Startup without Borders open EdTech Startup Competition to Middle East
Startups Without Borders has partnered with SPARK to launch the EdTech Startup Competition that is open to refugee, migrant, and local entrepreneurs based in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. Aimed at idea-stage and early-stage startups working in the educational technology (EdTech) sector, the event is supported with contributions from Qatar Fund For Development, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Tadamon programme from the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development.
The finalists will get the chance to pitch on the global stage at SPARK’s virtual IGNITE 2021 conference, as well as a curated mentorship program with top international experts from the corporate and startup landscape in Europe and the Middle East.
According to Leontine Specker, Regional Programme Director for the Middle East and Turkey at SPARK, “The Edtech Startup Competition aims to find the brightest ideas addressing unique challenges across the Middle East and Turkey.” She added that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic shift in education, with more remote and blended learning options now available that can benefit the most vulnerable in society, such as refugees. The competition will open up opportunities for more technology companies that can fill the new gaps in how education is delivered, absorbed and shared.
The competition calls on entrepreneurs creating educational solutions for children and youth, disrupting the industry, and creating employment across the Middle East.
According to the World Economic Forum, the Edtech sector has seen a boom in investments because of the pandemic, which is projected to reach $350 billion by 2025. With 1.2 billion children out of the classroom because of the pandemic, e-learning has seen an all-time high worldwide, whether through language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, or online learning software.
Startups creating solutions to tackle education in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq (including Iraqi Kurdistan) are welcome to apply to the competition. To qualify for the competition, they must be tech-enabled, have a scalable model, growth potential, and an educational component.
The jury will select 50 semi-finalists, who will be matched with Startups Without Borders’ exclusive network of mentors in the following fields: Business Model Canvas, Marketing, Financial Planning, Pitching, and Product-Market Fit. The startups will go through a 3-month journey with mentors to take their business to the next level.
At the finals, the jury will select 5 finalists in the Idea stage and 5 in the early stage to pitch on the global stage at SPARK’s virtual IGNITE 2021 conference.