How to make the most out of the acceleration program

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How to make the most out of the acceleration program

xEdu has run 4 acceleration programs already and it’s no surprise that lots of startups face the same challenges on their learning journey. Naturally, our mission is to help them on the way and make sure that the startups get the best value out of the acceleration. I’ve heard many times teams saying “I wish I’d thought of this at the beginning of the program!” That is why I want to share these 9 tips on how to make the most out of the xEdu’s 4-month acceleration program (well, basically, of any other program too 😉). 


1. Yes, it is challenging and yes, it is supposed to be so

xEdu program is not just a couple of lectures that you can come to outside of your working hours. Yes, in the calendar there are usually 2-4 workshops during the week, but there’s also lots of homework, assignments, events, co-creation processes, mentoring, emails, competitions, adhoc activities and hanging out with your accelerator-mates. Good news is, everything we ask you to do during the program is for your own business and its growth.

The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question, by questioning we arrive at the truth.
— Peter Abelard

And it’s not only about the amount of work! The program really challenges you and makes you look at things from a different perspective. It can be quite overwhelming when you start questioning everything you’ve been doing so far. However, we don’t want to undermine or sabotage your work, but to take it to the new heights. As Peter Abelard put it, “The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question, by questioning we arrive at the truth.”

2. Do not skip the networking events and get-togethers

When you look at your crazy calendar, you may be tempted to skip the networking events and get-togethers since you think that they don’t bring you any explicit benefits. Wrong! Those are the activities where the magic happens. And when you do come to the Mentoring evening, do not hide in the corner, but talk with as many mentors as you can. The amount of help you will get depends on your own activity.

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It is also important to build personal connections with your fellow-cohort teams. You will be spending 4 intensive months with them, so don’t you want to know the people you see almost every day better? Knowing others will make it easier for you to pitch, share information about your business, give and receive honest feedback and ask for advice. Thanks to these events you can build a lasting friendship and a strong network that you can rely on in the future as well. And here to the next tip...

3. Your fellow startups are here for you

Whenever we ask our startups what have they benefitted most from, they always say “the community”. xEdu’s advantage is the industry focus. All our portfolio startups are related to education, and so are our partners, mentors and ecosystem members. You will benefit from both the whole edtech ecosystem and also from the community of the program batch of 10 startups you are accelerating with.

A couple of tiny practical tips for you:

  • Interview each other for the Lean Launchpad sessions. You’ll each benefit with an additional interview. 😉
  • Like and follow each other on social media! Especially in the beginning, it will be great to get 10-30 more loyal followers liking all your stuff and creating exposure.

Believe me, you are facing exactly the same challenges as the other 9 teams from your batch and tens of alumni companies. Talk to them! Share your experiences! Ask questions! Share useful tips and tools you are using!

This is also a reason why we require physical participation in most activities – only by going through things together you get to create strong bonds with others.

    4. Don't panic and come back to your learning materials

    We know that there are so many things happening during the program, that you may feel that you don’t have enough time or capacity to internalise new learnings right away. The workshops are coming and going and you feel like you should’ve done things differently now that you’ve learned some more. Hey, we understand! But it’s again a trade-off: maybe a year-long program would be better with all this content? But would you really want to spend a year in an accelerator?

    In any case, as the word “accelerator” suggests, we speed things up in a short amount of time. However, when the program is over, you can always get back to the things you’ve learned and repeate them at your own pace.

    5. Give feedback — it’s not just words, I do read and act on it

    Whenever the Program Manager is annoying you with the feedback link on Trello, please do act on it. I actually read it through and discuss it with coaches. Sometimes we manage to adjust things in the program right away, sometimes it goes on affecting the next program. By giving feedback you make the following programs better the same way as our alumni have done it better for you.

    I’m warning you though that we are acting on it, so don’t ask for things you don’t actually want to happen (like “more homework”). 😉

    6. You can shape the content of the program yourself — just be proactive

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    Do you think that the program is lacking a co-creation session between the teams? No problem, we can organise it!

    Do you want a WhatsApp group for your batch? Just do it, and we’ll share the word.

