xEdu pre-Summer alumni gathering

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xEdu pre-Summer alumni gathering

We had an amazing alumni gathering last Friday! Featuring delicious burgers made by chief Pekka Sivonen, spontaneous mightifying by Mervi Pänkäläinen & Esteve Pannetier and also an unforgettable song challenge from a birthday man - Antti Korhonen!

We are grateful to every single member of our big family for being with us! ❤️  

Also, we're eagerly excited to welcome new EdTech startups to join our friendly community of innovators! The application for Fall'17 program is open! 😊
 

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Mightifier wins Grand Prize in the Arctic15 Microsoft Pitching Competition

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Mightifier wins Grand Prize in the Arctic15 Microsoft Pitching Competition

xEdu alumni from Mightifier don't get tired to succeed. This time, Finnish EdTech innovators took home the Grand Prize of 50 000 EUR in the Arctic15 Microsoft Pitching Competition 2017.  

Competing against 500 Nordic and Baltic startups, the win guarantees Mightifier app a 50 000 EUR syndicate deal with FiBAN, Finnish Business Angel Network to expand the global reach of the app. The jury team, consisting of prominent investors, highlighted the severe competition.

There was a great selection of startups at the Arctic15 and the decision was not easy. We were impressed by the future potential Mightifier has and the positive impact on individual and society level, says Mirja Laulajainen, FiBAN Board member.

There’s a tremendous, global need to enhance the wellbeing at classrooms with very few solutions currently available. The win enables us to expand our operations even further globally, take on new markets, and help more teachers and kids to be successful, says Mightifier's CEO Mervi Pankäläinen.

Mightifier is also one of the three edtech pioneers to start piloting in schools of Hong Kong

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Three xEdu companies will pitch at EdTechXEurope competition

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Three xEdu companies will pitch at EdTechXEurope competition

xEdu has been chosen as one of 8 Global EdTech Accelerators that has been asked to nominate three startups for a Global Super League of Startups Pitch Competition. 

Global Super League of Startups is a pitching competition dedicated to the 5th anniversary of EdTechXEurope summit. This 2.5-hour long competition will showcase 24 of the best and brightest startups from across the globe. Three of them — from xEdu's portfolio.

6 international judges will then select the best in-classroom app from across the worldwide EdTech ecosystem. These judges are decision-makers and budget holders from across the global education industry and will each offer the 2017 winner a meeting after the event — potentially offering the winner a contract to expand their app to new international markets.

On top of the competition, we are also going to present the Spring'17 batch of innovative EdTech startups, accelerated by xEdu. Each team will have a chance to rock the stage in front of educators, investors and industry influencers from all over the world. 

Key investors expected to attend EdTechXEurope

So if you are going to EdTechXEurope summit make sure not to miss this and don't hesitate to contact us if you want to meet and learn more about the program.

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xEdu start-ups made it to the TOP15 at Arctic15

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xEdu start-ups made it to the TOP15 at Arctic15

Two of xEdu accelerated companies, Mightifier and 3DBear have been selected to the list of the TOP15 Nordic & Baltic startups in the Microsoft pitching competition at Arctic15.

They are going to compete for an angel investment award worth 50.000€ at Arctic15 which will be held in Helsinki on May 3rd-5th. 

xEdu is also leading an EdTech Track at Arctic15. Join us on May 4 at OP Stage to spark a productive conversation, meet investors and start-ups, learn more about our new program and raise your chances to be accepted to it.

It is worth mentioning that, 3DBear has recently signed an agreement with Junior Library Guild (JLG) that serves over 22 000 schools and libraries in the US. And Mightifier is one of three pioneering companies to start pilots with 24 schools in Hong Kong. 

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Interactive map shows where students are satisfied with their life

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Interactive map shows where students are satisfied with their life

PISA 2015 Results, published this week, analyses for the first time students’ motivation to perform well in school, their relationships with peers and teachers, their home life, and how they spend their time outside of school. The findings are based on a survey of 540,000 students in 72 participating countries and economies who also completed the main OECD PISA 2015 test on science, mathematics and reading.

