of the call for projects to participate in the Open Education Challenge
1. The Open Education Challenge - PRESENTATION
Major changes are required in the way learning is delivered, students are motivated and teachers are trained. Education must open up to new contents, teaching practices and tools. The role of technology in this context is crucial, in order to achieve a better education for all.
Our conviction is that education practitioners, technology geeks and web entrepreneurs will be crucial for changing education. They have the ability and willingness to invent tools, content and devices that will benefit learners and trainers, alongside students and teachers. Modern technologies have opened up a new world of opportunities. Today, technologies seem robust, flexible and user-friendly enough to enable real innovation in the learning process.
The Open Education Challenge “The OEC”, launched in partnership with the European Commission, under the patronage of Commissioner Vassiliou, is an opportunity to develop, strengthen and fund education startups in Europe. “The OEC” consists in selecting and incubating 10 promising startups with a high potential of development in the education field so as to offer them mentoring and financial supports.
“The OEC” is monitored by Open Education Challenge S.L., a Spanish company (“OEC SL”).
Our definitions of “education” and “open” are broad, and range from innovations in the classroom to learner-facing technology to learning analytics and big data. We’re hoping to find and incubate projects that transform education and change the way we will learn and teach in the future.
We provide a number of distinct advantages: connections to the best European experts in the fields of education, technology and entrepreneurship; opportunities to test startup ideas in schools and corporate learning environments throughout Europe; and direct contact with investors.
Europe has always been the cradle of innovation in education. The new companies that will come out of “The OEC” will directly create new jobs and growth opportunities in education in Europe.
The companies we will incubate must demonstrate a capacity to transform the way we learn or teach in any setting (school, university, company, city…).
Specifically we are looking for early-stage startups or projects in their initial phase of development that:
We will evaluate your project according to four main criteria:
All projects have to be submitted exclusively through an online application form on our website: http://openeducationchallenge.eu
We will select the 10 most promising startups (the “Selection Process”) to join the European Incubator for Innovation in Education (“The Incubator”). The Incubator is operated by “OEC SL”.
We will immerse them in 12 weeks of intensive mentoring and coaching with Europe’s best experts in education, technology and entrepreneurship, to help them refine and develop their project (the “Incubation Process”).
We will give the selected startups seed funding and exclusive access to the Open Education Investment Club (“The Club”), which may provide them with financial support.
2. SUBMISSION – SELECTION PROCESS – INCUBATION PROCESS
The purpose of “The OEC” is to invite innovators, education practitioners and entrepreneurs to apply, subject to these terms and conditions, for a place in The Incubator.
An individual or a legal entity applying under the present Terms and Conditions is defined as an “Applicant”.
Who can apply?
Applicants may be aspiring entrepreneurs with only an idea in hand or existing startups.
In the case of early-stage startups, your company must not have had a commercial launch more than 24 months before submitting your Application.
You don’t have to be a European Union (EU) resident to apply. We accept Applications from all over the world and not only from the EU. All selected Applicants will have to commit to participating full-time in the Incubation Process that will take place in the EU.
The startups have to be (or will have to be) registered in the EU.
Legal age: all founders shall be of legal age according to the regulations in force in the EU.
Residence permits: if you are applying from a country that is not part of the EU, you will most likely need permits, residence or working visas for the purpose. “OEC SL” will not be responsible for arranging these for you.
Applicants must have accepted the present Terms and Conditions of “The OEC” upon their registration on “The OEC” website: http://openeducationchallenge.eu .
First Phase: Receipt of Applications
Deadline: Applications can be submitted from January 22nd until March 17th, 2014
Form: founders must submit their Application through the online form available at http://openeducationchallenge.eu. Each Applicant shall register and describe their project following the instructions provided in the online form. All mandatory fields in the form have to be completed in order for it to be evaluated. If you have any questions about the application process, there are contact details on the website.
Each participant may only form part of a single Application per call.
(A) Complete the online form that addresses four main questions:
(B) Upload a brief video (max. 30 secs) telling us who you are and what you plan to do.
You will have the opportunity to get feedback on your idea by using our social media tools and refine your entry until the deadline. This is an option that you will be provided with but there is no obligation to take it up.
All Applications have to be submitted in English.
We will only review Applications that respond to all four questions and include a video of no more than 30 seconds.