    Do you have great news everyone should know about? — Tell us and we will spread the word through our channels.

    Is there an event you think would benefit others? Just add it to our program calendar.

    Hey, we are all for co-creation!

    7. xEdu is a startup as well – we sympathise with you

    Believe me, we understand your challenges and we are going through them too in the same crazy pace. Don’t hesitate to share your concerns with us, we get it. With this startup mentality, we are able to act, modify, and decide quickly — so keep that in mind.

    8. Take full advantage of the perks

    xEdu is the first Finnish (and the second in whole Nordics) accelerator company that has joined the global GAN community. What does it mean? — Tons of perks and opportunities for our portfolio companies and it's up to you whether you take advantage of them or not (I recommend you do😉). 

    Here is a short list of the things you can benefit from:
    (for the full set of perks contact me directly)

    • GAN Exchange, where you can visit any other GAN Accelerator for up to two weeks.
    • Access to over $1M in Perks.
    • You can also contact any GAN Partner to do business together via GAN Corporate Connect.
    • Access to GAN Ventures for funding. Last year, they invested in eight startups coming out of GAN Accelerators.
    • Find a mentor via GAN's Mentor Match.

    9. Don’t forget to have fun

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    “Fun is one of the most important - and underrated - ingredients in any successful venture. If you're not having fun, then it's probably time to call it quits and try something else.” - Richard Branson. Nothing to add to that. K̶e̶e̶p̶ ̶C̶a̶l̶m̶   Get #XcitED!

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    Revisely is selected to the 50 most promising EdTech startups in the world

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    Revisely is selected to the 50 most promising EdTech startups in the world

    xEdu acceleration program graduate, Holland-based company Revisely has been selected for the edtech startup competition 'Tomorrow' in Dubai. This a new event within the renowned Global Education and Skills Forum, organised by the Varkey Foundation. Revisely is in the running to win Next Billion EdTech Prize 2018. 

    Revisely's team, together with teachers and students of many schools, created a tool that saves teachers time and helps them to provide more qualitative feedback on students' texts. Revisely is used for all types of subjects, from Biology to Law to English. For over 4 years Revisely has been a successful company, growing to 200,000 users, and still expanding.

    The Global Education and Skills Forum 2018, organised by the Varkey Foundation, is bringing together high-potential educational technology startups, Ministers, policymakers, investors, donors to meet and discuss how technology can improve the future of education and create more equal chances for all. Within this forum, the new ‘Tomorrow’ event is organised where solutions to tomorrow’s problems are showcased. We, at xEdu, are happy to see our alumni company as a part of that change.

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    TeacherGaming raises $1.6M to put games into the classroom

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    TeacherGaming raises $1.6M to put games into the classroom

    Teacher Gaming, an alumnus startup of xEdu acceleration program, has picked up $1.6 million in seed funding. The team behind MinecraftEdu, a company that helped teachers use Minecraft in the classroom that was subsequently acquired by Microsoft, is now building an online service that makes it easier for teachers to use “blockbuster” games in schools.

    As TechCrunch reports, the round is led by Makers Fund (a relatively new U.S. and U.K. VC firm specialising in gaming and deeptech), with participation from Brent Hoberman’s Founders Factory. 

    The Finnish company says it will use the cash injection to support sales and marketing efforts for its new educational gaming subscription service for schools. This will include access to the titles on a lower per-student basis, and a suite of learning material to support teaching and learning objectives. In addition, the TeacherGaming Desk service offers analytics so that teachers can track their students’ learning and progress.


     

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    10 edtech startups to follow in 2018: Meet xEdu Spring batch

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    10 edtech startups to follow in 2018: Meet xEdu Spring batch

    We, at xEdu, are extremely excited to kick off our fifth acceleration program today. After receiving almost 100 applications from 30 countries around the globe, we have carefully selected the top 10 startups that will transform education as we know it. 

    The top-notch teams that innovate in the experiential, collaborative and game-based learning will start their 4-month learning journey with the best coaches in their fields. The program is built around the strong ecosystem that we have created with our partners. 