Many students are very anxious about school work and tests and the analysis reveals this is not related to the number of school hours or the frequency of tests but with how supportive they feel their teachers and schools to be: on average across OECD countries, 59% of students reported they often worry that taking a test will be difficult, and 66% reported feeling stressed about poor grades. Some 55% of students say they are very anxious for a test even if they are well prepared. In all countries, girls reported greater schoolwork-related anxiety than boys; and anxiety about schoolwork, homework and tests is negatively related to performance.

Happier students tend to report positive relations with their teachers

Teachers play a big role in creating the conditions for students’ well-being at school and governments should not define the role of teachers solely through the number of instruction hours. Students in schools where life satisfaction is above the national average reported a higher level of support from their teacher than students in schools where life satisfaction is below average.

Image by oecd.org

On average across OECD countries, most 15-year-old students are happy with their lives, reporting a level of 7.3 on a scale of life satisfaction that ranges from 0 to 10. But there are large variations across countries: while less than 4% of students in the Netherlands said that they were not satisfied with their life, more than 20% of students in Korea and Turkey were.

Girls and disadvantaged students are less likely than boys and advantaged students to report high levels of life satisfaction. The lower life satisfaction reported by 15-year-old girls in PISA is possibly a reflection of girls’ harsh self-criticism, particularly related to their image of their own bodies at a time when they are undergoing major physical changes.

Image by oecd.org

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22000 schools in the US welcome Finnish 3D-printing solutions

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22000 schools in the US welcome Finnish 3D-printing solutions

xEdu acceleration program alumni continue to expand their impact overseas. Helsinki-based EdTech company 3DBear is now available in the US market through Junior Library Guild. 

3DBear is an online learning tool for 3D printing, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). With 3DBear, any educator can master skills, step-by-step to the point where they can model and make whatever they want and integrate it into the school curriculum.

Finnish start-up has signed an agreement with Junior Library Guild (JLG) that serves over 22 000 schools and libraries in the US. “We are very excited about cooperation with JLG and starting the US market as the US is a pioneer in 3D printing and EdTech”, says Kristo Lehtonen, CEO, 3DBear.

“Finland has a strong reputation in education and we believe that 3DBear’s offering fits perfectly with our overall offering. We are very much looking forward to the cooperation”, says Sean Lockwood, Vice President, Sales, Junior Library Guild. 

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Bomberbot receives an investment of €750 000

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Bomberbot receives an investment of €750 000

xEdu Spring '16 program alumni, Bomberbot has received an investment of 750 000 Euros from the largest private social impact fund in the Netherlands — Social Impact Ventures

With this funding round, Bomberbot has secured over € 1.2M in investment and will use Social IV’s investment for product development and expansion of the company. There are currently pilots in the United States, Canada and Hong Kong. Bomberbot is being used by over 80,000 children and aims to reach more than one million children in the next five years. 

Bomberbot is operating in the Netherlands and in Finland. It offers user-friendly lessons that empower girls and boys with basic computational thinking skills and knowledge of computer programming concepts in a fun and accessible way. Its stellar product and the active teacher-support system sets them apart from the crowd. 
 

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Finnish EdTech companies start first ever pilots in schools of Hong Kong

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Finnish EdTech companies start first ever pilots in schools of Hong Kong

xEdu acceleration program alumni companies are starting pilots with 24 schools in Hong Kong at the beginning of April with the support of HKEdCity platform. This is the first time ever that edtech products coming from the Nordics are trialled in schools of Hong Kong.

All of the companies Bomberbot, Mightifier and Seppo are from the first batch of xEdu startup accelerator. Their products focus on developing the students’ 21st century skills, namely problem-solving, innovation and creativity, social skills, teamwork, health and wellness and ICT skills. The same skills are in the heart of the new Finnish curriculum, introduced last fall.  

“What sets these products apart from any ordinary edtech solution, is the fact that there is a strong pedagogical background in all of them. The products have been granted the Kokoa Standard, which means they have undergone a rigorous evaluation by Finnish pedagogical experts and proven to promote the 21st century skills”, comments Stuart Patton, Chairman of the Hong Kong FinnCham Education Committee, and co-founder of Polkuni HK representing the best Finnish Edu-products.

