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Oxford Univerity’s Saїd Business School Partners with Emerge Venture Lab to Support Innovation in Educational Technology

Saїd Business School’s Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship has partnered with an educational technology start-up accelerator to help drive innovation among early-stage education technology (edtech) firms, the school announced late last month.

Through a new partnership with Emerge Education, which provides support designed to address the specific needs and challenges faced by start-ups in the edtech sector, the Skoll Centre will provide mentoring, advice and access to Saїd’s extensive entrepreneurship support structure. These benefits will augment the help Emerge provides to start-ups to secure funding, locate necessary skills and expertise and reach potential customers.

“The transformative potential of education for economies, for societies and for individuals is well-documented, and we feel that supporting start-up firms which will radically innovate in the education sector is a positive step towards helping both developed and developing societies address some of the intractable problems relating to access to education,” Soushiant Zanganehpour, manager of the Skoll Centre, said in a statement. “Emerge Education provides a practical and effective means to enable firms in this sector to prove their models and scale-up in order to achieve positive social impact for the benefit of our young people.”

Emerge Education recently announced the first six start-ups it will support. Among them are a mobile course platform to enable the delivery of learning content to locations that otherwise lack access, an application to enable nurseries to track and share daily updates with parents and a platform connecting language teachers from emerging markets with language learners for individual tutoring via Skype.

The six start-ups will run beta-tests over the next 14 weeks with input from the Skoll Center and Emerge’s other education partners, as well as mentoring from distinguished entrepreneurs and industry partners. On April 17th, the program will culminate in a Demo Day at Google Campus, during which the start-ups will present to angel and venture capital investors to try to secure funding for next-stage growth.

“The challenges facing the education system globally have so far proved intractable,” Zanganehpour said. “We hope this exciting initiative will energize the edtech market and encourage the emergence of creative firms with disruptive products and services to help us deliver high quality education to large populations, including those in remote and disadvantaged regions, in an economically efficient manner.”

Learn more about the Skoll Centre’s partnership with Emerge Education and about the initial six start-ups it will support.