Technology is the answer to many of the upcoming problems in education, and the
Global education and training expenditure is expected to increase from 5 trillion USD to at least 10 trillion USD by 2030. Main contributors to such growth are rising population and smartphone penetration, advances in technology, and demand for new skills. It is more than clear that education needs to be realigned with the rapidly changing world where the youth spends most of their time staring at screens.
Technology is the answer to many of the upcoming problems in education, and the edtech industry has started blooming. Of the more than $45 billion invested in education technology companies since 1997 globally, 69% were invested in the last three and a half years. In the first half of 2018, edtech companies received $8.24 billion which is comparable to the total amount of $9.5 billion invested in 2017.
Opportunities (and billions) are waiting for entrepreneurs to build edtech startups but it’s a complex industry which requires more than courage and coding skills to succeed. Obviously, educational expertise is necessary, but even if that’s available, edtech startups in Finland have more advantages combined over those who are building their solutions in any other place in the world.
Here are 5 reasons why Finland is the best place for edtech startups:
Access to the best teachers in the world. Pedagogy is a crucial element of educational technology, and Finnish teachers understand it best because the high performers choose this profession. Teachers are highly valued in society (60% of teachers agree), and highly educated – only about 10% of those who apply for a class teacher education get accepted, and it takes at least 5 years of (Master’s) studies to become one.
Tech talent from mobile and gaming industry. The world is getting ubiquitously connected with mobile devices where all kinds of digital solutions are fighting for users’ attention. Thanks to Nokia, there are tens of thousands of mobile industry experts in Finland and young people have the “mobile mindset”. In order to compete in the attention economy,
Schools are encouraged to embrace technology. Like with any solution, users have to be at the
A multicultural country with worldwide direct flights. While expanding to new markets, especially to Asia and Africa, there has to be someone who understands the local culture. The foreign population of Finland is around 7 percent, and a big part of immigrants are coming from the emerging markets. Building relationships with customers, partners or investors is also easy, as there are non-stop flights to main tech hubs, e.g. London, San Francisco, and Beijing.
Most recognized education system globally. Business is based on trust and trust is earned over a long period of time, but tech companies need to move fast. Finland has performed consistently well in international student assessment and has gained a great reputation in education globally. By having roots in Finland, edtech companies can take some credit from the image of the best educational system in the world, and establish relationships faster.
The author of this article, Maiko Arras, moved recently to Finland to build his edtech startup hoopy.