Over six months ago, we launched the Open Education Challenge to identify the top education startups and provide them with the support and funding necessary to make a significant impact in the education sphere, particularly in Europe.
From over 600 applications received in February, a panel of evaluators painstakingly narrowed down the competition over two rounds of selections. Eighteen teams made it to Barcelona for the Finalists’ Workshop on July 13-15, where they pitched their projects to a European Jury chaired by Lord David Puttnam and with the participation of Xavier Prats Monné, Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture at the European Commission.
The Jury included (clockwise from top left): Olivier Bréchard, Co-founder of the Institute of Action Research for Education; Pierre-Antoine Ullmo, founder of P.A.U. Education; Avi Warshavsky, CEO of MindCET; Laurent Zmiro, creator of the R2 Investment Club; François Marmion, Investment Director in charge of Private Equity of Helios Capital; Xavier Prats Monné, Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture at the European Commission; Magdalene Rosenmöller, Professor at IESE Business School; Lord David Puttnam; Teemu Leinonen, Professor of New Media Design and Learning at Aalto University; Hannes Klöpper, Co-founder of iversity.
And the winners are...
A big congratulations from the entire OEC team to the nine winners:
Cubes Coding (Finland/Greece)
Learning 2.0 (India)
Think with Things (Belgium)
What do they win?
The nine winning teams are invited to join the first ever European Incubator for Innovation in Education, which includes the following components:
- up to 20,000€ of initial seed funding and access to the Open Education Investment Club
- blended incubation programme consisting of personalized online coaching and mentoring as well as group training sessions taking place in four of Europe’s innovation hubs: London, Paris, Berlin, and Helsinki.
- the support of Europe’s top experts in education, technology and entrepreneurship
The incubator has four modules - Learning Design Studio, Blueprint for Success (creating a business plan), Demo or Die (creating a prototype of the innovation and testing it with others) and Showtime! (bringing the previous components together and preparing to present the project). At the end of the 12 week incubation period, the teams will present their projects at the 'Investors Day' for the opportunity to secure additional funding from the Open Education Investor's Club.
It has been an exciting and inspirational competition, and we would like to thank each of the candidates, mentors, Jury members, colleagues at P.A.U. Education and Armat Group, and all of our other collaborators in the Open Education Challenge. Now, the real challenge begins: taking these nine projects to the height of their potential to give them the best possible chance of having a positive impact on teachers and learners everywhere. In order to truly transform education for today’s learners, it will require a widespread effort including contributions from leaders and innovators from various fields. We hope you will continue to accompany us in the next leg of our journey.