I attended the first ever EdTech Asia summit in Bangkok at the weekend, I was not sure what to expect before getting to the event. How many people would bother to fly to Bangkok in the middle of the traditional summer break and spend their whole weekend, all day Saturday and all day Sunday at an Edtech conference. As it turned out 250 people did just that, it was informative and professional summit, with some great speakers and very interesting panel discussions, covering all aspects of EdTech.
I had the pleasure to sit on a panel discussion where our session focused on "Strategic EdTech Ecosystem growth"
As the focus was EdTech Asia, it was great to see how many people are developing EdTech solutions in Asia for Asia. Of course we have the two major markets of China and India where many things are now starting to move in terms of the adoption of EdTech. But even outside the two major markets, if we just look at SE Asia, we have a population of over 700,000 people, 50% of which are below 30 yrs old, so the role of EdTech at a mobile level here is very interesting.
Of course EdTech still faces many challenges, especially if you are looking to enter the public sector in the developing nations of Asia. There is also the issue of funding, but more investors are now coming forward to look at EdTech, not as a short term business exit strategy, but a longer term investment, that has social good if developed correctly.
My fellow panel members, from left to right, Bobby Lui (Director Topica EdTech Group), Jacob Dayan (Founder and CEO EdTech Israel), Lalitha Wemel (Regional Manager Techstars, SE Asia & Oceania startup programs), yours truly and then Mike Michalec, Mike is the managing partner of EdTech Asia and the main man behind the whole event.
Main takeaway from the event, EdTech in Asia is only just starting, its never going to be an easy market to crack but it will be a huge market.