Thank you

to the 600 innovators and educators who rose to the Challenge




  • Your opportunity to develop, strengthen and fund your education startup

  • Deadline closing in for the Global EdTech Startups Awards
  • Three tips for developing an edtech product to complement classroom learning

The Results

The Open Education Challenge, launched in partnership with the European Commission, is part of Startup Europe. It is an opportunity for cutting-edge education startups to receive mentoring and seed funding through the European Incubator for Innovation in Education, and get direct access to investors from day one.

Results of Phase 1

Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal to the Open Education Challenge. You’ve shown that there is already a wealth of talent and creativity devoted to reshaping the ways we teach and learn. We received 611 applications from 74 countries worldwide. We were overwhelmed by the quality and creativity of the applications, and it will be a difficult process to select the 10 winners.

We now embark on Phase 2

Between now and May 9, the Open Education Challenge team will review and score all of the submissions. By May 10, we will inform you personally of your score. Everyone who scores over 70 points will advance to Phase 3, when we ask for more detailed information about your project and select the 20 semi-finalists.

The Incubator

10 Startups

The 10 winners will be invited to join the European Incubator for Innovation in Education:

  • 12 weeks – 24x7.
  • In successive European cities: Barcelona, Paris, London, Berlin and Helsinki.
  • Coaching from the best European experts in education, technology and entrepreneurship.

The Incubator offers you:

  • Mentoring and coaching from the Open Education Challenge team.
  • Seed funding of up to €20,000.
  • Access to investors from day one.

You will:

  • Design a prototype.
  • Test it in real classrooms or corporate learning environments.
  • Develop a sustainable business strategy.
  • Benefit from a unique learning experience:
    • Connecting with researchers, practitioners and users.
    • Continuous interaction with peers.
    • Complete immersion in the European market.

The Best of Europe

Europe is the place to be and will be the leading education market for years to come.

We bring you the best of Europe:

  • Collaboration with the European Commission.
    Your projects will get the attention and visibility they deserve in all EU countries.
  • The Incubator’s Partners:
    • Aalto University – the cutting-edge university in Helsinki where science and art meet technology and business.
    • Iversity Berlin – Germany’s most innovative online education specialists.
    • ESCP Europe – the leading European business school, founded in Paris, recognized for its cross-cultural business education.
    • London Knowledge Lab – a world-leading research centre, exploring the ways in which technology is changing how we learn and what we need to know.

And a worldwide network…

...with Mindcet, the leading EdTech incubator based in Israel, and its international partners.

The Investors

Investors with you from day one

We have created the Open Education Investment Club with renowned investors and venture capitalists, to support your startup as soon as it enters the Incubator.

Club Members are determined to help finance the development of innovative companies in education. They contribute to the financing of the whole incubation process.

You will have continuous access to them until the Investors Day at the end of the 12-week incubation period. Our investors are ready to work closely with you on all business-related matters.

By accepting the terms and conditions of the Open Education Challenge, you will give the investors an option to invest in your startup for the second stage of development, at an agreed value. This option is a guarantee for the investors to be able to maintain the relationship with you and your team. It gives you privileged access to potential funding once the incubation period is over.

Submission process

The Open Education Challenge, launched in partnership with the European Commission, is an invitation to all innovators to submit projects, and receive technical support through the European Incubator for Innovation in Education, and access funding for their future companies.

Phase 1

Submit Your Idea

Complete the online form that addresses four main questions:


  • What is the education problem you want to solve?
  • What is the role of technology in your project?
  • What is your business and market approach?
  • Why are you and your team the right people to do it?


Upload a video (max 30 secs) telling us who you are and what you plan to do.

Get feedback on your idea and refine your entry until the deadline.

22 January - 21 March 2014

Phase 2


The Open Education Challenge team will evaluate all valid Phase 1 submissions.

Four main criteria will be used to assess your project and select the semi-finalists:

  • Educational quality – 30 points
  • Technological innovation – 20 points
  • Business sustainability – 20 points
  • Team value – 30 points


All proposals that score above 70 points will go through as semi-finalists. All applicants will be personally informed of the points they scored.

22 March - 9 May 2014

Phase 3


Once selected as a semi-finalist, the Open Education Challenge team will ask you to submit additional information.

The same four criteria will be used to assess your proposal, this time in greater depth. A new evaluation grid will be made available to all semi-finalists at the beginning of this phase.

You will be asked to answer detailed questions and provide precise information about your project.

10 May - 30 May 2014 Announcement of the 20 finalists: 20 June 2014

Phase 4


The 20 finalists will participate in a workshop in Barcelona to determine the 10 winners. You will present your project to the Open Education Challenge Jury.

The Jury is composed of renowned policymakers, education specialists and recognized investors.

Winners will be announced at the end of the workshop and will join the European Incubator for Innovation in Education.

Finalists Workshop: July 2014
(Date to be confirmed)

Who we are

We bring you the best of Europe. Our European Commission partnership guarantees your projects will get all the attention and the visibility they deserve in all EU countries. Our Incubator partners offer you direct support from renowned knowledge centres for education, technology and entrepreneurship.

