Finland´s LessonApp is chosen as one of 30 finalists who will travel to the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai to compete in pitch competition that recognizes leading EdTech startups making an impact on education in low income and emerging economies

March 2019: LessonApp from Finland has been chosen as one of 30 finalists to compete in the Next Billion EdTech Prize, which recognises the most innovative use of technology that has the potential to radically impact education in low income and emerging economies.

The 30 finalists will compete in a pitch contest taking place at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) 2019 on the 22-24 March in Dubai. The forum brings together over 1500 delegates from around the world to solve the most pressing issues in global education, culminating in the award of the Next Billion Edtech Prize and the US $1 million Global Teacher Prize.

While at the forum, the finalists will also have an opportunity to meet the most important players from the spheres of both education and technology – from venture capitalists to education ministers, foundations, academics and some of the world’s best teachers. They will be able to draw on their expertise and support to build products that will work as well in the classroom as they do at a pitch competition.

The Next Billion Prize was named to remind the world of the billion young people – a number growing every day – that are being denied an education that allows them to make the most of their talents.

Vikas Pota, CEO of Tmrw Digital, which runs the Next Billion Prize, said:

“Congratulations to LessonApp for making the final 30 start-ups to compete in the Next Billion Prize 2019.

“The Next Billion Prize was created to shine a light on those gifted entrepreneurs that are not only ingenious, but also bold and persistent enough to bring forward the revolutionary ideas that are desperately needed to transform education in those parts of the world where there is limited access to high quality teaching.

“Our fervent hope is that the prize inspires this new breed of entrepreneur the world over to come forward with the fresh thinking that is needed to help give every child their birthright; access to a great education.”

“LessonApp is a mobile tool that helps teachers plan versatile and high-quality lessons. This revolutionary application offers basic information on what improves learning (explained in short videos) and how to design versatile and purposeful lessons. LessonApp contains pedagogically savvy lesson structure, over 100 different teaching methods to choose from, an opportunity to save own lesson plans and share with other users globally. LessonApp community offers access to a database to browse ready-to-teach lessons and possibility to connect with other users for collegial support and new ideas”, Johanna Järvinen-Taubert, Pedagogical Director, Co-Founder of LessonApp says.

“With LessonApp we want to resolve learning crisis and empower teachers around the world with scientifically proved pedagogical knowledge and resources. Teachers are the game changers if we want to see the big impact in the field of education. Ultimately, we want quality education to help students to achieve better learning results”, Ellimaija Ahonen, CEO, Co-Founder of LessonApp summarizes.

The 30 finalists will pitch to an expert panel of judges, made up of venture capitalists, philanthropic investors, educators, and experts in EdTech and learning sciences. They will also pitch to a live audience of GESF delegates made up of leading education figures from public, private and social sectors.

Six of the startups will be selected to return to the main GESF stage for the grand final in front of judges and a live audience. The best three will each be awarded $25,000 and the winner will be awarded the Next Billion Prize trophy.

Finalists from last year’s Next Billion Prize have gone from strength to strength over the past year, using the contacts made at GESF to sign country-wide distribution contracts, receive new investment and achieve rapid growth. For example, after connecting at GESF 2018, Learning Machine and the University of Bahrain have partnered to launch one of the first blockchain credentialing initiatives in the Middle East. BizNation meanwhile has since been named by the World Economic Forum as one of the 50 companies reshaping the future of LATAM, has hired 11 new staff and seen revenues grow by 55%.

The final 30 startups selected for the Next Billion Prize are:

Talk2U, OxEd, Whetu, Signa, SimBi, Moi Social Learning, Kuwala, Etudesk, PraxiLabs, Langbot, Seppo, LessonApp, Eneza, Aveti Learning Pvt. Ltd., Utter, Dost, Solve Education, M-Shule, eLimu, Wizenoze Ltd, ScholarX, Sabaq, Silabuz, Zelda, MTabe, Ubongo, Fineazy, TeachPitch, Big Picture Learning/Imblaze, and Augmented Learning.

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Notes to editors:

For further information about the Global Education and Skills Forum please visit:

The Next Billion Prize will be part of the EdTech@GESF track of the conference, and all the finalists attending the GESF will have an opportunity to participate in:

  • Ministerial Mentoring – This is an opportunity for startups to hear from current and former education ministers about what makes EdTech solutions attractive from a government’s perspective, and for ministers to learn directly about new technologies that can make a difference to their nations.
  • Investment connections – An unrivalled opportunity to meet venture capital and impact investors from Silicon Valley and beyond.
  • Learning Science Mentoring – Startups will be able to hear from the brightest minds in learning science, including world leading academics from institutions such as the Jakobs Foundation.
  • Foundation Consultation – An opportunity to meet some of the world’s leading foundations such as the Omidyar Foundation to discuss how they measure impact and their criteria for awarding funds.
  • Teacher Meet – An opportunity to meet finalists of the Global Teacher Prize that are already successfully implementing EdTech solutions across the world.
  • Academic Research – An opportunity to meet some of the world’s leading academics in EdTech; from leading Universities and research institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, Stanford and Harvard Universities.


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