04 Jul 2024

Event Round-up: The 2024 European Edtech Marathon

During London EdTech Week, techUK's inaugural Education and EdTech Market Programme event brought together top investors, start-ups, and scale-ups for a comprehensive look at the UK's and Europe's EdTech landscapes.

On the 20th of June, during London EdTech Week, techUK proudly hosted our inaugural event within the Education and EdTech Market Programme. This full-day conference was part of the European EdTech Marathon, bringing together a diverse range of insights and innovations across the continent. The morning sessions focused on the UK market, featuring panel discussions on investment routes, market access best practices, and strategies for growth. We also showcased innovative pitches from two Exeter University student teams.

In the afternoon, we looked across the channel, with contributions from European partners, who shared their unique perspectives on their respective EdTech markets. This continent-crossing agenda provided a comprehensive view of the current state and future directions of EdTech in Europe. The audience included investors, start-ups, scale-ups, and techUK members keen to support the ecosystem.

For those who couldn't attend in person, we invite you to catch up on the event through the video recordings below. Enjoy the wealth of knowledge and insights shared during this landmark event.

EdTech Investment

Our first panel discussion for the event was all about investment. In the discussion chaired by UCL EdTech Labs’ Programme Director, Houtan Froushan, Dr. Melody Lang of MPA Capital highlighted the importance of EdTech founders having a deep understanding of the sector's history to differentiate their solutions. Angel Investor and Early Years expert Chenyan Xu also offered insights on the significance of consistent business performance and understanding investor expectations, rather than just focusing on financial metrics. Ufi Ventures’ Helen Gironi also emphasised the necessity of thorough market research and product-market fit, as well as the value of having a diverse investor base and strategic timing in fundraising. Panellists also provided valuable advice on selecting trustworthy investors for feedback on other offers, and we discussed the challenges of valuation, rounding off by reiterating the importance of mutual due diligence between founders and investors.

EdTech Markets

For our second panel of the day, the panellists discussing market access looked into trends and barriers. We kicked off examining the shifting focus of corporate training towards immediate cost savings due to economic changes, with Helen Gironi predicting a future return to more employee-focused development. L&D tech and trends guru, Donald H Taylor, discussed the sustained investment in leadership training, while School Edtech and Policy expert, Al Kingsley, emphasized the need for educational systems to foster cognitive and critical thinking skills. The panel also covered the importance of strategic partnerships, understanding local education markets, and maintaining long-term market familiarity. Additionally, our expert speakers highlighted the need for ambitious leaders who can drive substantial growth.

EdTech Acceleration

For the final panel of the morning, the discussion on growth and acceleration offered strategies for early-stage start-ups and scale-ups. The speakers shared experiences of leveraging venture capital and strategic partnerships for growth. AWS Global Education’s Mike Tarrant underscored the importance of their customer-centric approach and the rich consulting practices that have catapulted their client base of EdTech companies, while our resident talent expert, Robin Beattie, discussed aligning recruitment with business values to reduce mis-hires. From the scale-up perspective, Brainspark Founder, Reedah El-Saie highlighted the need for cautious scaling and iterative development with user feedback. Speaking from experience, Paddy McGrath discussed the power of a modular approach to your technology stacks in achieving scale and innovation, and Mike shared his insights on leveraging AI to exploit your data to differentiate the product offering. The panel also noted the shifting focus from rapid hiring to upskilling within organisations, providing a comprehensive view of how start-ups can navigate the complexities of scaling in the EdTech sector.

European Edtech Marathon – Full Playlist

You can catch up on all the contributions from across Europe below. This playlist includes our UK panel discussions plus the insightful contributions from various European EdTech markets. Highlights include:

  • An in-depth look into Belgium's innovative EdTech landscape and its strong connection to R&D.
  • Exploration of the significant growth in Italian EdTech investments and the country's rising prominence in the sector.
  • A comprehensive overview of the German EdTech and education landscape, livestreamed from the Founders Foundation in Bielefeld.
  • Key trends in French EdTech, including DeepTech education and digital twins.
  • Insights into the state of the Romanian EdTech market, exploring opportunities from various perspectives.


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