Education technology not-for-profit Jisc and Emerge Education today launched a programme to give good edtech start-ups the recognition they deserve.

Step Up assesses emerging start-ups against key sector requirements, awarding the ‘health check’ to those that can be trusted to deliver technological innovations and sustain a high level of service for as long as customers need it.

Step Up supports the ambitions of the government’s edtech strategy to help create a vibrant edtech business sector in the UK and provide “proven, high-quality products that meet the needs of educators and foster a pipeline of fresh ideas”. The universities minister, Chris Skidmore MP, joined university vice-chancellors, college principals and industry experts at today’s launch event.

Those with solutions judged to be ready for full scale implementation joined the launch event on the 20th May, 2019. These are companies like student voice platform Unitu, which is working with Swansea University to improve student experience and learning platform Blackbullion, partnering with Goldsmiths, University of London, to teach students how to take control of their money.

Vivi Friedgut, says “Every university partnership is important to us and our team works hard every day to deliver excellent service. We know that working with startups can be perceived as more risky, therefore having an external programme assessing our legals, commercials, and tech to make sure we can deliver is very helpful. This also helps universities with their internal procurement and helps us streamline the implementation process. “

Jisc chief executive, Paul Feldman, comments: “At Jisc, we want to help transform education by making the technologies that are shaping the fourth industrial revolution more accessible to the sector. A key step toward this is contributing to the government’s edtech strategy by supporting start-ups that can help education institutions access products bespoke to their needs, for example platforms that collect real-time feedback on courses. Our Step-Up programme is a vital development in giving universities and colleges the confidence to engage with innovators offering some fantastic solutions that can make real change in the sector.”

Nic Newman, Partner, Emerge Education, says: “We are delighted to have helped lead this cross-sector higher and further education collaboration that has resulted in the development of the Step Up programme, co-created by Jisc and Emerge Education. The UK is a global leader for edtech start-ups but such new companies face significant barriers in piloting and procurement, as highlighted by the government’s recently published strategy.

“This important programme of change will provide senior leaders and start-up founders with the information and tools they need to work together and unlock the strategic benefits of innovative edtech products for colleges and universities.”

 

Check out Blackbullion Step Up report.