Australian non-for-profit platform EduGrowth is a national acceleration network looking to create borderless education

- August 12, 2016 2 MIN READ

Many edutech startups across Australia are all working towards a common goal: redefining education and its accessibility. From Austern International to CodeSpace Education and Academy Xi, the edutech sector is filling the gaps where something is lacking in the industry at the levels of primary, high school, and even university.

In fact, a recent survey conducted by non-for-profit acceleration platform EduGrowth and the Sydney Eductional Technology community found that there were 290 edutech startups across the country. These startups are focused on every skill level and age of students including universities, K-2, early childhood, vocational and non accredited skills.

The Sydney Educational Technology community has more than has 900 members, a highly active community that looks to connect educators, tech geeks, startups, and investors, with the idea that collaboration between each group can help problems in the  education system.

EduGrowth project manager Riley Batchelor said the organisation is currently committed to having 100 million students learning annually from Australian education companies by 2025. While rather an ambitious plan, the concept and goal is all about creating scalable and borderless education.

The organisation is focused on not only on the domestic market but on the global market too. Examples of startups already helping the organisation to achieve its ambition are Smart Sparrow, Open Learning, Inkerz, SEQTAm and 3P Learning.

The future for edutech in Australia is looking bright and exciting. Australia has an A class education system that’s recognised as such around the world,” said Batchelor.

“This will form the platform for Australian edutech companies to expand globally and capture some of the huge markets on our doorstep.”

Founded only this year, EduGrowth is looking to create its first full time accelerator cohort in October. The organisation has already tapped into a community of more than 1,000 startups, investors, mentors, partners, state and federal government departments, and also international edutech accelerator partners.

Batchelor said the accelerator network will help all education startups to connect with each other. This means that universities, TAFEs, and schools can connect with offshore customers and global investors through several core activities.

These activities include a full time accelerator program for educational product and service startups with global ambitions. For the first cohort to be announced towards the end of the year, 10 startups will be selected to take part in a six month program. Startups will receive an initial $50,000 in funding for a six percent equity stake.

Applications for the first cohort are open with EduGrowth having already receiving 60 applications from across the country.

EduGrowth is also in the process of creating an open accelerator program for paid members to drive skills development, connectivity, investor readiness, and profile within both the edutech startup and scale up sector. This will be made possible through monthly events, workshops, programs, and hackathons Australia wide.

The third EduGrowth activity includes the creation of test ­beds and sandboxes with Australia’s leading education institutions, departments, and industry to enable startups to run product and customer development programs. These test beds are not unlike what ASIC is currently investigating in terms of regulatory sandbox licensing for fintechs

EduGrowth already has the support and financial backing of Navitas, Monash University, La Trobe University, Charles Stuart University, and Deakin University, but Batchelor said that this is just the start.

“We are signing up new members daily and encourage anyone interested in the future of Australia’s education industry to come and join us on this exciting journey,” he said.

Image: Riley Batchelor. Source: Supplied.