The team from Nightzookeeper (who last spoke at #LEGup one year ago) have kindly invited us to their offices at Wayra, Latin American startup accelerator. We'll hear about what Nightzookeeper has been up to in the last year, and how investment has made a difference to their business.
We'll also be hosting a panel discussion on investment opportunities. Confirmed panel members so far are Richard Taylor, who has many years of experience across the edtech sector, as an entrepreneur, investor, adviser and mentor. He'll be giving us the benefit of his experience setting up, attracting investment for, and selling businesses such as Tutpup (http://www.tutpup.com/), the maths and English site purchased by Mind Candy.
In addition we have Alliott Cole, a Principal in the Ventures team at Octopus (http://www.octopusinvestments.com/ventureshome.html?ClickThrough=6). Octopus are "straight talking human investors that back talented people rather than specific sectors." They focus on "identifying fast growth businesses which can scale explosively to create, transform or dominate an industry." They can invest from £250,000 to £5 million and prefer to partner teams based in the UK. Companies they have backed include Zoopla (http://www.zoopla.co.uk/);Graze.com (http://www.graze.com/); SwiftKey (http://www.swiftkey.net/); and, Secret Escapes (http://www.secretescapes.com/).
Also on the panel is Edd Stockwell, elearning Market Specialist. Edd interspersed entrepreneurship with finance for a couple of years before co-founding Tutorfair.com in 2012. His research in 2011 was on the elearning market across Europe. He spoke with about 250 European elearning companies, looking at their competitor set, calling up potential buyers and funds, and matching the two. You can buy his full report for £500 or hear the summary and pick his brains here.
Most venture capital activity is focused on raising larger sums for more established companies. Edd's talk tonight focuses more on early-stage funding and valuation in the education space.
We'll also hopefully be hearing about a forthcoming competition for edtech startups.
The team from Nightzookeeper are also running Startup Weekend Edu in January. It's a hack weekend which offers fledgling startups great exposure and the change to get a leg up (ho ho ho) in the notoriously difficult edtech market. They have very generously offered a 50% discount to #LEGup members. To take advantage of this, you'll need to go to http://londonedu.startupweekend.org/ and enter the discount code 'LEGup'.