Venture capital firms have yet to take note of EdTech projects "made in Tel Aviv." However, the popularity of new education technology is only growing among Israeli entrepreneurs and researchers.
A dash of artificial intelligence, a spoonful of the Internet of Things and a sprig of DIY – these are the key ingredients for the annual Israeli EdTech event, Shaping the Future. Close to 600 EdTech aficionados met in early June in Tel Aviv to cook up innovative projects.
Israel has seen around 100 new EdTech startups crop up over the last few years. Gilad Nass, one of the Shaping the Future coordinators, says, "We are very focused on the U.S. because it's the birthplace of the EdTech boom and our innovation ecosystems are naturally very close. Now Israel is contributing to this growing trend."
Nass should know. He recently joined the staff of MindCET, one of the rare Israeli EdTech startup incubators. MindCET was founded three years ago by the Center for Education Technology, a nonprofit based at the University of Tel Aviv. MindCET's mission is twofold: hatch innovative EdTech projects and offer teachers an entrepreneurship program.
the start-up nation
MindCET is in good company. A few years ago, the Israeli Council for Higher Education created 15 new Israeli Centers of Research Excellence (I-cores). Among them was Learning in a Networked Society (LINKS), an EdTech task force. Founded to study learning in technology-enhanced communities, LINKS draws on the work of roughly 40 researchers from the University of Haifa, Technion, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center.
When it comes to EdTech, Israel is hoping to capitalize on its reputation as the Startup Nation and its expertise in open innovation and the sharing economy. Carmel Kent, Founder of Ligilo, a startup that aims to revolutionize online discussion platforms, explains, "Naturally there are hurdles. Israeli EdTech startups haven't made it onto the radar of venture capitalists and university budgets are tight. But Israel has extremely dynamic entrepreneurs, a strong community of early adopters and extensive research in the field." The Israeli EdTech landscape is just starting to heat up.
Translated by Nina Fink, Nathalie Hamou | Publié le