For the first time in human history, venture capital had begun to pick up an interest in education, and incubators and accelerators focused on education began to appear.
Government, big companies and institutions finally realized that they should play a bigger role in transforming education. Talent begun to be attracted from other, more dynamic industries into education.
A Nobel Peace price was awarded to a female teenager from an emerging country because of her impact on the future of education and hope she inspired among women living in oppressing conditions.
It was time I traveled the world and met with all these figures. We established a global network and began to treat each other not as competitors but as friends with a common purpose: to transform education for a better future.
As a result, we have supported and coached hundreds of Edupreneurs from around the World including:
- Frustrated mothers worrying about the future they will leave their children
- Committed teachers realizing that they could give much more to the world by educating better through go-ligilo
- Bored students who sat in class for years to earn grades not build skills, realizing that they were not prepared for the world they were entering–for example the creators of CodeMonkey, a fun online game that teaches you how to code
- Concerned managers who saw how difficult it is to hire talent with the skills required to succeed in the workspace such as Kuepa
For two years in a row, I have been on the GESA awards panel of judges, together with Renee Hobbs, Director at Harrington School of Communication, Pierre-Antoine Ullmo, Founder and Manager at PAU Education Open Education Challenge, and Gila Ben-Har, CEO of the Center for Education Technology, among others.
From there, I had the impulse of promoting Edupreneurs in Latin America. We established a specific award for ideas generated from that region.
The first year we had around 30 edupreneurs coming from Latin America. Last year that number grew to over 100!
Last year’s global winner
Last year´s Global winner came from Africa. Kenya-based Kytabu aims to reduce the cost burden of education materials on low income families by digitizing all the content required in the classroom on a portable device, and allowing parents to rent micro-sized content for their children for short periods of time. Besides Kytabu there were fantastic ideas from Croatia, Argentina, Colombia, Turkey, China and many other countries. For instance, Kuepa—a Colombian company– received special recognition as the winner of the “LatAm EdTech Excellence award”, which was given to one Latin American EdTech company.
Every month I have Skype conversations with edupreneurs, and I continue to be inspired by their passion, intrigued by their ideas and thrilled by their technological prowess.
There is a brighter future for the world because of what is happening right now in education, and it will only get brighter as the pace of education innovation accelerates and begins to have a greater impact in the coming years.
Emerging countries will benefit most. Vulnerable communities will be integrated faster, the skills students learn will be more relevant and connected to the future of work, and new generations will learn to take better care of our planet.
I know that this is maybe too optimistic, but that is what happens when you devote time to work with edupreneurs!