EDUCATE 2018 Investor Summit & Demo Day

Join us on 26 November 2018 for the first EDUCATE Investor Summit & Demo Day, an event to conclude and celebrate the accomplishments of 10 selected EdTech startups from the EDUCATE program.

Please arrive by 5.30pm for Registration and Security Clearance.

The EDUCATE Investor Summit and Demo Day is the premier event for EdTech investors, philanthropists, and senior strategic partners. The event provides an opportunity to discuss global trends that are shaping the future of learning and education, discover new investment opportunities and create partnerships. Facilitated by leading experts in the education industry, the event will see selected EdTech startups from EDUCATE who are ready to scale pitching and demonstrating their products through a rapid-fire 5-minute presentation with three minutes of Q&A.

Who should attend?

This invitation is to thought leaders, publishing executives, leading angel, venture capital, and impact investors looking to discuss new opportunities emerging throughout the learning and education industry.

What’s in it for investors?

Investors attending the event will benefit from early access to promising startups and find new investment opportunities from entrepreneurs who have developed, evaluated and improved their products and services with the use of research evidence on the EDUCATE programme. Plus, you’ll get to connect with other seasoned investors, startup founders and corporate acquisition teams.

What’s in it for corporates?

Meet the innovative teams disrupting the EdTech industry, learn about the breakthrough solutions out there and scout for new partnerships.

The demonstrations will be followed by drinks and networking.

Book your place on eventbrite.

Event: How I raised £1m for my EdTech Startup

We know raising investment in the EdTech space can be tough as an entrepreneur. Join us at this special event on Wed 3 October 2018 and learn from the EDUCATE community. You’ll hear from two experienced and successful entrepreneurs that have each raised over £1m for their EdTech businesses, as they share how they did it, their top tips for successfully raising investment, followed by a Q&A session. You will also have the opportunity to network with many more like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors from the EDUCATE ecosystem.

This event is proudly sponsored by BESA – British Educational Suppliers Association.


Nelson Sivalingham, HowNow

Nelson started London-based EdTech startup HowNow with a vision to change the way the world learns by enabling anyone with expertise to teach and by empowering people to learn from each other. The company’s online platform gives everyone the opportunity to learn from experts all over the world and they now have more than 400 experts teaching in 33 countries.

In April 2017, the company successfully raised £1.2m in funding from a number of private investors and Fuel Ventures, helping the company to expand its marketplace of experts and develop products for teachers and learners.

Jack Pottle, Oxford Medical Simulation

Oxford Medical Simulation are a leading virtual reality medical simulation company – providing VR scenarios for doctors and nurses worldwide. These scenarios provide a completely safe, controlled-stress learning environment for all healthcare professionals, helping to remove the barriers to training faced by so many medical professionals.

Talks will be followed by drinks and networking

Book your place on eventbrite

Finding (and understanding) related existing research for an EdTech.

Dr Alison Clark-Wilson

Everyone loves the phrase ‘evidence-informed’ EdTech – politicians, school leaders, EdTech founders, learners, investors etc. – but if we unpick this phrase, we’re left asking ‘what is the nature of the evidence?’ and ‘who (or what) is it informing?’

Alongside this, the wide range of research evidence that might relate to an EdTech makes it a particularly complex space to navigate. For example, a language learning online communications platform for primary-age children would demand a very different evidence base to that offering a virtual reality learning environment for trainee doctors.

Put simply, there will be two forms of research evidence that might be useful.

The first form is the research that relates to the content domain of the EdTech, such as early second language acquisition, medicine, citizenship, etc.  Very often the language of academic research is more nuanced than everyday language and so a database of academic keywords, such as the internationally recognised ERIC database, can be a useful place to start.

Beyond the content domain, it might be useful to think about the type of EdTech, the technical aspects of its design and the nature of a user’s activities. Thinking about these aspects will also reveal keywords that might be useful later.

Armed with a set of relevant keywords, you are ready to begin your search.

Nearly everyone starts with Google – which really is the modern-day equivalent of looking for a needle in a haystack! A Google Scholar search, which limits the search to academic and publishers’ websites, is a better starting point.

Depending on the intended learners for your EdTech, there are some websites that offer search tools for a particular education sector.

The US-based Digital Promise Research Map is a good starting point for school-facing EdTech, whereas Open Knowledge Maps is better for post-school or vocational EdTech.

Either way, you should find some useful background research. If you hit any publishers’ paywalls, try searching for the authors on ResearchGate (the academics’ social network) or through their affiliation – and don’t be afraid to contact them directly. Most authors retain the rights to the ‘pre-print copy’ of their research paper and are more than happy to send it to you if you ask.

