Nordics have always been a frontrunner in education, focusing on creativity and collaboration. Although it has seen a steady rise in the number of EdTech companies over the last few years, still the Nordic EdTech scene has recently lagged behind the UK and the US. This is caused by the lack of synergy between startups, investors, governments and other stakeholders.
Initiatives like The Nordic EdTech Network, EdTech Sweden, Oslo Edtech Cluster, xEdu acceleration program are trying to change that by building a Nordic EdTech community. Their aim is to connect individuals, companies, and organisations from the EdTech ecosystem.
Below you can find some of the recently set up Nordic EdTech startups.
1. Citationsy (Sweden)
Do you remember the painful days of writing your dissertation? Or the long hours you spent writing and editing blog posts? If so, you must have faced the dreadful task of providing proper citation & trying not to rob other people’s content. Ciationsy is a tool which helps you cite books, websites, articles and more with just a few clicks.
What’s more, it lets you create and export references in any style you desire and the best part it costs a mere $1/month. Now that’s a bargain for such a handy tool like this one. Kudos to Cenk Özbakır for creating such a helpful tool and making writing less stressful.
2. Lexplore (Sweden)
According to Shaywitz, co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity at Yale University, early identification of dyslexia among children can help to reduce some of the reading difficulties they have.
Lexlpore allows you to act fast and identify children with reading and writing difficulties early on which means that schools can intervene as soon as possible.
It’s a simple digital reading ability test consists of three steps:
- Children participate in a test which takes just a couple of minutes per child.
- The information from the test is uploaded to a cloud-based system.
- An AI computer model analyses the information before presenting the final results.
The use of AI and eye-tracking allows identifying children at risk of dyslexia fast and accurately. As a result, it requires minimum effort from schools so that classes can be run as usual.
In 2016 Lexplore won the EdTech Sweden startup of the year award.
3. BookBites (Denmark)
Not everyone enjoyed reading at school especially when they had to go through a pile of boring texts from a big fat textbook. Then in 2015 came BookBites to motivate schoolchildren to read by gamifying reading and making it an enjoyable experience.
It splits books into digestible and time-based segments called “bites.” The quantity and duration of these segments adapt to match the student’s individual reading level and speed. It lets students track their reading progress and check their reading history or statistics.
Gamification encourages students to read by rewarding them with stars as they read. Teachers can use the app to get an insight into class reading skills and performance.
BookBite is nominated for the best newcomer startup from Denmark for the 2017 Nordic startup awards.
4. Peergrade (Denmark)
Another classroom EdTech startup to be nominated for the best newcomer Danish startup for the 2017 Nordic Startup awards. Peergrade solves the problem of teachers to give comprehensive feedback to their students and encourages peer grading among the students which reduce 'time spent' on evaluating assignments.
It also provides quality feedback and encourages critical thinking among the pupils. It is easy as a pie to setup and use, for both students and teachers.
Some of the leading schools and universities including, Byron Public School, INSEAD, Boston University, KTH Royal University of Technology use Peergrade.
5. 3D Bear (Finland)
This is by far the coolest and the most fun application on the list. 3D bear is a 3D design tool that runs on your browser or tablet and gets you familiar with 3D printing, AR and VR. The mission of 3D bear is:
To help educators create an environment in which students can learn life-skills that will make them successful in the 21st century – to elicit collaboration, improve multidisciplinary skills, develop a growth mindset and creative problem-solving.
With 3D bear, you can design and print your own avatar, learn number sequences and mathematical equations. You can even plan and produce a 3D model of your own room and furniture.
3D Bear was part of the prestigious xEdu acceleration program in 2016.
6. Fun Academy (Finland)
Created in support with Rovio - the company behind Angry Birds. Fun Academy combines entertainment with education to bring a dynamic learning environment. It offers teaching and gamified learning tools for teachers and kids at kindergarten.
Its array of digital and physical products helps teachers to provide kids with a fun and engaging learning environment.
Apart from Finland, Fun Academy has kindergartens in China, Singapore and the US and is set to roll out in Middle-East in 2017.
7. Gruply (Norway)
People’s attention span is getting lower and lower each year. Advancement in technology and content overload are the reasons for it. Gruply lets you create bite-sized micro-courses and build an audience in less than 57 seconds.
You can create video stories, capture 3D animations and deliver them to your audience. It lets you share your content on channels like social media, email, SMS, and the web. You can be an influencer by building your community on chats and groups. Although still in beta, you can pre-register for the closed-beta to get an invitation.
As you can see the Nordic EdTech scene is hotting up, and it's only going to get bigger! We'll be closely following the latest development from the Nordics and we will share our thoughts on our blog.
P.S. Here's a piece by Annemarie Glaesel on 7 companies that best describe Norway's startup ecosystem.