NZ’s thriving edtech sector attracts investors
New Zealand is providing an entrepreneurial hot spot for the world’s education technology sector, says Jennifer Carolan, Head of the Californian NewSchools Seed Fund.
With its growing number of companies who are developing learning-focused products, Carolan says New Zealand is providing the edtech industry with a diverse range of games, apps, educational software and courseware.
Carolan will soon be in New Zealand to speak at the EdTech for Export 2014 (eT4e) conference in Wellington on the 19 and 20 June.
“I can’t wait to get to Wellington to meet the Edtech community, learn from the entrepreneurs and understand how we can help,” Carolan says. “I’ve also heard wonderful things about New Zealand’s thriving tech scene from my former colleague Ben Riley (a White House fellow) who is working on Edtech and innovation.”
NewSchools Seed Fund improves education opportunities for children from low-income communities by investing in entrepreneurs who are developing education technology tools, applications and content. They have been evaluating several New Zealand companies looking for investment opportunities.
Globally there are huge challenges facing teachers and education companies, Carolan says.
“Teachers are rapidly adopting technology products but need more sophisticated technology tools and content. Edtech companies need funding, support and better channels into schools.”
The eT4e conference is organised by Grow Wellington and Education New Zealand, and will examine business growth and global opportunities for both local companies and individuals in the sector. The education technology sector is worth $86 billion globally, and forecast to grow to $257 billion by 2017.
At eT4e this year, speakers from New Zealand include Dr Sue Watson the founding CEO of Summit Education Asia Pacific, a division of the Commonwealth Education Trust, Noeline Anderson, director of digital publishing company Pixelhouse; Adrian Sallis from Vital English, Maru Nihoniho from Metia Interactive; Dave Moskovitz from WebFund, and Chris Meade, Head of Strategy at Designworks. International speakers include Jan Zawadzki the founder of Hapara, Lee Wilson, the CEO of Wisconsin-based Filament Games, and Dr Erkki Sutinen, head of the edTech Research Group at the University of Eastern Finland.