In December 2016, xEdu, Polkuni HK and Hong Kong Education City signed a memorandum of understanding which opens up the possibility for the startups to pilot Finnish solutions in Hong Kong schools.


The pilots will go on for one year, and the impact is being assessed throughout the project.

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Seppo wins the GESS Education Award in Dubai

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Seppo wins the GESS Education Award in Dubai

xEdu Spring '16 program alumni Seppo, a learning game platform, wins the GESS Education Award in Dubai. The prestigious awards are annually handed to companies that have created innovative products in the educational field.

Seppo is tool that allows teachers to create a learning game in any physical environment, for example school yard, museum, city centre or shopping mall. It means getting students on their feet and moving while making learning a fun and motivating experience. Seppo was awarded the best Health and Fitness promoting innovation.

–I am very proud of the award, our whole team has worked extremely hard for it! There is currently a huge buzz in the EdTech field in Finland and Finnish startups have come up with some truly unique solutions to enhance traditional learning through technology, says Riku Alkio, the CEO of Seppo.

We are also happy that our partners from Kokoa Agency and Finnish EdTech team Claned Group also made it to the finals in their respective categories. 

It is noteworthy that graduates of xEdu Fall '16 program: EMMA.Math and Qridi also were representing Finnish EdTech scene and showcasing their products at the GESS event.

Picture credit: Twitter @Claned_

Picture credit: Twitter @Claned_

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xEdu Spring '17 Program Kick Off

xEdu Spring '17 Program Kick Off

After a long selection period, we at xEdu, have finally gathered a new batch of great EdTech companies to start off the Spring '17 program. On March 2, from the early morning to the late night, the teams were getting to know each other, learning about the program opportunities and simply having fun.

Ice-breaking meeting started with a motivational intro from xEdu team, partners and investors. "We believe in you, in your success — that is why you are here. And we are happy to invite you to xEdu family," welcomed the new start-ups Antti Korhonen, CEO at xEdu. "Our common mission here is to make a positive social impact," added Fabian Sepulveda, Partner at Courage Ventures.

xEdu Program Director Niko Lindholm with a welcome speech

xEdu Program Director Niko Lindholm with a welcome speech

After the introduction part, newly accepted xEdu teams made a quick tour of the Fontell House and met the in-residence companies. The start-ups from previous xEdu batches shared with a new generation their program feedback and stories of success.

The new xEdu generation meets Koulu Group from Spring '16 program 

The new xEdu generation meets Koulu Group from Spring '16 program 

Team building? No — team cooking!

To establish a positive start of the acceleration journey the party moved to Nokka restaurant for an intensive team-building session, designed by Esteve Pannetier and Anu Timmerbacka. The start-ups worked together as one unit making food, organising activities, taking reflection sessions. These 'team cooking' activities have set a perfect mood in the squad and charged the start-ups with positive energy for a long and productive acceleration ahead.

To stay tuned make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

xEdu Spring '17: Meet CEEDCO

xEdu Spring '17: Meet CEEDCO

Introducing another great company from xEdu Spring '17 batch. This team of creative professionals is transforming classrooms into interactive playgrounds for developing 21-century skills.

Teachers often lack the time and confidence to meaningfully integrate technology into their teaching and they often feel undermined by educational technology innovations. Seeing the teacher as a key driver for innovation and change in education, CEEDCO have set out to develop intuitive, affordable and creative analogue tools that empower teacher as designer of creative learning experiences.

The first product, LUPO, is a set of paper method cards, which is used together with an interactive game master manual and a community service for sharing learning experience designs. The product and service empower teachers to transform their classroom into creative, interactive and technology supported #funlearning experiences. The first title in this series is LUPO Space Adventure, a collaborative and creative storytelling card game that turns the classroom into a ridiculous sci-fi adventure to engage students in creative problem-solving. 

LUPO Space Adventure can be easily modified for teacher’s needs by offering a structured methodology and framework that lets them modify their LUPO experience to combine it with multiple subjects, themes, materials or technology. Through our community platform, teachers can then share their LUPO based learning experiences and get inspiration from the experiences of others.