The second form of research evidence is that which is founded on data from your own product or service. Designing and conducting EdTech research does take some thought and significant time – as all of the companies on the EDUCATE programme have found out – but there will be no better evidence than that of a robust study, whether it is a small case study with a few early adopters, or a large-scale experimental study of a stable product involving thousands of participants.

MyTutor Commended by Think Tank Reform

Image of online tutoring sesson

With the vision to transform the way people connect with the best tutors, MyTutor was founded in 2013. Today, they are the leading online tutoring provider used by over 10,000 students across the UK and beyond. MyTutor were part of the first cohort of participants on the EDUCATE programme.


The work of EDUCATE participants, My Tutor, has been commended in a key report into the use EdTech to support the learning of disadvantaged children, and how it can bridge the gap in achievement between pupils from different backgrounds.

The study, Beyond Gadgets: EdTech to help close the opportunity gap, from the independent think-tank, Reform, examines the need within the English education system to address inequality of opportunity for groups of the population.

MyTutor features as an example of how technology can provide opportunities by offering one-to-one on-line tutoring at a cost that is accessible to families. The company’s own research, conducted as part of the EDUCATE programme, indicated that students receiving online tuition for more than one term make three times greater progress than those who receive none.

James Burton, Head of Data at MyTutor, said: “The Impact Report enabled us to provide robust evidence for how innovative and scalable solutions such as MyTutor can deliver transformational outcomes at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
“It is the first of what we hope to be many opportunities to help shape the sector through applied evidence.”


Visit the MyTutor website to find out more. 

EDUCATE welcomes Cohort 6 participants to the programme

EDUCATE today (August 20) welcomes 36 entrepreneurs, start-ups and SME on to its unique EdTech programme.

The new entrants are the sixth cohort of innovators to be admitted since the EDUCATE programme was launched in Spring, 2017. The 36 members of the cohort offer a wide range of educational products and services, ranging from monitoring early childhood cognition and adult learning, to career education and enhancing mental health and well-being.

Professor Rose Luckin, Director of EDUCATE, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Cohort 6 to the EDUCATE programme. Since our launch last year, we have seen more than 100 entrepreneurs, SMEs and start-ups commence, and successfully complete, the programme, many of whom have been recognised with our own mark, the EdWard, having satisfied a range of criteria.

“Furthermore, several of our previous participants have gone on to be pioneers in the EdTech sector, attracting investment and ensuring the UK remains a world leader in this field.

“There is no reason why the incoming cohort should not be equally successful, as they bring with them a wealth of ideas and concepts to enhance teaching and learning, and personal development.”

Professor Luckin said the importance of the EDUCATE programme was highlighted recently in Ministerial announcements about a proposed “EdTech revolution” in UK schools.

“Our work on the programme in helping to bring through EdTech innovators and entrepreneurs assumed a renewed importance two weeks ago, when Damian Hinds, the Secretary of State for Education, unveiled his vision of how EdTech sector could improve teaching and learning and cut teacher workload,” she said.

“His input is welcome and timely, as the teaching profession and educationalists look increasingly to how technology can support the teaching and learning of future generations.

“The EDUCATE programme intends to be at the forefront of that important work, and we look forward to sharing our insights, experience and expertise.”

EDUCATE Director, Professor Rose Luckin, discusses AI and effects on learning and testing, in World Economic Forum article

Professor Rose Luckin discusses how AI can help redefine how pupils learn, and what intelligences they will need to succeed and thrive in the workplace of the future, in this article on the website of the World Economic Forum, the international organisation for public-private cooperation.

She explains how educators, and society in general, must radically redefine intelligence, and how AI can be used to help teachers develop and measure human intelligence in its various forms, so that students are better prepared for the workplace of the future – a workplace that will require them to be more adaptable and willing to learn throughout their lives.

Professor Luckin believes that we currently test what can be easily measured, but AI could be used to assess aptitude and ability in other important skills beyond intelligence, such as collaboration, persistence, confidence and motivation.

AI would also enable students to be assessed as they learn – rather than with one-time, end-of-course assessments – using technology and hand-held devices. This would provide teachers with a more accurate picture of students’ strengths and weaknesses, so that learning can be adapted readily to meet their needs.

Professor Luckin argues that AI is already a viable option to replace some tests, and that changing what we measure would alter what we value in our education systems.

“If we can accept that we need to change the assessment system,” she says, “then it opens the door to that radical rethink about what the education system is for.”

