Education technology in the Nordics - Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland - is a rapidly growing industry. However, in the last decade it has seemed to been split between big publishers investing more and more on their own large scale digitization efforts, and small startups creating products with less resources but with a more agile mindset. 2017 marked a small shift on this progression.
The signs of this were in the air when in the late 2016 the Nordic Edtech Alliance was formed. It arose from the need of having more dialogue between different Nordic national Edtech actors, such as Swedish Edtech Industry Association, Oslo Edtech Cluster, us at Education Alliance Finland (formerly Kokoa) and XEdu Accelerator in Helsinki. And what’s a better way to start the co-operation than a friendly competition - the Alliance organized the Nordic Edtech Award competition at Xcited event in Slush 2017. We saw that the awards was a great way to spark debate about efficacy of EdTech and demonstrate the high quality of Nordic EdTech products.
The Award got a whopping 63 applications from all five Nordic countries. Out of those five finalists were selected to final pitches at Slush.
Differ is a messaging app with chatbot teaching assistants and it brings a strong social element to classes. The product enables collaboration and peer learning.
Kara is a secure telepractice platform for education and healthcare. Clients and caregivers can access different specialists and professionals can run their virtual office.
Lexplore identifies children's reading and writing difficulties, so that schools can intervene at an early stage. The product offers clear picture of children’s general ability to read and write in a specific school or school district. The method is based on AI, machine learning and scientific research.
Mightifier is a positive peer communication tool with measurable impact for classrooms. Students improve their social and emotional skills by giving each other positive feedback based on the character's strengths and daily behavior.
Matematifessor offers a digital math portal with more than 2 million math questions and 2,000 short video lessons, providing a solid foundation for individualised learning across all levels. The portal is adaptive and tailors the math questions to the ability of each student.
When listening to the pitches at Slush, it became apparent that there are Edtech startups which are already well established in Nordic market and ready for international arenas as well. They have strong pedagogical base with high learning impact and the readiness for scaling and utilizing the possibilities of the digital market. The whole Award experience and the Xcited event proved that there is room for several different kind of actors in the field, and the best way to promote the whole Nordic scene is to work together.