Spaze Ventures has announced the launch of EduSpaze, Singapore’s first educational technology (edtech) accelerator supported by Enterprise Singapore, the enterprise development agency. The new accelerator supports early-stage edtech companies with up to S$500,000 of funding. Additional customised resources are available to meet the needs of each company participating in the programme. Eligible companies have until 20 December 2019 to apply to participate in the inaugural EduSpaze cohort. Up to ten companies will then be selected to begin the programme in February 2020.
Technology is transforming education
The global education market is projected to be worth USD 10 trillion by 2030. Educational technology plays an increasingly important role in teaching and learning from K-12 through to higher education.
The evolving labour market is also impacting traditional education and workforce training, as institutions and companies adapt to meet global employment trends. In the coming years, technology is set to further transform the sector as a result of the growing demand for lifelong learning and 21st-century skills.
“We see great opportunity in the education sector across Singapore and Southeast Asia, both in terms of the size of the market and the demand for new solutions,” said Alex Ng, Managing Partner at Spaze Ventures. “We want EduSpaze to provide mentorship, practical skills and resources to facilitate high-quality innovation in education. With the support of Enterprise Singapore and a strong ecosystem, we are confident that we can help to solve gaps in the sector and keep up with evolving educational needs in Singapore and the region.”
Accelerator with a difference
In addition to an exclusive focus on edtech companies, EduSpaze differs from typical startup accelerators in a number of ways. The EduSpaze programme is not structured as a fixed ‘curriculum’ that all participating startups are expected to take part in. Instead, the focus is on a customised experience that addresses the specific requirements of each company.
The programme places an emphasis on impact by ensuring that edtech products meet the pedagogical needs of educators, trainers, and learners. For example, EduSpaze replaces the notion of ‘entrepreneur in residence’ with a dedicated ‘educator in residence’ who can provide insights from extensive experience as an educator in the education sector. EduSpaze also focuses on robust methodologies to measure the effectiveness of new edtech products when it comes to improved learning outcomes and other positive impact metrics.
In addition, the programme addresses more conventional accelerator topics such as business development and perfecting a pitch to raise further funding.
“We want to be thoughtful about how EduSpaze operates as an edtech accelerator at a local and regional level. Drawing on my background in the edtech space in Finland, I would like to leverage global best practices to help stimulate innovation in the space here in Singapore,” said Niko Lindholm, Programme Director at EduSpaze and former Director of the xEdu edtech accelerator in Helsinki, Finland.
Nurturing a broader ecosystem
To achieve its goal of fostering innovation throughout the ecosystem, EduSpaze has established partnerships with leading educational organisations and institutions in Singapore, the wider region of Southeast Asia, and at a global level. Headquartered in Singapore, EduSpaze will benefit from strong government support and existing infrastructure within the market.
“Singapore is a leading startup hub, with the expertise and network to serve as the launchpad to the region and beyond. EduSpaze, the first edtech specialist accelerator, strengthens our edtech ecosystem. With globally respected research collaborators and growing integration with traditional education players, we are well-positioned to grow into a global leader in edtech. I strongly encourage more talents to join the edtech sector to bring it to greater heights,” said Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Enterprise Singapore.