There is a growing concentration around the global centers of innovation and technology devoted to EdTech, according to sector fund Navitas Ventures. Its report, “Global EdTech Ecosystems 1.0” is an effort to understand the dynamics of the startup environment in five dimensions: Companies, Funding, Community, Support and “Test Bed” or the availability of education sector users.
Beijing, a category in itself
One of the earliest findings after computing the scores was the absolute dominance of US and China hubs. Navitas decided to go the diversity route. The report is not a strict ranking but a snapshot with “Global leaders,” “Challenger cities” and an assortment of “Emerging cities at different stages of maturity” from all continents.
But none comes close to the 3,000 companies, 5 unicorns (companies with over a $1 billion USD valuation), number of deals and community cohesiveness. Beijing has been designed through long-term partnerships between the government and the private sector to become what Sophie Chen calls the “center of technology, investment and education of China,” and in passing, of the world. She is a partner at JMDedu, the largest B2B EdTech media company in the world, Beijing-based of course. A busy calendar, a cadre of incubators and accelerators, and proximity to done of the world’s top ranked institutions, from K-12 to universities (Tsinghua and Peking included) complete the bird’s eye view of an ecosystem where all gaps seem bridged.
The second tier: the world itself
The Bay Area and New York complete the podium, followed by Boston, London and Shanghai. While only their sum stacks up to Beijing, they do have a much more international profile to show for. India has some notable examples: More EdTech companies are headquartered in Delhi than the Bay Area, and Bangalore captured 4% of global EdTech funding between 2015 and 2017.
The report finds worthy examples for every continent: Cape Town and Nairobi, Paris and Stockholm, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Tel Aviv, São Paulo. The cut off-to be considered a globally connected hub is increasingly easier to achieve.
As emerging countries track higher economic growth rates, infrastructure investments tend to be their main beneficiaries. Even though the majority of the world’s population do not live in an EdTech city, everyone is living closer than ever to one.
Download the report (sign-up required) at edtechcities. com.