The Accelerator programme of World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), a global think-tank of Qatar Foundation, has opened its next round of submissions for 2020-21.
The deadline for the submissions is 4pm GMT on April 20 and details are available online at www.wise-qatar.org/wise-accelerator.
The initiative has supported 32 edtech ventures from 18 countries and gives social entrepreneurs whose solutions have the potential to help reimagine education the tailor-made support, expert guidance, and international connections they need to take their ventures to the next level.
Some of its alumni have spoken about how the WISE Accelerator has altered their perceptions of what their edtech ideas can make possible in the sphere of global education.
Among them is David Ristagno, CEO of Uptale, a French startup that enables people to devise, build, and publish immersive learning experiences through using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology.
It is now being used by 220 organisations, and Ristagno says: “I heard about the WISE Accelerator from a former startup team who were involved in the programme, and who told us about the great mentoring and opportunities it provided. The mentoring that the WISE Accelerator offers is really impressive – it’s very hands-on, which leads to real co-creation and effective results in sales and marketing. It’s well-organised, very inspiring, and gives you access to high-level organisations and people who make an impact as well as opening your eyes to what’s going on in the world of education.”
Through linking young entrepreneurs with a global network of education stakeholders, whose insights they can tap into, the WISE Accelerator aims to help them overcome challenges that can stand in the way of them developing and expanding their ventures.
During their year in the programme, the startups who form its annual cohorts have the opportunity to attend international events and benefit from access to networking opportunities with potential new partners and investors.
David Berg, founder of ImBlaze – an initiative that enables educators to design systems that steer students toward internships that suit their interests – met everyone from investors to education leaders during his initiative’s time in the 2018-19 edition of the WISE Accelerator, and said: “Having an edtech platform with international recognition goes a long way.”
As part of the programme, ventures are provided with the mentorship they need to grow beyond the WISE Accelerator, with Berg saying: “We simply would not have had the capacity to learn the business, marketing, and compliance needs of the edtech marketplace without WISE – ImBlaze is quickly growing, and WISE was a big help in that growth.”
Successful applicants who join the programme also become part of a community of innovators and mentors who are experts in the field of education. Livox is one of the ventures that has discovered the benefits of this.
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