    Samsung, as our premium partner, is focusing on the role of Social Impact in technology development and brings the access to the latest mobile and wearable devices for the startups. Telia Company, as an important ecosystem builder in Finland, helps our teams to scale. With the help of the cities of Espoo and Helsinki, xEdu startups can co-create their innovative solutions with the schools.

    Without further ado, please meet the new cohort of xEdu startups:

     Malaysia

    Malaysia

    BeED  

    Explore the world through a new lens with BeED's unique Learning Experiences.

     Sweden

    Sweden

    Gro Play

    Gro Play creates good game experiences to entertain and inspire children and their families to learn more about health, wellbeing and sustainable living.

     Finland

    Finland

    Rolling Stories

    Rolling Stories is a tool that allows users to create, combine, and present content, which follows the flow of storytelling.

     Finland

    Finland

    M2Talent

    M2 Talent has developed a transformative digital tool for matching individuals’ job seeker potential to requirements of the job market. The product can be used as a value-adding career planning tool in the education segment, starting from senior high to university level.

     Finland

    Finland

    Superlect

    Superlect is a marketplace for professional education. It encourages anyone with experience and passion to become a teacher. 

     Finland

    Finland

    Positiivinen CV

    Positive CV, or PCV, is a curriculum vitae of a broad range of skills that helps a child to learn to recognise their various abilities. 

     Finland

    Finland

    World of Insights

    World of Insights makes serious games and tools for accelerating workplace learning. These business games blend deceptively simple card and board game features with powerful questions to cover various aspects of business, ranging from innovation and personal development to leadership. 

     Finland

    Finland

    LessonApp

    LessonApp is a mini Teacher Academy in a Pocket. It helps teachers worldwide to design lessons the Finnish way — pedagogically wise and simple.

     Finland

    Finland

    TACT for schools

    TACT is a swarm intelligence online platform which helps schools to create collaborative culture and promote development of the school as a learning organization. 

     Estonia

    Estonia

    School OS

    School OS is the powerful AI-based education platform, which uses AI to analyze schools’ data to provide personal counselling to teachers and parents. 

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    xEdu becomes the first official Worlddidac Affiliate

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    xEdu becomes the first official Worlddidac Affiliate

    Europe's leading education business accelerator xEdu has become the first official Worlddidac Affiliate. The mutual strategic agreement was signed at the Education Finland pavilion during the Bett Show in London.

    Based in Bern, Switzerland, Worlddidac is an international association with over 150 members from 40 countries around the world serving the needs and interests of manufacturers and suppliers of education equipment and services.

    This strategic partnership is sealing our joint effort to improve the quality of education worldwide. The first results of this collaboration are coming soon so stay tuned!

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    5 steps every EdTech startup should consider to succeed

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    5 steps every EdTech startup should consider to succeed

    With only 2 days left to apply for xEdu acceleration program, we want to share with you one of the highlights of this year's XcitED event — the keynote on investing in edtech by Michael Staton, Partner at Learn Capital

    In this keynote, Michael shares his insights on edtech market and gives a set of concrete steps for entrepreneurs to get funded and succeed in the education business. Here, we highlight only five big steps, the full presentation you can watch for free on Telia Digitalist TV.

    #1 Scale Exponentially and Rethink your Growth Engine

    "One of the things I've always admired about the Nordics is that startups assume that they have to go global instantly to even get off the ground. And that's true, true for mobile, true for gaming. But for some reason, in education, particularly in Finland, a lot of the startups that I see tend to be very inward focused for quite some time before they go "wait a minute, does our solution apply to the rest of the world?"

    Venture capital time frame is 5-7 years. So if you can't become basically a giant business in that time — either don't raise venture capital or rethink your growth engine."

     Image credit: Michael Staton, Learn Capital

    Image credit: Michael Staton, Learn Capital

    #2 Use Breakthrough Models

    "Breakthrough models are the insight into the business model or into the organisational structure that allows it to achieve some sort of "10x" impact on some metric that matters: whether it's 10x less cost, 10x less time, 10x more effective, etc.

