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10 Dec 2019
UNTIL-XEDU Impact Accelerator Initiative - announced at Slush 2019
xEdu and UNTIL Partnering to Accelerate EdTech Solutions for the Emerging Markets

United Nations Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL) and the EdTech startup accelerator xEdu announced that they will team up to accelerate the development and implementation of new learning solutions around the world.

Under the initiative, titled “UNTIL-XEDU Impact Accelerator”, the selected startups that are developing and providing learning solutions for the learning needs of the emerging economies are invited to apply to join the xEdu Impact acceleration program. The program will include additional tailor-made tracks focusing on the specific issues of the developing countries and chosen startups will continue to UNTIL country pilot deployments.

“During the last three years, xEdu has been focusing on helping startups to scale-up their education and learning innovations in a sustainable way. This would not have been possible without the help of the Finnish education system, cities of Helsinki and Espoo, nor our main business partner Samsung. We believe that the collaboration with UNTIL is a great way to empower the startups, and to speed up the global deployment of the best learning innovations. This can create sustainable impact in education,” noted Antti Korhonen, CEO of xEdu.

Overall, it is estimated that in the upcoming years, millions of learners will benefit from faster access to new scalable learning solutions provided by the education startups accelerated through the collaboration in the upcoming acceleration programs. 

“We are not on track to reach the Sustainable Development Goals in Education. Over half of students completing secondary level lack the minimum reading and writing skills and 69 million teachers are missing. At the same time, less than 3% of the global expenditure in education goes to digitalization. It is critical to speed up technology innovation in education to realize learning for all and this is exactly the reason why UNTIL is proud about the xEdu partnership.” Tiina Neuvonen, the Thematic Lead in Education at UNTIL.

The initiative, which will be coordinated out of UNTIL Labs in Espoo, Finland, is kicked off with a true startup clock speed. In spring 2020, the United Nations member countries will be consulted to develop a deep understanding of the learning challenges in emerging markets guiding the Impact accelerator program development. The application period for the UNTIL-XEDU Learning Accelerator will be open in May 2020, and the program will already start in August after the selection process is over. Concrete results of the joint acceleration program will be featured in Helsinki at the world-leading startup conference Slush in December 2020.

Secretary General

"The advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including those brought on by a combination of computing power, robotics, big data and artificial intelligence, are generating revolutions in health care, transport and manufacturing.  
I am convinced that these new capacities can help us to lift millions of people out of poverty, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and enable developing countries to leap‑frog into a better future."

23 March 2018, New York