Optus-Innov8 Seed has partnered with a Sydney education technology start-up community to host a pitching competition on December 11.
SydEduTech meetup coordinator Atul Pandey told StartupSmart the partnership between his grassroots community group of entrepreneurs and Optus would provide the entrepreneurs involved with increased opportunities.
“The idea was to get the top ed tech community people. I wanted to get start-ups and investors and educators altogether to talk about the challenges the education industry is struggling with,” Pandey says.
Ten to 12 entrepreneurs who have created technology solutions for any level of education will pitch to a panel of educators and investors. Entrepreneurs not based in Sydney can pitch via video Skype or Google hangouts.
The judging panel includes investor Kim Heras, education investor Terry Hilsberg, educator and community coordinator Matt Easterman and Alfred Lo, principal at the Optus Innov8 Seed Fund.
“Australia needs the education technology to grow. We have great universities and entrepreneurs, but we haven’t got organised yet to lead the creation and adoption of education technology, which is especially important in Australia as we’re so geographically dispersed,” Pandey says.
The winning pitch on the night will receive a Samsung Galaxy S4. The six top scoring pitches will meet again to pitch in February, with the winner of this round receiving a trip to leading Asian tech conference Echelon.
Pandey says collaboration between technology creators and educators was essential for moving Australia forward.
“I’m not an educator, I’m from the technology side so I want to understand exactly what the challenges are. And educators are not usually the ones who create the tech to solve their problems,” Pandey says.
“There are heaps of start-ups that are doing excellent work and should have a way to promote their work and stories directly to investors and educators so they can get moving.”