Sourcing Europe's Best EdTech Startups for Collaboration With Sanoma

We were pleasantly surprised by the diversity and the high quality of the startups that applied ... the challenge has already given us interesting new connections for both SanomaVentures, for potential investments, as for Sanoma Learning for future cooperation and partnerships
Investment Director
Herman Kienhuis

Strategic Deal Flow: A Win-Win

For this project we were entrusted with finding hopeful EdTech startups with the potential to grow their business together with Sanoma, the Nordic region’s leading media and learning company.

Promising startups were invited to participate in the “Sanoma Startup Challenge - the future of learning,” an event which we designed and delivered to discover promising startup talent.

Sanoma Ventures came to us looking for ways to find high quality deal flow for their newly formed corporate venture fund.

The Future of Learning

The media and education space has been making a steady shift away from traditional print and television to new models of delivery and distribution. Seeing the trend, Sanoma sought to partner and invest in startups that could provide different ways to reach students, distribute information and produce content.

5 Converge to Compete in Amsterdam

Using our existing networks through our Startupbootcamp programs and dedicated research team we began surveying Europe for startups that could supply innovative shifts in Sanoma’s business model.

Our efforts spanned 22 European countries. We evaluated over 500 startups, encouraging over 100 high quality applications. From these, we hand-picked the best 50 to participate in the challenge.

The top 5 teams won an all-expenses paid trip to Amsterdam for the competition Final.

Pushing for Collaboration

The two-day competition offered startups the chance to work with mentors, Sanoma executives, Sanoma Learning industry experts and SanomaVenture’s investment team.

By exposing startups to these potential partners and customers, we pushed them to evolve their ideas, while demonstrating the potential benefits of collaboration between corporations and startups.

"Our efforts spanned 22 European countries. We evaluated over 500 startups, encouraging over 100 high quality applications. From these, we hand-picked the best 50 to participate in the challenge."

Value for Both Sides of the Table

As a part of the Sanoma Startup Challenge, the startups were given the opportunity to make their final pitch at THENEXTWEB conference in Amsterdam, live on stage in front of Sanoma executives, investors and the full conference crowd.

Ultimately, a Danish startup, Labster, which offers next generation laboratory simulations, was named the winner, receiving a cash prize of €25,000.

To date, Sanoma has invested in 18 different ed-tech startups.

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