Kickstart Accelerator launches EdTech vertical together with EPFL

14.06.2017 09:13

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Kickstart Accelerator announces a sixth vertical together with the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The program will be operated by venturelab and will have its homebase in the recently launched EdTech Collider at the EPFL Innovation Park (EIP) in Lausanne. The accelerator will welcome the 10 most promising international and Swiss startups in the field of education technology.

Applications for the new vertical are open from today. International and Swiss startups with a promising prototype within EdTech can apply until July 10th. The selected startups will be invited to Lausanne from September to November 2017. They are provided with stipends of CHF 10`000, coworking-space at the EdTech Collider as well as access to a broad network of investors, experts, mentors and business partners. Furthermore, seven startups have the chance to win up to CHF 25`000 in a competitive pitching process at the end of the program.

With the launch of the new EdTech Vertical, Kickstart Accelerator is moving strongly towards its goal of becoming the biggest startup accelerator in Europe, active in Zurich and Basel (HealthCare vertical in partnership with BaseLaunch ), and in Western Switzerland.

Education technology will be seeing a boost
Education is poised to undergo drastic technological evolution in the coming years. With its combined leadership in education and innovation, Switzerland offers a unique environment to accelerate the next generation of EdTech startups that will bring global impact. Located at the heart of the thriving startup community on the EPFL campus, the selected startups will benefit from collision and connection through a unique package comprising a structured acceleration program to boost their development.

Lausanne is a thriving EdTech hub
The EPFL has already established a strong education and learning ecosystem, coupled with a strong startup community and key players such as venturelab. This ecosystem will be further enriched by the new EdTech Vertical of Kickstart Accelerator. Program’s host, the EdTech Collider, is Switzerland’s first collaborative space dedicated to ambitious entrepreneurs transforming education and learning through technology. The incubator already hosts world-class innovative startups.

Nicolas Bürer, Managing Director of digitalswitzerland, says: “The launch of the EdTech vertical in Western Switzerland confirms the commitment and capacity of the region to develop groundbreaking technologies that change people’s lives. The ecosystem here is stimulating and innovative while providing a stable infrastructure and access to finance and expertise.”

“With EPFL taking leadership in the European MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) landscape, Lausanne has become an important hub for education of the future, offering the perfect environment and opportunities to significantly expand educational technologies” says Pierre Dillenbourg, Professor at EPFL.

This is a great addition to Kickstart Accelerator too: “With the new EdTech vertical, Kickstart Accelerator is able to tap into another exciting field of innovation”, says Patricia Schlenter, Program Manager at Kickstart Accelerator. “The digital technologies will disrupt the traditional way of learning and will bring major changes to classrooms. Thanks to this sixth vertical in Lausanne, Kickstart Accelerator will be part of that development”.

Jordi Montserrat, venturelab Director, emphasizes Patricia Schlenter`s statement: “This exciting development is further fueled by multiple educational projects, cutting-edge research projects on learning technologies and promising digital education startups emerging in Switzerland and Europe. Bringing these actors together and helping them thrive by offering a collaborative space and building a strong support ecosystem, can significantly contribute to the development of the Swiss education and learning technology sector”.

(Press release)

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