Finland is known worldwide as a top country in education. However, it has been difficult in the past to commercialise the education more widely and export it to international markets. The evolving education technology sector has been willing to meet the challenge, and new companies have been established to fill the missing pieces of the ecosystem. In Helsinki, the education technology ecosystem now provides services to companies along their entire development path. Among other things, the services consist of a pre-incubator, acceleration services, an industry association, a private equity fund, events and communities.
Especially in Helsinki, the startup ecosystem in the field of education technology has already become an international asset that attracts more and more skilled people to work for companies. For example, EdTech Incubator Helsinki has also accepted several international teams into its programmes.
“Helsinki has an open and confidential atmosphere for entrepreneurship. EdTech and Helsinki Education Hub are strongly international, and our incubator programme offers a concrete opportunity for international teams and startups to settle in Helsinki and become part of an active and ever-growing community,” says Mia-Stiina Heikkala, Lead Advisor at Helsinki Education Hub.
Helsinki Education Hub wants to concretely impact education technology growth companies
A recent report in the field of education technology maps the growing ecosystem formed by Finnish EdTech companies and operators. The report presents the most important factors for enabling the growth of the sector and its companies from the perspective of both startups and investors. The education technology sector is also one of the areas that will build the future, and the report provides good information on Finnish companies’ size and turnover, customer segments, business plans and objectives.
“Helsinki Education Hub strives for the most concrete impact possible on education technology growth companies on their journey from idea to internationalisation. With this report, we want to make its findings and data available for various parties to study and use,” Heikkala says.
Education technology is a young sector growing in business-driven ways
For the time being, many education technology companies in Finland are still clearly at their early stages. More than half of the companies in the sector have been established after 2015, and the trend in the sector was strongly rising before the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the focus on early stages, the majority of companies in the sector are still small startups with fewer than 20 employees. However, the growth of the sector has been significant by all indicators, and the total turnover of companies increased by 21 percentage points between 2019 and 2020. In 2020, the turnover of the sector totalled €176 million. A survey aimed at companies revealed that half of the respondents also planned to accelerate their growth during 2022. On average, the funding collected by companies in the field of education technology is approximately €1.6 million, and two-thirds of the respondents planned to raise funding in 2022.
“It has already been noticed that it is early-stage companies that need the most support. This is why Helsinki Education Hub serves as a leading path for teams and startups from the idea stage onwards. Comprehensive business support and extensive networks enable us to support growth companies in building a team and finding funding, for instance. In the end, everything is primarily aimed at the scaling and internationalisation of companies,” says Heikkala.
Helsinki is a strong pioneer in education technology
The City of Helsinki wants to support the competitiveness of companies and serve as a setting for developing business that solves globally relevant problems. In order to achieve this goal, the city also invests more and more in supporting the innovation activities of companies. The City of Helsinki provides companies with comprehensive business management services, events and an internationally unique experimental environment in the form of Testbed Helsinki. The aim is to make the whole city a testbed for innovative business.
Together with Finland’s national goals in the digitalisation of education and focus on lifelong learning, the aim is to make Finland and Helsinki a unique environment for promoting the education technology sector, attracting experts and exporting solutions.
For more information:
Read Finnish EdTech Report 2022 here.
Learn about Helsinki Education Hub here.