2020 Final Day Yes!Delft EdTech Validation Program

This evening, 22 January 2020, I had the great pleasure of attending the Final Day of the EdTech Validation Program. Hosted by TU Delft, and powered by Yes!Delft, it was a really interesting event centred around eight EdTech startups who had just completed the three month program.

Led by EdTech Focus Area Manager and Startup Coach at Yes!Delft, Ruben Kranendok, participants from several countries were supported by a number of coaches, mentors and organisations such as SURF, the VSNU (De Vereniging van Universiteiten) and Vereniging Hogescholen to validate their education innovation products and services.

I know exactly when this incubator kicked off – 30 October 2019 – as I was supposed to attend that day and become one of the mentors…but sadly broke my ankle that very day! However I’m glad I made this final day, and am very much looking forward to being a mentor in the next round.

EdTech is a field I am extremely enthusiastic about – bringing education and technology together offers incredible opportunities. There are also many challenges, of course, but the benefits far outweigh these. My own Master’s thesis explored this topic, and my own experiences as a lecturer, student, parent and now (interim) programme manager are all valuable perspectives.

I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to discuss this topic tonight with many others who are experts or have focussed on research and innovations in this field. Events like this give us a chance to connect and learn from each other.

I recognised a few faces from the 2019 Learning Analytics in Higher Education event, which was held in the same location.

All of the startups were pitched by men, and with only about 15% of the attendees tonight being women, Ruben issued a challenge for more women to apply and get involved the future. Though of course it shouldn’t be just about gender, with more #WomenInTech it brings valuable diversity.

The startups each gave a pitch:

About EdTech Validation Program

EdTech is one of the fastest-growing industries with data-rich educational platforms being adopted more and more, and huge growth in investments. Three top universities, Delft University of Technology, Leiden University and Erasmus University believe in stimulating innovation by inspiring their employees by getting them in contact with EdTech startups. Incubators YES!Delft, PLNT Leiden and Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship want to combine the knowledge of the universities with an entrepreneurial mindset to help shape the educational system of the future.

This video is from last year’s program:

I’m very much looking forward to becoming more involved with EdTech and this program in the future. Meanwhile, please connect with me via this website or LinkedIn if you’d like to talk about it more.

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