Jisc keeps hearing the same three things from decision-makers at UK institutions about engaging with edtech startups:

In partnership with Emerge Education, a leading seed investor for edtech startups, Jisc has worked with institutional decision makers to co-design the Step Up community. This community is bringing together edtech founders and education leaders with a common goal of increasing innovation and supporting long term change in UK education. Our mission is sustaining an innovation community that will transform higher and further education with technology. 

We got started when we kept hearing the same three things from decision makers at UK institutions about engaging with edtech startups

  1. It is difficult and time-consuming to identify the robust edtech startups

  2. There is not enough information available to prioritise purchasing new services within limited budgets

  3. Once a product is chosen, it’s hard to understand whether the company has the experience to pass procurement processes without excessive delay

We designed the Step Up Programme to explicitly solve these problems for institutions. Our Step Up assessment process provides a trusted and robust opportunity to filter, select and engage with the companies that will be the best fit for their institution. Our first couple of years have seen positive feedback from institutions and edtech companies alike on the assessment and networking opportunities provided. We are building on this to bring startups and institutions closer together as a community of innovators affecting change in higher education in the UK.

For edtech founders, Step Up provides external validation of their company’s solution, team, and technical compliance from a source the sector trusts. Step Up companies receive exclusive access to a community of senior managers (V-Cs, DV-Cs, CIO and similar) with a spot on the curated list of fully vetted and assessed startups. Startups can expect to see benefits in taking their product through the sales and procurement process at any UK institution with confidence.

For education leaders, Step Up provides the opportunity to collaborate with innovative startups in the UK, and other institutions, on strategies for long term change in education. Underpinning those conversations is the ongoing research the Step Up team is doing to understand the biggest challenges across UK institutions. The robust and vetted Step Up companies that we believe will help you solve those challenge areas are always available for you to engage with here.