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."


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!