About the program
Have you recently launched an education project that is using or designing new technologies? You have progressed beyond proof of concept. You are confident of your goals. But to move ahead, you would benefit from the perspectives and specialized assistance of experts.
If you are ready to develop your project and connect with new partners or investors, the WISE Accelerator program could make a decisive difference for you!
The WISE Accelerator is designed to support the development of innovative education initiatives with high potential for scalability and positive impact. Selected projects receive the guidance and expertise of qualified mentors and partners who provide effective strategies and practical support for their further development.
Five projects are selected annually to join the one-year program. Throughout the year they benefit from tailor-made mentorships to address specific needs. The WISE Accelerator assists the selected projects to connect with an international network, and create opportunities to share knowledge and find support among potential donors and investors.
The call for applications for the 2019-20 WISE Accelerator Cycle is now closed. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for an interview in May.
The WISE Accelerator supports innovative initiatives developing solutions in education technology with high potential for scalability and positive impact.
Each year, the selected initiatives join the one-year program, during which they benefit from tailor-made support to address challenges that hinder their growth and scaling up process. In addition, the WISE Accelerator assists the selected initiatives to connect with an international network of education stakeholders and create opportunities to share knowledge and find support among potential partners, donors and investors during international events organized by WISE. Finally, the selected initiatives will be matched with mentors who are experts in education, education technology and leaders in their field. Mentors will support the selected initiatives with advice, guidance and connections to different education and business stakeholders.
The WISE Accelerator has supported 24 ventures from 15 countries. They have over 14 million beneficiaries in over 130 countries. They were able to raise over $28 million in investments/donations since selected by the WISE Accelerator.
The WISE Accelerator supports innovative edtech initiatives that have a high potential for scalability and positive impact in education.
Initiatives addressing education challenges through the use and/or design of technology in all sectors and regions are welcome to apply. Initiatives in this particular field may cover a wide range of activities. From the conception of apps and digital games to the creation of online platforms or the design of new curricula and pedagogies integrating technology.
All for profit and non-profit edtech initiatives that are using or linking technology to their DNA are invited to apply.
Ideal candidates for the WISE Accelerator must be existing edtech initiatives at an early stage of development, with the following attributes:
- Established for at least one year;
- A growing number of beneficiaries or customers;
- A record of activities with a product or service that has been implemented and beyond proof of concept;
- Existing revenues;
- A dedicated team, with an established physical space or office;
- Deep knowledge of the market/educational context and of their beneficiaries’ or customers’ needs;
- Motivation to develop further;
- Understanding of the initiative’s current challenges.
A Committee composed of leading experts in education and social entrepreneurship will support the WISE Accelerator team in the selection process.
Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:
- The Team:
The WISE team will assess the team’s ability to execute and deliver on their vision
- The Solution:
The WISE team will assess how well the solution developed by the initiative addresses the problem that the initiative aims to solve
- The Innovation:
The WISE team will assess how innovative is the solution developed by the initiative in light of solutions developed worldwide in the edtech sector
- The educational impact:
The WISE team will assess the educational impact that the initiative may have as it scales up
- The Market:
The WISE team will take into consideration the potential of the edtech market where the initiative operates
The initiatives will be selected and announced in September 2019
Applications must satisfy the following requirements:
- Applicants must have an initiative related to the field of education technology.
- Initiatives must be formally constituted and must have progressed beyond proof of concept. The WISE Accelerator is not intended for new and untried ideas. Any such applications will not be considered.
- All applicants must complete, in English, the official online application form fully.
- All applicants must submit a short 3 minutes video pitch by submitting a YouTube link. During the pitch, they will explain their edtech solution, the problem they are tackling, who their beneficiaries are, their progress so far and why they are applying for the WISE Accelerator.
Representatives of shortlisted initiatives will be contacted for a call with the WISE Accelerator team. The WISE Accelerator and the Committee reserve the right to ask for clarification or complementary information or documentation from the applicants.
Selected initiatives will delegate a representative who will personally engage with the WISE Accelerator team and mentors, participate and represent the initiative in WISE international events and conferences over the course of the year.
The application deadline for the 2019-2020 WISE Accelerator cycle is 30 April, 2019 at 4:00 PM GMT.
The year-long program is designed to assess and meet the initiatives’ needs as fully and precisely as possible in order to bring them to the next stage of development and scale up.
Key milestones in the 2019-2020 program are:
Selected initiatives participate in the program kick-off to be held during WISE 2019 Summit in Doha, Qatar where they will benefit from workshops, masterclasses and networking opportunities.
- Needs Assessment
The WISE Accelerator team will evaluate the initiatives’ priority needs and identify optimal ways to address them.
- Tailor-made Support
This phase corresponds to the rollout of the mentorship and training provided by the WISE Accelerator team and partner organizations, combining both face-to-face meetings and mostly distance, personalized sessions.
The WISE Accelerator team will match each selected initiative with mentors selected from a WISE community of over 50,000 education stakeholders. These mentors will advise, guide and support the initiatives in their growth. Often, the mentors are CEO’s and directors of for profit and non-profit education initiatives.
- Ongoing communication and visibility
The selected initiatives benefit from ongoing communication and international exposure, as well as from networking opportunities throughout the year. This takes place via WISE media platforms and international events.
- Program Closing
The program closing will also take part at a WISE international event in order for the selected initiatives to benefit from further opportunities for support, networking and international visibility. In the past, the international events took part in major cities such as Paris, New York or Madrid.
- Follow-up and Evaluation
During the selection process and following the conclusion of the program, the WISE Accelerator team will administer surveys to the shortlisted applicants as well as selected initiatives in order to evaluate the progress made over the year by the selected and non-selected initiatives with the aim to evaluate the impact of the program. The WISE Accelerator will collect information on the initiatives’ growth every six months for two years. At the end of two years from finishing the program, The WISE Accelerator team will collect information on the initiatives’ growth once a year. All information collected will be anonymized and collected with the permission of the initiatives.
The five education technology initiatives of the 2018-19 WISE Accelerator are from the United Kingdom, United States, Nigeria and France.
Reach: United Kingdom
Headquarters: United Kingdom
Chatterbox delivers language lessons online and in-person, to individuals as well as organizations by relying on the language skills of refugees.
Headquarters: United States of America
ImBlaze makes it possible for educators to organize an easy, efficient and elegant system that gets students out of the classroom and into real-world internships based on their interests.
ScholarX aims to solve the access to education problem in Africa, caused by poverty and other social economic inequalities.
Headquarters: United States of America
SmartScience offers a supplement for science courses which lack basic access to science lab equipment and need the same kind of hands-on learning a real laboratory would provide.
Uptale allows anyone, without any technical background or prior training, to create gamified interactive VR and AR learning content and publish it using the Uptale platform.
Ms Jo Besford
Mr. Salvador Medina
Ms Selma Prodanovic
Dr. Walid Qoronfleh
Mr. Abdullah Snobar
Mr. Stavros N. Yiannouka
Ms Yao Zhang
Structure of the Program
The year-long program is designed to assess and suit the initiatives’ needs as precisely as possible in order to bring them to the next stage in their successful development.
Key milestones in the 2018-2019 process are:
- Kick-off week of activities during WISE@NY
- Needs assessment
- Tailor-made mentorship
- Opportunity to participate in international events
- Ongoing communication and international visibility
- Introduction to potential partners, investors and donors
- Progress assessment
The WISE Accelerator has supported 24 ventures from 15 countries. They have over 14 million beneficiaries in over 130 countries.