Any Application with either an incomplete form or a video longer than 30 seconds won’t be considered for the evaluation.
Second Phase: Shortlist
Following the closing of the submission process, “The OEC” team will assess all Applications based on the following non-exhaustive criteria:
Each criteria will be given a number of points and your total points will determine whether your Application will be shortlisted.
The points distribution will be the following;
Educational quality – 30 points
Technological relevance – 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 score.
Third Phase: Semi-final
Deadline: May 10th – May 30th, 2014
During this phase, “The OEC” team will ask shortlisted Applicants for additional information on their project.
You will have to answer more detailed questions and provide more precise information about your project.
The same four criteria as in stage 1 will be used to assess your proposal. A new evaluation grid will be defined and made available to all semi-finalists at the beginning of the third phase. Semi-finalists may also be asked for phone interviews to evaluate both business and team potential.
Once all this information has been assessed, “The OEC” team will select 20 finalists, and will then contact those semi-finalists who have been chosen as finalists.
Announcement of the 20 finalists: June 20th, 2014
Fourth Phase: Final
The 20 finalists (2 person maximum per company) will be invited to participate in a final workshop in Barcelona.
“The OEC” will provide the finalists with transportation from any EU Member State to Barcelona, and lodging. If you don’t live in an EU Member State, you will have to cover the cost of transportation from your country of origin to the EU Member State of your choice, and any necessary lodging.
The final Applicants will be invited to pitch their project to “The OEC” Jury, comprised of relevant members from the education, entrepreneurial and investor ecosystem. Information on “The OEC” Jury will be published on the website.
“The OEC” Jury will select up to 10 winners, who will be announced at the end of the workshop and will join the Incubation Process.
Apart from the winners, up to five additional projects will be included on a reserve list in case one of the selected projects is not be able, or declines, to participate in the Incubation Process.
Fifth Phase: signature of the Incubation Agreement
Before beginning the Incubation Process and receiving seed funding and support, each winner will be required to sign the Incubation Agreement. This agreement governs the terms of your participation in “The Incubator”.
Below (IV) is a summary of the main terms of the Incubation Agreement including the investment model. All finalists will receive a copy of the Incubation Agreement before their participation in the final workshop (see above, fourth phase) so that they can obtain independent legal advice.
Once the Incubation Agreement is signed, the winners will begin the Incubation Process.
In the event that this Agreement is not signed, you won’t be able to enter “The Incubator”.
The Incubation Process
The Incubation Process is an opportunity for the selected startups to design, develop, execute and iterate immersive prototypes that allow experimentation within different settings throughout Europe.
Due to the nature of the projects and prototypes, most of the Incubation Process will take place outside of scheduled meetings. Each startup team will work closely with design mentors, stakeholders and inspiration partners (innovative educators, technology geeks, visionary entrepreneurs, investors…) to create live, testable learning experiences.
The quality of a team is central to the successful innovation process and essential for any investor. The Incubation Process will integrate key elements of team leadership in order to reinforce teamworking abilities independently of the task a team has to perform.
In order to participate in the incubator, each startup should be able to dedicate two of its main founders, full-time, to the Incubation Process. In the event that two founders from a particular company cannot join the Incubation Process, the place of the company in “The Incubator” will be released to the next company on the reserve list drawn up as part of the winners’ selection process. The two company founders designated to participate in the Incubation Process have to be amongst those people mentioned as core team members during the application process.
You will get support from renowned knowledge centres for education, technology and entrepreneurship:
The Incubation Process will take place successively in different European cities to bring you the best of European diversity and prepare you for global thinking and cultural sensitiveness.
The Incubation Process will last 12 weeks and be split into different periods:
The whole process requires full-time dedication from the startup teams.
Coaches and Mentors
The startup teams will work on their own projects and continuously share their findings, thoughts and problems with our coaches and mentors.
Coaches have an essential role throughout the startups’ Incubation Process. Coaches will be working with each team to help them in the different phases. Coaches are chosen for their professional skills and achievements in the field of education, technology and entrepreneurship. They will dedicate time and effort to ensure a successful start to the projects.