    If we use the fantastical language of the Silicon Valley, we may call the exponential company a beanstalk, and the breakthrough model, sometimes I call it alchemy. So if you have magic beans, if you have alchemy, if so — you might be a unicorn."

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     Image credit: Michael Staton, Learn Capital

    Image credit: Michael Staton, Learn Capital

    #3 Understand your Path to Market

    "Innovation never starts in the mass market. They either start in unserved markets or extreme markets. You have to start there and move your way to the mass market. Otherwise, you're probably end-up failing."

     Image credit: Michael Staton, Learn Capital

    Image credit: Michael Staton, Learn Capital

    #4 Differentiate or Die

    "Another common thing that education companies don't do — they don't look around the world for the education companies they are going to compete with and they don't differentiate enough. In our experience, the more differentiated you are, the more you escape any competition whatsoever, the more you are outside of existing categories, the more likely you are to achieve that breakthrough growth."

    #5 Focus on your Plan

    "The entrepreneur thinks that the plan is something that you tell your investors so they give you more money and leave you alone. Actually, you need to: 

    • have achievable milestones;
    • understand where are you spending your money and why;
    • make sure you have an appropriate team size;
    • be well capitalized;"

    Apply for xEdu Spring '18 acceleration program

    Every early-stage startup needs support to grow into a sustainable business. We, at xEdu, have been building the best ecosystem for edtech companies for two years already. Based in Finland, we maximize upon the expertise of our nation’s superior educational system as well as pioneering tech/gaming scene and combine it with our dynamic global network of innovators, educators, entrepreneurs, and investors.

    The application round for our fifth batch is closing on 31 December. Don't miss your chance to put your company on the radar of Learn Capital and our whole investor network.

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    TOP-10 EdTech highlights of 2017

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    TOP-10 EdTech highlights of 2017

    With 2018 around the corner, we decided to highlight the most memorable success stories from our edtech community. These are the milestones that are making our ecosystem stronger and building a solid platform for further growth. 

    The new year is bringing even more interesting projects, collaborations and fantastic edtech startups. Contact us if you want to partner up and transform the education industry together. The application for xEdu Spring '18 acceleration program is open until 31 December. Don't miss your chance and apply now.

    Without further ado, let's proceed to the Top-10.


    Dare to Learn

    Held for the first time this year, Dare to Learn has proven to be an interactive international event for learning enthusiasts, experts and practitioners willing to shake their thinking of learning. 

    At the event, educators participated in various hands-on workshops, attended the keynotes featuring e.g. Pasi Sahlberg, Kirsti Lonka and The Finnish Minister of Education and Culture, Sanni Grahn-Laasonen. 

    One of the highlights of the second day was the finals of the Helsinki Think Company educational bootcamp. The winner — startup called TACT for schools has reserved the place in xEdu Spring '18 acceleration program to develop their product.

    We can say now for sure that Dare to Learn was a success. Finish educators needed this kind of engagement with peers. We are looking forward to the next chapter — Dare to Learn 2018 (September 18 & 19).

     TACT team — the winners of the Visionaries of Education pitching competition

    TACT team — the winners of the Visionaries of Education pitching competition


    3DBear: how to raise a €1 million and start saving the planet

    2017 was unarguably an outstanding year for Finnish edtech company 3DBear. xEdu graduate  brings 3D printing, Virtual and Augmented realities into classrooms. Earlier this year, 3DBear signed an agreement with Junior Library Guild associated with 22 000 schools and libraries in the US. 

    In November, the company partnered up with Arcada University and built a revolutionary innovation that recycles plastic into 3D-printable filament. You read more about the 3DBear Recycler here.

    What an occasion it was when at XcitED event 3DBear announced raising over one million euros with US VC-backed financing. This is an unprecedented case for the Finnish edtech companies that work with schools. 

    Surely, we can expect more good news from these guys in 2018!


    Lyfta: virtual reality and real impact

    Helsinki-based startup Lyfta is combining know-how in Education, Virtual Reality and immersive storytelling technology to help teachers capture the hearts and minds of their students and delve into complex topics.

