An EdTech Foundry in IET · Editorial

OU to offer up to 280k for EdTech to get investment ready

Students using extended reality technology in health and social care setting

The Open University is supporting businesses in technology-enhanced learning with up to £50,000 each for product innovation, as a part of the IET EdTech Foundry, the new online business accelerator.

The Foundry offers The Open University's next step in supporting technology-enhanced learning and educational technology practice to advance learning and teaching.

For projects ready to scale, the IET EdTech Foundry offers a digitally accessible hub, providing an attractive package of funding, infrastructure, support, and coaching, to take projects from the proof of concept or pilot stage to scaled success and automation.

What will my project get from being a part of the Foundry?

We will be supporting 12 projects with a package of infrastructure, enterprise support and coaching from pedagogical experts within the OU’s Institute of Educational Technology (IET).

The package will also further provide the offer of seed funding of development for projects that are able to provide a technical proof of concept of their project, and a business plan that outlines the planned future trajectory for the EdTech product.

Alongside digital resources, projects within the Foundry will have the opportunity to utilise the facilities at the OU campus in Milton Keynes, such as the IET Performance Augmentation Lab with Motion Capture Suit, and the IET User Experience (UX) Lab.

IET with help from OU Enterprise Services will provide market analysis, coaching and feedback from Research Programme leads and educational technologists from IET, towards getting the projects ready for scaled success.  

Projects will be provided with up to 50k of support to protect intellectual property and market promotion potential customers, exclusive access to relevant OU training material and support to identify and secure further investment.

Advanced projects will also receive funding for market development and business development, with the aim to get their products or services investment ready.

Who is eligible?

We are targeting startups less than 3 years old and established companies with significant new product development.

How do I apply to the Foundry?

Submit your application to the foundry by the deadline of March 1, 2023, using the form here. (DOCX 79KB)

To further support you, we have produced a series of recordings covering each pillar of the foundry, providing insight into the:

  • Agile Infrastructure, with Prof Fridolin Wild, Foundry Lead, discussing how a series of software development processes can guide start-up teams towards releasing a minimum viable product.
  • Enterprise Services, with Gemma Maldar, Head of Enterprise Services at the OU, sharing how the attractive funding of the Foundry are distributed.
  • Innovating Pedagogy, with Prof Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Professor of Learning Futures at the OU, commenting on how knowledge exchange can improve innovative practice.

Find out more about the service of the foundry on the links below.

Agile Infrastructure

We offer the support needed to begin your software development process, guiding start-up teams in technology-enhanced learning towards the release of a minimum viable product, an MVP.

Read more

Business Models

In the Foundry, we support the cohort’s project teams in designing and developing a minimum viable product (MVP) or even a minimum value product. This requires considerable business thinking and development. Most notably, this involves building up the expertise in the start-ups to understand intellectual property and associated licensing models, including Open Source.

Read more

Knowledge Exchange

As a part of your project's journey through our Foundry pathway, regular reviews will be organised to idea, mock-up, demo, and pitch your way to disseminating output at-scale.

Read more