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Vikas Pota

30 startups named finalists of ‘Next Billion’ EdTech prize

DUBAI, March 3, 2019

Thirty innovative EdTech startups have been named as finalists of the Next Billion EdTech Prize, which recognises the most innovative use of technology that has the potential to radically impact education in low income and emerging economies. 
 
The 30 finalists will compete in a pitch contest taking place at the Global Education & Skills Forum (GESF) 2019 from March  22-24 in Dubai. The forum brings together over 1,500 delegates from around the world to solve the most pressing issues in global education, culminating in the award of the Next Billion Edtech Prize and the  $1 million Global Teacher Prize.
 
While at the forum, the finalists will also have an opportunity to meet some of the most important players from the spheres of both education and technology – from venture capitalists to education ministers, foundations, academics and some of the world’s best teachers. They will be able to draw on their expertise and support to build products that will work as well in the classroom as they do at a pitch competition, said a statement.
 
The Next Billion Prize was named to remind the world of the billion young people – a number growing every day – that are being denied an education that allows them to make the most of their talents.
 
Vikas Pota, Group Chief Executive of Tmrw Digital, which runs the Next Billion Prize, said: “Congratulations to these startups for making the final 30 that will compete in the Next Billion Prize 2019.
 
“The Next Billion Prize was created to shine a light on those gifted entrepreneurs that are not only ingenious, but also bold and persistent enough to bring forward the revolutionary ideas that are desperately needed to transform education in those parts of the world where there is limited access to high quality teaching.
 
“Our fervent hope is that the prize inspires this new breed of entrepreneur the world over to come forward with the fresh thinking that is needed to help give every child their birthright; access to a great education.”
 
The 30 startups come from across the globe, including North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. 
 
The 30 finalists will pitch to an expert panel of judges, made up of venture capitalists, philanthropic investors, educators, and experts in EdTech and learning sciences. They will also pitch to a live audience of GESF delegates made up of leading education figures from public, private and social sectors.
 
Six of the startups will be selected to return to the main GESF stage for the grand final in front of judges and a live audience. The best three will each be awarded $25,000 and the winner will be awarded the Next Billion Prize trophy.
 
Finalists from last year’s Next Billion Prize have gone from strength to strength over the past year, using the contacts made at GESF to sign country-wide distribution contracts, receive new investment and achieve rapid growth. For example, after connecting at GESF 2018, Learning Machine and the University of Bahrain have partnered to launch one of the first blockchain credentialing initiatives in the Middle East. BizNation meanwhile has since been named by the World Economic Forum as one of the 50 companies reshaping the future of LATAM, has hired 11 new staff and seen revenues grow by 55%.
 
Sunny Varkey, founder of the Next Billion Prize, added: “The Next Billion Prize highlights technology’s potential to tackle the problems that have proven too difficult for successive generations of politicians to solve. The power to change education systems at all levels no longer lies exclusively in the hands of the political and business elite through the traditional models of global policymaking. Changemakers can be those who work away from the spotlight in startups located across the world.”
 
The final 30 startups selected for the Next Billion Prize are: Talk2U, OxEd, Whetu, Signa, SimBi, Moi Social Learning, Kuwala, Etudesk, PraxiLabs, Langbot, Seppo, Lesson App, Eneza, Aveti Learning Pvt. Ltd., Utter, Dost, Solve Education, M-Shule, eLimu, Wizenoze Ltd, ScholarX, Sabaq, Silabuz, Zelda, MTabe, Ubongo, Fineazy, TeachPitch, Big Picture Learning/Imblaze, and AugLi. - TradeArabia News Service



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