The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) is to take on the operational running of start-up mentoring organisation EdTech Exchange, in a joint venture with its original founders which aims to expand the Exchange internationally.
Founders Exchange Ltd (FEL), which set up the EdTech Exchange in 2014, will combine forces with BESA in a 50/50 venture. EdTech Exchange co-founder George Burgess will become chair of the Board, with BESA's director general Caroline Wright and director Patrick Hayes also as Board members. Hayes will oversee the running of the Exchange.
The Exchange provides members with mentoring, support and a programme of events designed to share best practice through peer-to-peer learning. It is solely for founders of EdTech companies who have raised at least £100,000 in financing or revenue.
BESA represents almost 400 UK education suppliers and is the founder of the annual BETT education technology show, which opens today (Wednesday 24th January) at London's Excel Centre.
Burgess said: “EdTech Exchange started four years ago with a small group of founders having dinner in a pub. Today it is one of the most influential EdTech groups in the UK. Our mission is to support, represent and connect the EdTech community and combining our efforts with BESA will enable us to do this even more effectively at scale.”
Wright added: “Not only is the UK’s EdTech sector world-leading in terms of its products and services, it is also unparalleled in terms of its level of collaboration to develop initiatives that have a transformative nature in classrooms across the globe. In our celebration of idea-sharing and networking, BESA and Founders Exchange are kindred spirits and are brilliantly positioned to partner to make EdTech Exchange an international community of EdTech founders that is unrivalled in its scale or influence.”
Hayes said: “With EdTech Exchange, George Burgess has created something incredibly special. Over the coming months, our team are looking forward to working with him to scale the number of EdTech Exchange events and opportunities for founders to meet and share ideas in venues around the world. Whether in America, China or – of course – the UK, we will be sure to maintain the same unique spirit and buzzy atmosphere of collaboration and idea-sharing that EdTech founders love about the Exchange."