Education technology (EdTech) is a growing field with a huge potential to transform teaching and learning by providing tools to effectively address variability in learning. Investment in EdTech has been growing at a rapid rate and has accelerated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, specific evidence to identify the EdTech solutions that are most effective is rarely utilized, in part because existing evaluation tools are not well suited to the needs of EdTech. As a result, potential customers (parents, schools, governments, and other funders) struggle to make effective purchasing decisions, which in turn impedes the development of sustainable, evidence-based and viable business models for EdTech companies.
With Scientific Capital (SciCap), the Jacobs Foundation hopes to combine its track-record as a research funder with its recent experience in impact investing to address the evidence gaps in EdTech through the following three initiatives:
We will develop and deploy novel investment instruments that link achieved learning outcomes to financial incentives for EdTech companies and their investors. In parallel, we will also invest in EdTech-focused Venture Capital Funds to learn about the most recent developments in education technology and influence the investor community’s use of evidence.
To trigger incentive payments and structures, we will support the development of appropriate evaluation tools to assess effectiveness of the EdTech products of our investee companies.
To generate a systemic influence on the sector as a whole, we will engage key EdTech ecosystem players (accelerators, incubators, investors, governments, donors, etc.) with the goal of supporting or establishing a label that will provide a rating of the effectiveness of EdTech solutions and serve as a guide for customers and investors.
The Jacobs Foundation invests CHF 40 million in global EdTech research and investment.