The startup teams will also have access during the Incubation Process to a network of mentors specialized in:
3. LEGAL ASPECTS
Acceptance of the Terms and Conditions
The registration of an Application on “The OEC” website will be considered as acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. FAQs (Frequently asked Questions) on the http://openeducationchallenge.eu web site are considered to be part of these Terms and Conditions of “The OEC” monitored by “OEC SL”.
“OEC SL” reserves the right to cancel, amend or suspend any aspect or criteria of the application or the Selection Process or to change the number of Applicants to be selected as it deems appropriate. Applicants will be deemed to understand and accept that they will be solely responsible for making their Applications at their own expense and risk.
Each Applicant undertakes to hold “OEC SL” harmless against any claims by third parties in relation to the ideas or innovative items contained in its Application. To this end it undertakes to submit Applications only in respect of unencumbered ideas and property.
Each Applicant guarantees that the content of its submission is its original creation and does not infringe any rights including third-party intellectual property rights and that the content is not unlawful, nor has it been created in breach of any contractual obligation it may hold vis-à-vis a third party.
“OEC SL” reserves the right to automatically disqualify any Applicant that seeks to bypass or interfere with the Selection Process or which engages in any untoward practices and/or which avails itself of any practices that may be considered as contrary to the spirit of “The OEC”.
The Applicant hereby authorises and confirms that it has obtained all necessary consents so that “OEC SL” may indefinitely use its name and image in advertising material in connection with the submission process and/or with the activity of “The OEC”, by any means permitted in law, at no charge.
In submitting its application, the Applicant does not grant “OEC SL” any rights other than those set out in these Terms and Conditions, unless it expressly agrees to such.
The information provided by the Applicant must be correct, truthful and complete, and the Applicant must take full responsibility for any inaccuracies. If not, “OEC SL” will be entitled, without prejudice to any other legal means at its disposal, to withdraw, refuse or suspend the rights granted to the Applicant through these Terms and Conditions.
The Applicant accepts that “OEC SL” takes the final decisions concerning the selection of Applications. The Applicant acknowledges that even if “OEC SL” accepts its Application, it is not obliged to select it further in the Selection Process and/or Incubation Process.
“OEC SL” does not guarantee the availability and continuity of operation of “The OEC” web portal and of the services hosted on any subdomain of http://openeducationchallenge.eu, since this undergoes a continuous updating process, and consequently it does not guarantee that this portal will operate in a permanent and flawless manner, nor will it take any responsibility for any damage or loss incurred by the Applicant due to the non-utilization or the impossibility of utilizing the information or services provided through “The OEC” web portal or hosted in any subdomain of http://openeducationchallenge.eu.
“OEC SL” shall not be liable for any damage or loss that may be incurred by interference, omissions, interruptions, computer viruses or disconnections of the portal and the services for any cause, including causes beyond the control of “OEC SL”. The Applicant will undertake all responsibility for the interpretation and use of the information on the web portal or any service hosted on any subdomain of http://openeducationchallenge.eu . “OEC SL” accepts no responsibility for the reliability or utility of the services provided by third parties through “The OEC” subdomains.
Rights in relation to the Application
Without prejudice to subsequent agreements, by merely taking part in the Application, the Applicant will not lose or otherwise assign ownership in relation to any rights that may arise from its Application.
“OEC SL” may assign and transfer any of its rights and obligations under these Terms and Conditions to any affiliated company.
Intellectual Property Rights
All Applications remain the property of the Applicants. It is up to the Applicants to take the necessary measures if they feel that their idea requires specific protection. They have to be aware that “OEC SL” will evaluate hundreds of submissions, many of which may include similar ideas. Although “OEC SL” will not sign any non-disclosure agreements during the submission process and until beginning the Incubation Process, “OEC SL” undertakes not to use the information furnished by the Applicant for any purposes other than those arising from this document.
“OEC SL” and the Applicant retain all rights, ownership and interests in their respective registered trademarks. Neither “OEC SL” nor the Applicant will use the registered trademarks or any other registered trademark or brand name of the other party or any words, symbols, or similar designs that may be confused for them, either as part of their corporate name, or as part of the name of any product of its counterparty.
Trademarks, notifications, brand names, commercial advertising, drawings, designs, logos, texts etc. appearing on “The OEC” web portal or used in the services hosted on any subdomain of http://openeducationchallenge.eu are the exclusive property of “OEC SL” or of third parties which have issued it with prior express authorisation to use same. Any use or operation by any means of any contents on “The OEC” web portal or the services hosted on any subdomain of http://openeducationchallenge.eu is prohibited without prior consent in writing by “OEC SL”.