    In August, Lyfta has been selected by Red Cross International for a large global security project over the coming year. xEdu program graduate will use VR for training Red Cross personnel, who are going on assignments in developing countries.

    Recently, the Lyfta team has discovered another surprising effects of VR learning environments on reading for children with Dyslexia. Now Lyfta has started a Dyslexia Study project to further research this topic. Here you can learn more about the study and participate in it.


    xEdu joined GAN

    We at xEdu are honoured to be the first Finnish accelerator (and the second in all of the Nordics) to be accepted into GAN, a highly curated community of independent accelerators, partners, and investors. After a rigorous selection process, GAN has invited xEdu to join their community of nearly 100 of the most respected accelerator programs across 120 countries and six continents.

    Through GAN’s Exchange program, xEdu startups and alumni can visit other accelerator programs across the globe to make connections with other companies and mentors and be given up to two weeks of free office space. Plus, being GAN gives our founders access to dozens of perks that offer them free and discounted services to help run their businesses. Apply for xEdu Spring '18 program to be able to use all GAN benefits.


    Mightifier: solving bullying, now globally

    This year, a number of xEdu startups made huge progress in Asian markets: 3 companies from the first batch started piloting with the schools in Hong Kong, Dibidogs has strengthened its position in China, and Tiny App has started a co-operation with Polkuni HK for exports to Southeast Asia.

    One company has made a significant progress in Asia this year, though. Mighty United has licensed the award-winning Mightifier app to Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. Now, Mightifier is available to the Scholastic’s vast network of schools throughout Asia.

    Earlier this year, Mightifier also won the Grand Prize in the Arctic15 Microsoft Pitching Competition proving one again how important social and emotional learning is nowadays.


    Bomberbot secured over €1.2 million in investment

    Early this year, Dutch edtech company 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, xEdu graduate has secured over € 1.2M in investment.

    Bomberbot is a digital learning tool that offers coding for kids aged 8 to 14. The company is operating in the Netherlands and in Finland and piloting 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. 


    xEdu signed MoU with GEMS Singapore

    In October, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the leading IB International School based in Singapore — GEMS World Academy. With this partnership, GEMS World Academy is getting the access to the latest education technology with the Finnish quality stamp. And the top-class edtech companies accelerated by xEdu now have the chance to test and co-create their solutions with the educators and students of GEMS campus in Singapore.

    Do you want to get the chance to pilot your product in Singapore and Hong Kong? The application for xEdu Spring '18 program is open until Decembe 31. Do not miss your chance!


    Xcited: the edtech event of the year

    There are literally dozens of Slush side-events every year. But XcitED was not like any of them. Together with Dare to Learn, Slush, our amazing volunteers and corporate partners, we have managed to create what some said to be "the most beneficial event for edtech startups this year".

    Policy-makers, educators, investors, thought-leaders and entrepreneurs were involved in intensive 5-hour stage program. The demo area for startups had a great success too. As Sanoma Pro reports: "the interest in the demo area was so big that it was impossible to move around the stands. The energy level was like in a small village."

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    XcitED in Numbers

    - More than 1000 people visited the event.

    - More than 260 viewers joined XcitED online stream provided by Telia Digitalist TV.

    - #XcitED was among the Top hashtags on 30 November with more than a million impressions.

    We have gathered the most exciting moments from the event in our gallery. Find yourself and share with your friends.  Also, in case you have missed some of the great discussions at XcitED, with Digitalist TV by Telia you can revisit the event and enjoy the stage program once again.

    It is just a beginning. Stay #XcitED as we will continue with this event series in 2018.


    Seppo reached 2,5 million teachers in Brazil

    Another great example of Finnish education export success this year: Seppo, a gamification platform for teachers has been published on Nova Escola — the internet portal that reaches 2,5 million Brazilian teachers each month. 

    The GESS Education 2017 winner, Seppo has operations in the Middle East, Latin America and Europe, users in Asia, New Zealand and the U.S. Even though learning happens locally, there can be universal solutions for it — and Seppo proves it with the great job they do.

