EDUCATE cohorts pitch to financial backers in front of a packed City Hall audience

A capacity audience of 300 people attended the inaugural EDUCATE Investor Summit and Demo Day at City Hall, yesterday (November 26), to watch 11 leading EdTech companies pitch to financial backers for possible funding, investment and partnerships.

The businesses, all successful former participants of the EDUCATE programme, each gave a six-minute presentation to investors, who have a combined fund value of £850 million, before answering questions in a Dragon’s Den-style event.

The investors will now contact the companies privately to discuss any potential opportunities for collaboration.

Each company was selected to participate following a stringent application process and was required to be a recipient of an EdWard – the EDUCATE programme’s own quality mark. The 11 were:

  • Priyanka Agarwal – Connet2teach
  • Matthew Harker -MyPocketSkill
  • Phillpp Legner – Mathigon
  • Heather Lyons – Blue{Shift} education
  • Scarlett McCabe – Debate Mate Online
  • Murray Morrison – Tassomai
  • Charles Roddie – MathSpire
  • Emma Rodgers – Little Bridge
  • Dr Becky Sage – Interactive Scientific
  • Keiron Sparrowhawk – MyCognition
  • Dr Tom Judd – Virti

They were pitching to potential backers including venture capitalists, angel investors, crowdfunding platforms, accelerator programmes, as well as an EdTech investment fund.

Professor Rose Luckin, EDUCATE’s director, told the participants, investors and distinguished guests from the EdTech sector, that education was facing “untold challenges” which were exciting and scary in equal measure.

“One thing is clear, and that is that we need people with skills, understanding and knowledge that are perhaps different to those we have traditionally needed,” she said.

“We need educational technology that is fit for purpose to help bring that about.” Professor Luckin added that, for the first time ever, thanks to technology, it might be possible to educate all the world’s population.

Rajesh Agrawal, London Deputy Mayor for Business, told the audience that the future of the capital “depends on the educational opportunities afforded to our young people, and embracing technology is a key part of this”. He hailed London as the EdTech capital of the world, and home to a quarter of all European EdTech companies.

Koby Yogaretnam, EDUCATE’s business lead, who opened the event, said the Investor Summit and Demo Day emphasised the importance of London as the world capital of EdTech, and the role of the EDUCATE programme as a leader in the field.

“Many of those in attendance said the event was one of the best they had attended in the Edtech sector and commented on the high quality of entrepreneurs presenting,” he said. “The Demo Day felt like a celebration of the UK EdTech sector, and was an excellent opportunity for the EDUCATE programme to promote its global offering into 2019 and beyond.”