Professor Rose Luckin, EDUCATE Director, welcomes Education Secretary, Damian Hinds’ plans for an ‘EdTech revolution’

Professor Rose Luckin, the director of EDUCATE, has welcomed an announcement today by Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, calling for an ‘EdTech revolution’ in UK schools.

The Secretary of State set out his vision for the use of technology in education and called on the sector to meet five key challenges that would improve teaching and learning, and ease teacher workload.

Professor Luckin, who is professor of Learner Centred Design at the UCL Knowledge Lab, said: “It is great to see Mr Hinds recognising the value of technology in education.

“We know that well-designed and effectively-deployed technology has a positive impact on teaching and learning. We now need the EdTech sector to work with educators and researchers to develop the evidence-informed technology and practice to transform our education system to benefit all learners.”

Outling his vision to the World Education Forum, Mr Hinds said that some schools had already embraced EdTech, bringing education to life with the use of robots and virtual reality, while giving teachers more time to spend with pupils rather than on administrative tasks.

However, he said, only a minority was engaged with technology and he called on industry – both EdTech developers in the UK and the global giants such as Microsoft and Apple – to help tackle five key issues: cutting teacher workload, developing innovative teaching methods, training teachers, making assessment more effective, and promoting lifelong learning.

Mr Hinds said: “Schools, colleges and universities have the power to choose the tech tools which are best for them and their budgets. But they cannot do this alone. It’s only by forging a strong partnership between government, technology innovators and the education sector that there will be sustainable, focused solutions which will ultimately support and inspire the learners of today and tomorrow.”

He urged EdTech developers to get more involved in schools and to work on providing the evidence of the impact they have in the classroom.
The Department for Education will be working with, amongst others, the British Educational Suppliers Association, one of EDUCATE’s partners, to promote EdTech in schools, colleges and universities.

Professor Luckin added: “Since its launch last year, the EDUCATE programme has worked more than 100 entrepreneurs, businesses and start-ups to help bring about exactly the revolution of which the Secretary of State speaks.
“We look forward to sharing our expertise and experience to help make this vision a reality for millions of children and students.”

More information about Damian Hinds’ speech can be found here, and an article written by the Secretary of State is here.


Dominic Traynor, from EDUCATE cohort A Tale Unfolds, talks movingly in this TEDx event about pupil power, and how the energy and aspirations of young people can be harnessed to make the world a better place, through better and more motivational teaching methods.

A Tale Unfolds aims to improve attainment in literacy through the use of video, and by engaging children and young people in the issues that affect them, now and in the future – such as plastic pollution, obesity, food waste, climate change and mental health.

In this video, entitled Turning schools into hotbeds for global change-reforming education Dominic, who is a former primary teacher, talks about how his methods have improved some children’s progress by 15 months in the space of just four months, and how being a part of the EDUCATE programme helped him to develop a range of resources that were suitable and compatible for use in the national curriculum.

You can view his inspiring and insightful talk here:

EDUCATE programme features in Tech & Learning’s Most Influential EdTech List 2018



Professor Rose Luckin, the Director of Educate and Mursal Hedayat, founder of EDUCATE cohort, Chatterbox, have been named in Tech & Learning’s Most Influential People in EdTech List for 2018.

They are listed among eight women in the line-up for “working in thoughtful and creative ways on the frontlines of some of today’s most pressing issues—from the way we think about learning, AI, and innovation to gun control, refugees, and student privacy.”

Tech & Learning is a US-based resource for education technology leaders working from pre-school to secondary education.

Mursal, who is a refugee to the UK from Afghanistan, and her company Chatterbox, were among the third cohort of participants to the EDUCATE programme admitted in November last year.

Chatterbox offers on-line and in-person language tutoring delivered by trained refugee tutors and seeks to break down barriers to understanding the plight of refugees in the current, often toxic. climate. Mursal told Tech & Learning: “The framework for human rights that gives refugees the same rights we have is an insurance policy for us all. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we are all one red button away from becoming refugees ourselves.”

Professor Luckin was commended by Tech & Learning for her new book Machine Learning and Human Intelligence: The Nature of Education for the 21st Century and the questions it poses about the role of technology in teaching and learning.

She said she was thrilled to learn of her inclusion in the list, both in recognition of her own work in AI but also “because it acknowledges the vital work that the EDUCATE programme is doing in promoting the importance of EdTech in education.”

Professor Luckin added: “I am absolutely delighted to appear in this list alongside one of our cohorts Chatterbox, led by Mursal Hedayat, who is doing such amazing work in this very important field.”

Tech & Learning’s article can be found here.

Photos from Festival of Learning Day 2