Digitalization, mobile platform and on-demand services development have changed nearly all domains of our lives. Nearly, because so far Poland’s academic sector has not had a chance to fully exploit the potential of these solutions. This situation might soon change, however, as eduLAB – Poland’s first EdTech (Education Technology) accelerator, powered by the strength and experience of Edge One Solutions, has entered the market.
The winner of the National Centre for Research and Development’s competition (Operational Programme “POLSKA CYFROWA 2014-2020, DZIAŁANIE 3.3.” E-PIONIER), eduLAB accelerator constitutes the answer to pressing needs of modern academia and higher education. The idea of its creation originated in Edge One Solutions as the answer to Polish academia and higher education’s needs. We have set ourselves the objective of devising innovative IT solutions allowing for, among others, the creation of new communication channels, resources monetization, more effective management of educational establishments, research and technology centers, and education itself. Thereby, we have responded to the challenge of introducing innovation into Polish universities and science centers.
NEW QUALITY IN ACADEMIC SECTOR
The premise of the accelerator is to create new quality in academia, based on communication, sharing information and exploiting existing resources. The project has received great interest from education, science and technology sectors, and has acquired partners such as universities, research institutes, foundations working towards innovation in education, as well as IT companies. The planned budget for the implementation of the project is nearly 12 million PLN.
RESPONSE TO EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS’ NEEDS
The accelerator’s concept of operation is based on three pillars:
1. Defining educational establishments’ needs
2. Finding solution ideas to suit those needs
3. Acceleration and creating finished products
What is more, one of the key principles of our initiative is the creation of projects having broader application (so-called dual use projects) in other sectors.
Educational establishments will be able to submit their needs during dedicated meetings and external events in which we are going to participate. It will also be able via our website www.edulab.io. Teams of innovators – people who want to change the academia – will be working on devising solutions to those needs during our own hackathons named edCAMP – explains Krzysztof Kusiak, eduLAB’s Startup/Public Relations Lead.
SUPPORT FOR INNOVATORS
Solutions selected during hackathons will qualify to the next stage – eduLAB Academy – where they will receive maximal support in their implementation. The support will comprise not only the financing up to 1 million PLN including monthly remuneration for the team, but also access to equipment, software, necessary infrastructure and knowledge. eduLAB mentors will support the teams both technologically and business-wise, preparing the creators to running their own business in the future.
Technological mentoring which will be provided by Edge One Solutions experts is undoubtedly a distinctive element, unique in terms of acceleration – says Piotr Pietras from eduLAB. No other accelerator offers this kind of support. What is more, solutions with the highest market potential will be granted support regarding their commercialization, among others in the sale of the product.
6 ROUNDS – 13 READY-TO-IMPLEMENT SOLUTIONS
The project will last 36 months. It will involve the minimum of 6 acceleration rounds which together will create the minimum of 13 MVPs – solutions ready to be implemented. Within all the acceleration cycles, at least 6 companies will be created, having the potential to continue the development of the product and its launch to the market, hence becoming Education Technology pioneers in Poland.
EduLAB accelerator officially began its operation in March 2017. On the turn of the month March/April the first meetings at universities took place. During the first two months of its operation, eduLAB obtained cooperation with over thirty organizations and student associations.