With the creation of new EdTech startups, dedicated funds and calls for proposals, the French EdTech sector is taking off. The newly founded EdTechFrance is the latest illustration of industry organizations' desire to collectively bolster their visibility and legitimacy. On November 17, the group published a manifesto stating its intention to turn France's focus to EdTech. EdTechFrance maintains its work will be done "when everyone has access to an excellent learning experience." Naturally that involves digital technology.
Contributions that Count
The manifesto's 140 signatories include educational institutions, numerous startups, among which Domoscio, AppScho and Beneylu, and more established companies like Qwant and Unow. EdTechFrance's goal is to become a one-stop shop for French EdTech.
There are plans for events intended to evangelize parents, educators and HR directors, among others. Per the manifesto, the group seeks to "demonstrate throughout France digital technology's remarkable contribution to education and training."
EdTechFrance has come about at a turning point in the industry. Recent developments include French EdTech venture capital funds like Brighteye Ventures and Educapital that should provide some relief to the field's largely underfunded companies.
Digital Goes Political
"Over the last few years, there has been significant financial support for R&D, especially from the government," observes Hervé Borredon, president of the French EdTech association AFINEF. However, EdTech "companies need access to a real market in order to grow their businesses. For now, there isn't one."
On November 12, AFINEF and 43 French EdTech organizations expressed this concern in an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, Minister for National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer and Secretary of State for Digital Affairs Mounir Mahjoubi. The letter, entitled French Education in the Digital Enlightenment, requests an annual budget of €140 million or "just one one-thousandth" of the education ministry's budget. For now, there is still room to grow.
Céline Authemayou, Translated by Nina Fink | Publié le