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Looking for ideas for innovation in teaching in the LDE EdTech Challenge

Do you have a good idea for innovation or new technology in education? The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Education and Learning is organising a challenge for start-ups in ‘EdTech’. The aim of the challenge is to stimulate innovation in academic education and to improve the education system.

The challenge is a collaboration with the incubators of the three  LDE universities: ECE Rotterdam, Plnt Leiden and YES!Delft. In an eight-week programme the EdTech startups will have the opportunity to start putting their plans into practice. They will be guided by education experts from the three universities, advice from the business sector and coaching from the incubators. They will also have access to test groups, pilot customers and financing opportunities.  The Get in the Ring Foundation, with its extensive experience with start-ups, has been asked to guide the challenge.

Who can take part in the Ed-Tech challenge?

The challenge is open for everyone from all educational levels and all countries: it is not only for technical students or existing tech startups. The ideas can be about technological (ICT) innovations in education, but also about a new method, material or environment. It is important that it is feasible for the idea to be applicable on a large scale so that it can be used in teaching large groups of students. We hope that by the end of the year we will be able to welcome at least ten great start-ups  and guide them towards applications in different forms of education.


  • Deadline for applications via Get in the Ring: 29 September
    To take part, you need to write a brief proposal with your idea (a pitch of around 15 minutes) and register   via the Get in the Ring website.
  • Skype discussions with people involved in the relevant incubator: 4 October
  • Selection of start-ups for the programme and kickoff: 25 October
  • Final (pitches for investors and launch to customers): 14 December

Effective way of looking for educational innovation

Over the past year, Timo Kos was interim manager of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Education and Learning, and it was he who took the initiative for this EdTech challenge. ‘The impetus for the EdTech challenge is that innovation is high on the agenda of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Education and Learning, and this is an effective way of seeking out that innovation.’  These kinds of collaborations between university, inubators and companies to bring about innovation have already been carried out abroad, in Boston and Lausanne (Swiss EdTech Collider), for example.  Around 3 billion dollars a year are currently being invested in the EdTech market. That shows just how rapid the tempo of innovation is. 

Leading role for Leiden-Delft-Erasmus

Kos continues: ‘As Leiden-Delft-Erasmus, we can take part in this development and play a leading role ourselves, because, besides a good reputation in education and research, we also have a shared  Centre for Education and Learning, the Leiden Centre 4 Innovation, the Academic Teaching Lab of the TU Delft and the Erasmus Community for Learning. That, together with 3 incubators, is an excellent ecosystem for EdTech.’

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