EU Supports Nurturing #Edtech Startups and That’s Great

Open Education Challenge

I used to work as a researcher for more than six years at VTT, the technical research centre of Finland. It is actually the longest gig I’ve done in my career, and a very interesting one at that!

At VTT we used to get funding to our research projects both from companies and governments. One significant source of research funding is the European Commission. We’d send applications to EC’s framework programme calls together with universities, companies, and other research institutes across Europe. Sometimes we got lucky and scored funding for a couple of years.

Now I’ve been working in the private sector since 2008. I must say that looking in retrospect some of our projects lacked true market demand and contact with the end user. That’s why I’m delighted that these days the Commission has also more business-oriented instruments in their portfolio to find new innovations.

One of those is the Open Education Europa. They are currently organizing an edtech startup challenge and incubation program. I am lucky to be one of their mentors in Helsinki.

Next week I’ll be coaching Atta, a social media platform for learning; Cubes Coding, a robot programming platform for as young as three year olds; Domoscio, an adaptive learning engine; Funbrush, an interactive toothbrush(!); GroupMooC, a service for organizing your MOOCs; Harness, a blended learning & classroom flipping service; KLAP, an adaptive learning and analytics product; Think with Things, an application for turning any physical and digital objects to learning resources.

So this should be interesting! I’ll write another post once I am done with them.


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