The Nordic EdTech Scene: Part I- What makes EdTech in the Nordics click?

It’s been well documented that the Nordic schooling system has become an ideal model for the rest of the world to follow. Finland, for instance, is on top of most global rankings year on year.

One of the main reasons is their openness towards technology in education. Schools are embracing technology to empower students and develop social-emotional skills. Education in countries like Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway is about fun and collaboration and not on “getting the best grades”.

With such great support inside schools for technology, we should not be surprised why the EdTech scene in the Nordics is so hot. And no wonder why everyone wants a piece of the pie. Now to answer the question:

What makes EdTech in the Nordics click?

A huge factor is the terrific ecosystem they have in place. I can’t think of another region where everyone in the educational arena (innovators, educators, institutions, etc) are involved in making learning more impactful. Nordic EdTech startups are developing solutions which are innovative and futuristic.

However, each country has a different ecosystem with diverse government initiatives, unique startup communities, and also varied education programmes. That’s why I’ll be writing a five part blog-series featuring key players from each country.

In this first article, I’d like to give you an overview of the various players involved in EdTech in the Nordics. I’ve listed below EdTech accelerators, clusters,and conferences, which are making huge waves in the EdTech scene in the Nordics.

Clusters

Data taken after applying filters Education and Technology on the Nordic Tech List for 2017–18

Every Nordic country has their own dedicated EdTech cluster. Their aim is to provide EdTech entrepreneurs with a platform to network and boost collaboration between key stakeholders including tech experts, the market, users, and customers.

  • Swedish EdTech Industry: Their main goal is to build a dynamic and stable ecosystem for stakeholders and the EdTech’s industry players by gaining insights, understanding market trends and offering networking opportunities. You can contact Jannie Jeppesen, CEO, to be part of the Swedish EdTech ecosystem.
  • EdTech Southeast Sweden: Their goal is to facilitate digitalization of education and learning by offering a strong EdTech ecosystem that consists of science parks, incubators, schools, companies and municipalities in the southeast of the country. You can contact Niclas Melin, Head of Cluster, to discuss any partnerships and memberships.
  • EdTech Denmark: Their goal is to build a sustainable and meaningful network of academics and professionals around education and technology by creating networking events, workshops and conferences with their partners. Get in touch with Morten Amstrup, CEO & Founder EdTech Denmark, to talk about collaboration and partnerships.
  • Oslo EdTech Cluster: They focus on building a network to support all things related to educational technologies, such as support for development, commercialization, and export, through cooperation across companies, R&D institutions, users and customers in Norway. Contact Hege Tollerud, CEO, to talk about partnerships and synergies.
  • Nordic EdTech Network: Yes, there’s a shared EdTech cluster for all the Nordic countries which shows how much these countries believe in collaboration and information sharing! Their goals are to build a collaborative community and to assist Nordic EdTech companies to become globally competitive.
  • Education Finland: In Finland, there’s no EdTech cluster like the ones you can find in Norway, Denmark or Sweden. However, Education Finland serves as a national education export program. Contact Lauri Tuomi, Program Director of Education Finland, if you are interested in Finland’s educational system.

Nordic Tech list

NTL is a database of EdTech startups in the Nordics. If you want to know, e.g., basic information about EdTech companies in the Nordics just go to the advanced search (you need to be logged in) and in the industry box select “technology” and “Education”. Voila! You’ve got a list of EdTech companies from the region of your choice.

Nordic Tech List

The Nordic EdTech Forum — N8

Nordic EdTech Founders Forum, also called N8, is now the most extensive network of Founders of EdTech companies in the Nordics with 83 members. Their goal is to positively impact global education by developing and strengthening the EdTech ecosystem through sharing experiences, knowledge, and insights. You can contact Märt Aron if you want to be part of or collaborate with this extensive network of entrepreneurs.

Accelerators:

xEdu — A leading business accelerator for EdTech startups based in Helsinki, Finland. It offers a broad range of assistance including coaching and mentoring, real-life testing environments for research and development. You can contact Anna Dementyeva, xEdu’s Program Manager, to learn more about their acceleration (and also incubation) program.

xEdu accelerator Helsinki

Awards

In 2016, the Nordic EdTech Alliance, a partnership between Nordic EdTech communities and actors, was formed with one sole purpose: to attract Nordic and International investors to invest in EdTech companies, and to build a stronger international image. Their first collaborative initiative was the Nordic EdTech Startup Award.

Certification

Kokoa Standard is an EdTech quality verification service from Finland. Their academically backed-way of conducting evaluations is well recognized in the industry across the region. You can also check their catalogue of certified educational solutions. Contact Olli Vallo, Co-Founder of Kokoa to learn more about how you can get your EdTech solution certified.

Kokoa Standard EdTech evaluation company

Conclusion

Building EdTech solutions can be challenging but with such a coherent ecosystem, the Nordics are setting an example on how collaboration can lead to innovative and impactful product development.

There you go! I hope now you have a better idea of the Nordic EdTech landscape. Next, I’ll take a closer look at one of the cluster and dig deeper into why the EdTech ecosystem is booming there and what we can learn from them.

Any guesses which country I’ll be hitting next? :)

Missed the first two articles on The EdTech World? Check them out now..

Finally! A big thank you to Anne Gläsel for helping with the article :)