed with this in mind, which can only enrich the education of students across London, the UK and the world.
Products that save assessment and marking time will be very successful. This will then enable teachers to spend more time planning increasingly interactive and engaging lessons. Therefore, products that deliver assessment data to teachers within a manageable and understandable interface will have a significant impact on the education sector.”
Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet, EdtechXGlobal
“Edtech is the oil of the knowledge and digital economy in London. The city is home of the start-ups with the most potential for global expansion while the UK more generally is also home of heritage brands that are early adopters of technology. Edtech and digital delivery are real opportunities for heritage UK education brands to rise and shine globally.”
Sophie Bailey, The Edtech Podcast
“There is a fantastic concentration of edtech companies in London and, now, the rest of the UK. I'm excited as these companies become more sophisticated in how they meet the needs of institutions and students and consider the efficacy of their services or products. On the most part, there is a great collegiate approach to edtech companies coming up and sharing stories to help guide one another on the journey. Because of our experience with the computing curriculum in 2014, we have a mature sector of coding, making and creative computing companies.”
Carla Aerts, Director of Futures, Institute of Education - UCL
“The edtech scene in London and the UK is vibrant and extremely diverse. It appears to be the biggest edtech startup scene in the world and illustrates the engagement of the entrepreneurs in Education, wanting to improve Teaching and empower Learners in a fast-moving 21st century tech-driven world, needing new modes of learning and supporting the understanding of ‘how we learn’ rather than ‘what we learn’ to support more effective and engaged learning.”
The innovation foundation
Michael Mann, Senior Programme Manager at Nesta
“Technology has transformed the way we communicate, travel, shop and vote, but its potential in education is yet to be fulfilled. London is well positioned to address this gap - not only does it have the edtech startups, but it also has powerhouses of educational research, like the Institute of Education and the Education Endowment Foundation. Increased collaboration between these two players is creating edtech with impact, and this is what will enable the industry to flourish in the long term.”
The trade body
Nina Iles, Head of EdTech at BESA, the trade association for the UK’s education suppliers sector
“The UK is leading the way in edtech innovation, so it’s great that London will host what promises to be a remarkable series of events. We’re working with members of the global edtech ecosystem to improve educational outcomes for children across the country and around the world.”