     Riku Alkio, the CEO of Seppo. Photo credit: Lauri Olander

    Riku Alkio, the CEO of Seppo. Photo credit: Lauri Olander


    The winner of the first Nordic Edtech Award — Lexplore

    Lexplore from Sweden came out top when the best of Nordic edtech was on show at the first ever Nordic Edtech Award in Helsinki this November. The award that was closing the XcitED event, has highlighted the top-five edtech startups from the Nordics: 

    Lexplore 🇸🇪 — won the prize for their incredible eye-tracking software that helps parents and teachers diagnose children with reading problems at a young age.

    Mightifier 🇫🇮 — Mightifier teaches social & emotional skills by sharing positive peer feedback. 

    EduLab 🇩🇰 — Matematikfessor provides students with a fun, engaging way to learn maths.

    Kara Connect 🇮🇸 — It connects special education and teachers to students that need special one-to-one help and gives access to the right help through online therapy. 

    Differ 🇳🇴 — a collaborative messaging app that creates active learning communities for the courses.

    Unfortunately, we couldn't fit all the great and inspiring stories from our ecosystem in this post. Subscribe to our super-informative newsletter to stay in the loop. Also, follow xEdu on Twitter, Facebook, Linked and Instagram for all the freshest news. We surely will get plenty of those in 2018 so stay #XcitED! 😉 


    Application for xEdu Spring '18 program is now open

    Join the best EdTech ecosystem in the World and take your startup to the next level — apply for xEdu Spring acceleration program! 

    Based in Finland, we maximize upon the expertise of our nation’s superior educational system and pioneering tech/gaming scene and combine it with our dynamic global network of innovators, educators, entrepreneurs, and investors. As a member of the Global Acceleration Network xEdu provides the access to the network of 120+ cities on six continents plus hundreds of perks and deals for young companies.  

    Check all the opportunities and apply now. The application window will be open for one month and will close on 31 December. Make sure you don't miss out! 

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    VR in Health and Education: trends and opportunities

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    VR in Health and Education: trends and opportunities

    When talking Virtual and Augmented Reality one first think about entertainment and gaming and yet, the biggest breakthrough affecting the lives of people around the world might be happening not only there. For the past few years, there were more and more examples of successful usage of VR and AR technologies in healthcare and education. So why Nordics? The answer is — the results. The Nordic countries have been regularly rated among the highest in the world in healthcare and education. Also, they are among the forerunners when it comes to integration of the latest technologies into practice.

    HEALTH & VR/AR

    There are multiple use cases for VR/AR in health: from making a more accurate diagnosis to bringing mental support to a new level, to making professional health education even better.

    And while VR in health will be a good business, as global virtual patient simulation market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 19.6% over the next decade to reach approximately 1.28 billion euro by 2025, according to “Virtual Patient Simulation Market Analysis and Trends- Technology, Product – Forecast to 2025″. It is also a great space to make a change, by helping medical professionals train and reduce medical errors, making rehabilitation practices more engaging, and consequently more effective, and so on.

    Vertical, together with Samsung, and the largest hospital in Europe, Hospital District of Hospital and Uusimaa, provide a support for international and local health & wellbeing tech startups, by sharing guidance and platform for co-creation and piloting innovations in the clinical and real-world environment. The number of startup applications which could be categorized as VR/AR has been definitely growing, but still far from reaching its peak. Some of the interesting cases include:

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    Practigame complements traditional healthcare education methods with safe and cost-effective simulation environments. By using engaging gaming elements in virtual simulations and integrating the clinical reasoning process into the game mechanics, the company enhances the development of clinical reasoning and offers meaningful learning experiences.

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    Better Day combines immersive virtual reality environments with therapy for seniors, freeing them from physical constraints in a virtual environment and taking them to places they want to visit while carrying out cognitive and physical training.

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    IISCI  has developed and introduces a completely new technology for restoring motor skills: combining biomechanics, machine learning, neuroscience, VR and computer graphics.They utilize neural networks which constantly learning from the patient and adjusting the program, making it more engaging and fun, assuring the patient keeping on with the program and not dropping out. This technique allows patients to get almost twice better rehabilitation.

