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Education startup news.

More Investments in European MOOC Platforms to come?

In a press release last week the European Commission states that European Universities need to think global. With a new strategy named “European higher education in the world” the commission aims to prepare European students with the skills they need to work internationally and to attract more foreign students to study at one of the 4000 European universities.

According to the press release

… the number of higher education students in the world is expected to quadruple, from around 100 million in 2000 to 400 million in 2030, with particularly strong growth in Asia and Latin America. Europe currently attracts around 45% of all international students, but its competitors are rapidly increasing their investment in higher education. The largest providers of internationally mobile students are China, India and South Korea.

Besides promoting the long tradition of high quality education in Europe, the European Commission also believes that

… universities must also promote an international outlook among the 85% of students who are not mobile, so that they too acquire the international skills required in a globalised world. This means universities need to develop international curricula, promote language skills and expand digital learning.

To achieve these goals the European Commission is going to invest €400 million each year to support international student exchanges and increased cooperation between European universities and their partners worldwide.

This could of course lead to some significant investments in European MOOC platforms like iversity and FutureLearn which could help them to catch up with the heavily VC funded US-based competitors Coursera, Udacity and edX that all work on expanding their partner portfolio internationally.

Having the European Commission as investor would also give European MOOCs a strategic advantage in the way they operate. Other than VC backed MOOC platforms they would not need to focus too much on business models and revenue but could focus on pedagogy and partnerships.

On the other hand it is clear that MOOC platforms that are funded by VCs and run like tech startups are able to move faster as funding often comes faster and is attached to less restrictions which is of course an advantage for this kind of model.

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Babble Planet becomes Pili Pop – launches iPhone App

Get our latest Startup List: Language Learning Europe, featuring 80 Language Learning Startups across Europe.

Pili Pop (formerly Babble Planet) is a Paris-based startup that specializes in creating applications for young learners in the ESL space. The first version of their app for iPad showed some promising traction. With 50.000 downloads in 37 countries and 1.5 million English words mastered.

Continue reading Babble Planet becomes Pili Pop – launches iPhone App


When I started EDUKWEST in August 2009 I always had the goal to cover global trends in education technology. Of course due to a better funding and startup support ecosystem the US often took the mainstage in our coverage.

Sure, there have been highlights like Mendeley, busuu and that were able to make a global impact in terms of user adoption, innovation and ability to raise money but in general the European edtech space was not really that exciting.

But something has changed in the European education startup scene. Over the past couple of months, maybe six to eight, I noticed that not only new startups are popping up again but also that the ecosystem seems to get a boost through events like Startup Weekend, Edtech Europe or investors and incubators like Macmillan Digital Education / Digital Science and Edxus Group.

Therefore I decided to launch EDUKWEST Europe. True to our mission statement “on the search for better education” we are going to dig ourselves into the European Education startup scene, trying to find the most promising players early on.

Also true to the European Union, this blog is going to feature articles in multiple languages. For the launch we are going to concentrate on English, French and German but more languages are going to be added over time.

Needless to say, I am pretty excited about this new blog and to cover the European EdTech startup scene in closer detail from now on. Of course, EDUKWEST is going to stay and cover the rest of the globe.