The design and contents of the portal and the services are protected pursuant to the stipulations of national and international regulations concerning protection of industrial property and copyright, and “OEC SL” prohibits any: amendment, copying, distribution, transmission, deployment, publication, editing, sale or exploitation in any way of the design and contents of “The OEC” web portal or the services hosted on the subdomains of http://openeducationchallenge.eu.
Limitations on Use
The Applicant is aware and accepts that it may not use “The OEC” website to:
“OEC SL” will be entitled to remove any contents that infringe these Terms and Conditions. The Applicant will assume full responsibility for the use of any own or third party content, either partially or totally. Without prejudice to the above, “OEC SL” will be entitled (though not obliged) to reject any contents and eliminate same from any of its processes and platforms.
Applicants will be responsible for all direct or indirect or contingent damage that is caused or may be caused by infringement of these Terms and Conditions. Applicants will likewise be responsible in the same terms for infringement of the rights of third parties through their participation by means of supply of work or contents to the Application, and will indemnify the third parties concerned and “OEC SL” for any damage caused by any claims instigated, judicial or extra-judicial proceedings, including in all cases the fees of lawyers, defense teams and other professionals, due to non-compliance with the obligations described above.
Should Applicants fail to meet the commitment undertaken by acceptance of these Terms and Conditions, they will be liable for any damage caused to “OEC SL” or its related parties. Liability will include immediate, contingent and future consequences. The commitment undertaken herein will take effect from acceptance of these conditions and remain in force and effect until five years after termination of their Application.
Disclaimer of liability
Under no circumstances will the submission of an Application, utilization of same by “OEC SL” or any stipulations in these Terms and Conditions be interpreted as an offer or a contract of employment with “OEC SL”. Through this document the Applicant acknowledges that it is sending its Application voluntarily.
Neither the European Commission nor any of the European Commission officials, nor the Incubator’s partners and their employees or collaborators, nor the mentors and judges can be held responsible for the organization, management and decisions of “The OEC” that are under the sole responsibility of “OEC SL”.
Processing of personal data
The Applicant grants its consent for the data obtained through its participation (including any personal data) to be processed and used generally by “OEC SL” for registration, participation, analysis of Applications and incubation. Reasonable confidentiality and computer security measures will be applied in order to prevent alterations, loss, unauthorized processing or accessing of the data.
Jurisdiction and Applicable Law
These Terms and Conditions and any non-contractual rights arising out of or in connection with them shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Spain. The parties irrevocably agree that the courts of the city of Barcelona have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any disputes, and waive any objection to proceedings before such courts on the grounds of venue or on the grounds that such proceedings have been brought in an inappropriate forum.
4. INCUBATION AGREEMENT (summary)
The Open Education Investment Club (“The Club”) has been created with renowned investors and venture capitalists (“The Club Members”) to support your startup as soon as it begins the Incubation Process.
“The 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 “The Club” until the Investors Day at the end of the 12-week incubation period. “The Club Members” are ready to work closely with you in all business-related matters.
Your startup will receive up to €20,000 upon joining the Incubation Process in return for small stakes in your company (6% on average – no less than 2% and no more than 10%) (the Seed Funding). The definite amount within this limit will depend on the location and profile of each Applicant. This Seed Funding will contribute to the covering of your costs during the Incubation Process, including, for instance, the development of a prototype, testing costs, and travel and accommodation expenses for attending the successive incubation periods in the different European cities. This amount will help your project to meet its short-term financial needs until it can complete a more formal round of equity financing.
The only times that you might be obliged to repay the money corresponding to the Seed Funding is in the case of fraud, insolvency or some other serious breach of your obligations provided by the Terms and Conditions and/or the Incubation Agreement.
On termination of the Incubation Process, “The Club Members” are granted an option to invest in your startup (the Investment Funding) under the following basic principles:
Applicants should also be aware that the Investment Funding is only an option granted to “The Club Members” and not a commitment, as they remain free to make a selection among the different projects and there is no obligation for them to invest in any of the incubated companies at the end of the Incubation Process.
Download the full terms & conditions in PDF