    EDUCATION & VR/AR

    Analysts expect education to be the 4th largest sector for VR/AR investment. By 2025 VR tech in education should grow to a $700 million industry. Why? Because learning is not enough anymore and now both students and teachers want to ‘feel and experience’ the subject.

    Now the technology allows us to observe other galaxies and tiny microbes instead of just reading about them. Through interactions with dimensional objects, the natural sciences provide an endless spectrum of opportunities for content creators in VR. One of them, the UK-based startup Nano Simbox offers a unique digital science learning platform that provides a combination of beautiful yet rigorously scientific molecular journeys with 3D simulations.

    Nano Simbox is a graduate of xEdu Spring ’17 acceleration program. xEdu is Nordic’s leading accelerator for startups innovating in education. With strong support from Samsung, xEdu has built a unique edtech ecosystem that allows the startups to co-create their solutions with the public schools in Finland and expand internationally.

    With each program, xEdu receives more and more applications from startups transforming education through the VR and AR: from learning games platforms, creative math lessons to professional medical training and interactive documentaries. Two startups from xEdu Fall ‘16 batch were showcasing their solutions in the Samsung booth at Slush 2017, and 3DBear made it to the Top-10 startups of this year's Slush.

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    3DBear makes 3D printing fun and engaging in schools using VR and AR to teach students in 3D. 3DBear AR (Augmented Reality) is a gamified learning application that allows users to implement virtual 3D models in a real living environment. In this series of multidisciplinary learning modules, students can use the application to (re)design their physical surroundings, create art objects and plan games for themselves. Recently, 3DBear has raised over one million euros with US VC-backed financing which is

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    Lyfta creates interactive VR-documentaries that make serious topics accessible, engaging and fun for learners, and easy to teach and assess for educators. A series of creative activities and assessments, designed by Finnish and British pedagogical experts, complement the engaging digital content.


    Interested to learn more about how VR & AR could make this world a better place?  Building a startup in health or education and want to connect with Samsung?

    If you are into education — Apply for xEdu Spring '18 acceleration program by the end of December.

    If you are into health & wellbeing – You can apply until December 17 to Vertical's Spring batch 2018.

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    Developing education with Microsoft — new opportunities for startups

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    Developing education with Microsoft — new opportunities for startups

    With the opening of the new application round for xEdu acceleration program, let us share with our startup community some collaboration opportunities and insights on edtech from our partner Microsoft.

    Microsoft is often associated with global technology, but did you know it is also a worldwide leader in developing solutions in education?

    Kati Tiainen, director of Microsoft's digital learning strategy EMEA has participated in XcitED — the biggest edtech event of Slush 17 program. "In a digital era, we need to learn how to collaborate and communicate [in a classroom]. Technology is just a tool and it's up to us whether to passively consume or to create and learn with it."— said Kati. Here, you can watch the full discussion on how technology can help us learn empathy and social skills.

    Replacing the complexity with creativity

    From her work across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, she said she has recognized the needs for less complex platforms; basic, shared and personalized learning; and scalable solutions. As the Internet continues to be accessible to more and more people around the globe, STEM skills—science, technology, engineering and math—are necessary for life in the 21st century.

    With AI, robots and learning algorithms eventually replacing many people in the everyday routine workforce, creative problem-solving is the key for our kids to be ready for the future. And to do it, global education platforms will be needed. It’s a tremendous responsibility for educational professionals, but the successful marriage of technological and educational fields will make it possible. 

    Edtech startups wanted!

    If you’re a startup innovating in education, if you are solving the burning problems mentioned above and you need support on your way — apply for xEdu Spring '18 program and get the support from Microsoft!

    Not only does Microsoft have the platform to help you, with software such as Office36 and Azure, they also have the people. A support team of 500 whose work is devoted solely to education. That support team can help you draft new business models and positively affect how you interact with partners and clients. 

    It is just one of many partnership opportunities that come with joining the xEdu startup community — so do not hesitate and apply by the end of December.

