Open Education



Education is the answer

Why invest in education? Why invest now? Where should we invest?

  • Asking these questions is already a sign that much has changed on the education scene. Education is no longer a matter reserved for public authorities or free from real life constraints. The world is spending more on education than ever before.
  • Education is the answer to the parents’ desire to guarantee a future job for their children and to companies’ needs for more innovation and better skilled employees.
  • Education is the key to building better lives for hundreds of millions worldwide and responding to challenges such as climate change, sustainable development and gender equality.
  • Traditional education systems are no longer able to respond alone to these needs. Performances worldwide – and especially in most developed countries – are bad: there is a rising number of school dropouts, skyrocketing youth unemployment, and a mismatch of skills and companies’ needs. Moreover, there is not enough money or space to build schools and universities and hire all the teachers that are needed.
  • Major changes are required to the ways learning is delivered, students are motivated and teachers are trained.
  • Education needs to open up to new contents, teaching practices, assessment tools…
  • Technological advancements make these changes more possible and desirable than ever.
  • Mobile technologies give users the opportunity to learn what, where and when they want. Teachers, trainers, schools, universities, companies and cities must adapt their practices to this new situation: education is everyone, everywhere, and at every moment in time.
  • Education is no longer about curricula and grades. It is about innovation, creativity and… entrepreneurship.


EdTech is one of the fastest growing market in investment

  • Education is a fundamental right that requires free delivery and free access. But education is also the centre of huge economic interests for textbook publishers, technology manufacturers and assessment specialists. McGraw Hill, Pearson, Kaplan, Microsoft, Apple, Google… are huge companies that believe that education will be the “21st-century market”.
  • By 2020, we expect global education spending to be USD 8 trillion. Innovative products, services and devices for education purposes will represent up to USD 70 billion.
  • Education and technology attract a growing number of investors. “EdTech” projects captured USD 1.1bn of funding in 2012 – half came from VCs (the rest being angels, PE firms and large corporations).
  • The sector is seeing plenty of investments at the seed / angel and Series A stages (50% to 70% of the deals and 30% of the money invested).
  • We are still in the early phases of EdTech maturation, with a strong influx of early-stage deal activity – more than 120 EdTech startups were funded by VCs in the U.S. in 2012. The median deal size in 2012 for seed and angel was USD 500k, and for Series A was USD 3M.
  • Opportunities are huge, innovation is everywhere, and investing in education will be a direct source of jobs and growth.

investment in education technology companies


The Open Education Challenge

The Open Education Challenge, launched in partnership with the European Commission, is an invitation to all innovators to submit projects, receive mentoring and seed funding through the European Incubator for Innovation in Education, and get direct access to investors.
The Open Education Challenge is targeting innovators, passionate about education, convinced that technology will deeply transform the way we learn, teach and train. Applicants may be aspiring entrepreneurs or existing startups in the first stage of development. Their projects must contribute to transforming education in one of the following fields:

  • Learning contents
  • Devices, tools and connectivity
  • Learning assessment and analytics
  • School management and organisation
  • Learning communities.

Throughout the various steps of the Open Education Challenge, the most promising startups (up to 10 companies) will be selected to join the European Incubator for Innovation in Education.
For more information about the submission process:


The European Incubator for Innovation in Education

We will select up to 10 of the most promising startups in Education to join our Incubator:

  • 12 weeks
  • In successive European cities: Barcelona, Paris, London, Berlin and Helsinki.
  • With the best European experts in education, technology and entrepreneurship.

Each incubated company will get:

  • Mentoring and coaching from the Open Education Challenge team.
  • Seed funding of up to €20,000.
  • Access to investors through the networking events and through the investor days

Throughout the incubation process they will:

  • Design their prototypes.
  • Test them in real classrooms or corporate learning environments.
  • Develop a sustainable business strategy.
  • Benefit from a unique learning experience:
    • Connecting with researchers, practitioners and users.
    • Continuous interaction with peers.
    • Complete immersion in the European market.

Europe is the place to be and will be the leading education market for years to come.
The incubator will bring the start-ups the best of Europe:

  • Collaboration with the European Commission.
    Projects will get the attention and visibility they deserve in all EU countries.
  • The Incubator’s Partners:
    • Aalto University – the cutting-edge university in Helsinki where science and art meet technology and business.
    • Iversity Berlin – Germany’s most innovative online education specialists.
    • ESCP Europe – the leading European business school, founded in Paris, recognized for its cross-cultural business education.
  • And a worldwide network…
    • …with Mindcet, the leading EdTech incubator based in Israel, and its international partners.


The Open Education Investment Club

We have created the Open Education Investment Club with renowned investors and venture capitalists, to support the startup as soon as they will enter the Incubator:

The Club Members are determined to help finance the development of innovative companies in education. They contribute to the financing of the whole incubation process through an annual membership fee

  • The club members are associated to the life of the incubator and will have a privileged access to the incubated companies, in order to follow their progress and to assist them in making their projects stronger
  • The Club Members are given privileged conditions and a right of first refusal to invest in the companies selected by the incubator
  • The goal is to invest in projects that make perfect sense from a business standpoint, but with a social dimension, contributing to the future of Education.



If you are interesting to know more about the Open Education Investment Club, please contact us