University College London’s (UCL) edtech accelerator programme called Edtech Labs has launched into the Americas today with their first cohort of startups inducted, and all set to begin the 12-week experience. In partnership with Knowledgehook, a leading fast growth Canada-based edtech, the programme will shine a spotlight on ambitious founders who see the importance of applying UCL’s robust research methods in building their products to reach tangible educational impact in a world of gamified and technology first edtechs. Innovative edtechs companies will join from across the continent, representing Canada, The United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and more in the first group.
Programme Director and Founder of UCL Edtech Labs, Houtan Froushan remarked: “We’re excited to bring our programme to the Americas via Toronto which is abuzz with edtech fever. This expansion embraces the many opportunities that become available through international collaborations and cooperation with innovators and developers around the world. It is estimated over the next 30 years, we will see a further 2 billion learners, so developing businesses and designing products with the learner at the heart is fundamental if we are to fulfil our joint purpose of improving education for everybody, everywhere.”
The workshops will be led by experts who have trained hundreds of founders, while the teams will experience first-hand what a successful startup culture looks like, being hosted at the Knowledgehook offices and with access to insights from their team members.
Knowledgehook has become UCL Edtech Labs’ partner in the Americas, encompassing North, Central and South America. The partnership will combine the innovative approach and regional-sector knowledge of Knowledgehook to the London learning innovations programme that has grown out of University College London.
Newly appointed President of the Americas of UCL EdTech Labs, Qamar Qureshi said “We are proud of the establishment, and excited with the prospects, of this prestigious partnership. Our joint aim is to make Toronto not only the hub of research-backed technology solutions, but also a growth catalyst in the Americas as well as a launch pad for international businesses. The buzz and positivity across the sector both in Toronto and across the continent is encouraging, and we’re thrilled for this inauguaral cohort of edtech entrepeneurs. This partnership is a natural progression as it is through international cooperation, bringing differing perspectives and ideas to the forefront, that we will see this exciting ecosystem grow to fulfil the potential impact education has on the world, while leaving no learner behind.”
“This new joint initiative will also help build and develop the flow of edtech investments to alternative markets. Last year we saw a 3X rise in venture funding in our sector compared to pre-pandemic levels, adding 17 new edtech unicorns for a total of 38 globally. With Toronto’s ecosystem of talent in research and engineering and our access to financial markets, attracting several tech giants to the city already, it has become the ideal environment for early-stage companies. This combination of academia and Big Tech has fostered innovative global collaborations, further justifying the need for this partnership as we marry cutting-edge and equitable research-proven technology with patient capital.”
The cohort of twelve startups from all over the Americas are convening in Toronto, Canada and will be hosted at the Knowledgehook offices. The 12-week programme will consist of applying the UCL Edtech Labs’ research-focused method to their products and ventures, expert and academic mentoring and a range of community events. The programme culminates in a Demo Day, where participants will pitch to investors, publishers and policy makers.
CEO and Co-Founder of Knowledghook,Travis Ratnam acknowledged the importance of this new partnership: “From day one, Houtan and his team have strived to reach the same objective of enabling an evidence-led approach to product development to gain greater impact and visibility into a global scenario.
“Both organisations strongly believe that only with alliances between Edtech ventures and grounded research-based academic support can we drive the global ecosystem to promote innovation in a way that meets the needs of the learner.”