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    XcitED: first feedback, photos and video

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    XcitED: first feedback, photos and video

    "It is widely estimated that education technology is the next big thing. That is why many education startup companies are also participating in Slush every year. This year, xEdu Business Accelerator has also organized an education side event called Xcited. The event included both the stage program on learning and a demo area for startups. The popularity of the demo area was so big that it was impossible to move around the stands. The energy level was like in a small village."Sanoma Pro.

    "Combining education and technology is one of the hot topics and investment opportunities of the near future, summed up the founder of Skype Niklas Zennström at Slush on November 30. This was also reflected in Slush's program this year. Organized for the first time XcitED side event brought together over one thousand entrepreneurs, investors and professionals interested in the future of education." — TEK.


    Education was strongly represented in Slush’s education side event yesterday. XcitED brought to Helsinki Messukeksus education professionals, edtech startup entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. — Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö.


    The xEdu team is grateful to everyone involved in organizing XcitED — the greatest edtech event of Slush 2017. Our volunteers, partners, speakers, startups and our guests, of course — without you it wouldn't have happened!

    • More than 1000 people visited the event.
    • More than 260 viewers joined XcitED online stream provided by Telia Digitalist TV.
    • #XcitED was among the Top hashtags on 30 November with more than a million impressions. Thanks for being active!

    We have gathered the most exciting moments from the event in our gallery. Find yourself and share with your friends.  Also, in case you have missed some of the great discussions at XcitED, with Digitalist TV by Telia you can revisit the event and enjoy the stage program once again.

    Photo credit: Elissa  Jokela


    Last but not the least!
    The application round for our 5th acceleration program is now open!
    Join the best edtech ecosystem in the world, co-create your product with Finnish schools and collaborate with our corporate partners, such as Samsung  & Telia Finland

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    Application for xEdu Spring '18 program is now open

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    Application for xEdu Spring '18 program is now open

    Join the best EdTech ecosystem in the World and take your startup to the next level — apply for xEdu Spring acceleration program! 

    Based in Finland, we maximize upon the expertise of our nation’s superior educational system and pioneering tech/gaming scene and combine it with our dynamic global network of innovators, educators, entrepreneurs, and investors. As a member of the Global Acceleration Network xEdu provides the access to the network of 120+ cities on six continents plus hundreds of perks and deals for young companies.  

    Check all the opportunities and apply now. The application window will be open for one month and will close on 31 December. Make sure you don't miss out! 

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    3DBear raises over €1 million in seed funding

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    3DBear raises over €1 million in seed funding

    xEdu acceleration program graduate, Finnish edtech company 3DBear has raised over one million euros with US VC-backed financing. This is an unprecedented case for the Finnish edtech industry so far.

    Investors are New York-based Rethink Education VC, a publicly listed media and publishing company Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino, chairman of the Board of Directors of Basware Hannu Vaajoensuu through his investment company, angel investor Tero Lehtonen and an edtech investor and founder Mitch Weisburgh. From current investors, Spinverse GroupGlyn EggarKaisa Olkkonen and Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara made additional investments.

    "Our start in the US and this investment round would not have happened without the brilliance of xEdu and the personal effort of its CEO Antti Korhonen," — says Kristo Lehtonen, CEO of 3DBear. "The funding enables the scale-up of our R&D and implementation of our internationalization strategy.

    Former Prime Minister of Finland and former Member of the Executive Board of Nokia, Mr. Esko Aho has started as an Advisor for 3DBear. He will help in expanding business abroad.

    We invested in 3DBear because we recognized the demand for its product, the strength of the team and their execution ability”, says Vesa Pihlajamaa, CEO of Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino Oyj.

    3DBear participated in xEdu Fall'16 acceleration program. The startup has also been co-developing its products in schools around Finland and US, as well as in KYKY-process by the city of Espoo, Finland and in national innovation initiatives funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education.
     

    Kristo Lehtonen, CEO of 3DBear, will be sharing their startup story tomorrow, 30 November at XcitEd side-event of Slush 2017.  You can see him on stage at 17:45.

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