P.A.U. Education

A privately-owned company based in Barcelona, founded by Pierre-Antoine Ullmo in 1993. P.A.U. Education is a major contributor to innovative learning in Europe, operating the Open Education Europa portal and co-organiser of the European Stakeholders MOOCs Summit. Read more about our large-scale education initiatives all over Europe and beyond.

Armat Group

A privately-owned investment company based in Luxembourg and specializing in private equity. Founded in 2008, its main shareholders are Jean-Paul Gut and Edouard Ullmo. Armat Group is determined to help finance the development of innovative companies in education and to create value for the invested companies by working closely with their management.


Our Partners


Our Supporters


Our Jury

Lord Puttnam
Chair of the Atticus Foundation

Lord Puttnam is the chair of the Atticus Education, an online education company based in Ireland. After a successful career in the film industry, he turned efforts to public policy.

Xavier Prats Monné
Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture, EC

Xavier is responsible for EU policies and programmes for mobility and cooperation in education and training, including the new Erasmus+ Programme.

Pierre-Antoine Ullmo
Founder of P.A.U. Education

Pierre-Antoine is in charge of overall strategy at P.A.U. Education. He is a specialist in innovative learning and social development with a background in economics and publishing.

Edouard Ullmo
Founder of Armat Group

Edouard heads a private equity firm, Armat Group. Previously, he worked in the aeronautics field, holding senior positions with companies such as Matra, Eurocopter and Airbus. 

Teemu Leinonen
Professor of New Media Design and Learning

Teemu is a professor at Aalto University. He has over a decade of R&D experience in the field web-based learning and has co-founded two companies.

Jacqueline Fendt
Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Jacqueline is a professor at ESCP Europe and Scientific Director of the school’s Chair of Entrepreneurship. She also founded and chaired Business Angels Schweiz.

Hannes Klöpper
Co-founder of iversity

Hannes is the co-founder of iversity, a Berlin-based startup that makes high quality university-level courses openly available to anyone on the internet. 

René Ricol
Founder and Chairman of Ricol Lasteyrie

René is the Founder and Chairman of Ricol Lasteyrie, a company that offers independent financial expertise and risk management. He recently left the post of General Commissioner for Public Investment. 

Avi Warshavsky
CEO of MindCET

Avi is the CEO of MindCET, which brings together educational and startup culture. He has worked extensively on technology-supported learning, such as “Kotar,” a digital textbook platform. 

Our Mentors

Stefan Dietze Research Group Leader at the L3S Research Center
Alek Tarkowski Director of Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska
Caroline Bergaud Start-up Advisor at Mutual Benefits
Solange Chavel Founding partner of SIRIS Academic
Maja Pivec Professor of Game-based Learning and Learning with Multimedia
Chirdeep Singh Chhabra Entrepreneur and technologist in systems, web and mobile technologies
Christian Stracke Expert and Consultant in Education Policy
Steve Warburton Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning
Didier Rappaport CEO and Co-founder of Happn
Stylianos Mystakidis E-learning Manager & Virtual Worlds Expert
Daniel Spikol Assistant Professor at Malmö University; specialist in art, design, and technology
Fadi A. Khalek VP Strategic Partnerships, Pearson Education
William Florance Google's Head of Education in Europe, Middle East, and Africa
Yishay Mor Independent education consultant
Tapio Koskinen Head of Infrastructures for Learning and Research
Geoff Stead Senior Director, Mobile Learning at Qualcomm
Jean-Marc Antoni Former Global CFO of Havas Creative Group and Havas Worldwide
Sebastian Stride Founding partner of SIRIS Academic
Katerina Zourou Researcher on technology enhanced language learning
Ollie Gardener Co-founder of NoddlePod
Elmar Husmann ELIG Deputy Secretary General and Senior Consultant to IBM
Marc Durando Executive Director at European Schoolnet
Jean-Paul Gut Founder of Armat Group
Gregorio Panadero Founding Chairman of the Dreamtellers Foundation
Olivier Paulhan Founder and Partner of Paulhan & Associés
François Marmion General Manager at Helios Capital Ltd
Maruja Gutierrez Consultant in education and innovation
Yaacov Hecht Founder of the Democratic Schools and Education Cities
Cecilia Waisman Academic Director at MindCET
Ross Hall Director of International at the Open University
Ursula Esser Professor, Founder of BEB
Bjarne Bruun Jensen Professor and Director of Steno Health Promotion Center
Jim Devine DEVINE Policy | Projects | Innovation
Hanoch Piven Illustrator, founder of Piven World
Laia Canals Content Manager of Open Education Europa
Gary Shochat User Experience Consultant and Information Architect at P.A.U. Education
Sabine Schumann Deputy Managing Director at P.A.U. Education
Miguel Gallardo Illustrator
Sairica Rose Poet, writer and multilingual storyteller