Last month’s ASU+GSV Summit is an important barometer for what’s happening in the edtech industry – it’s arguably THE preeminent conference for edtech entrepreneurs and investors. Our CEO, Katie Morrison, and our Founder, Mark Phillips, attended and wanted to share their thoughts and impressions on the Summit and what that indicates more broadly.
The energy at the Summit was palpable – everyone was very excited about what was going on, which is a great sign about the health of the edtech industry (view our recent post about that here). The whole thing had a refreshing, energizing vibe.
The Summit featured lots of people trying to crack today’s edtech nut – what’s true TODAY about education and edtech?
What was the buzz about?
- Much of the talk was on AI and how it is affecting and will affect education.
- There was also a huge emphasis on workforce stuff, including corporate education, credentialing, and educating non-traditional student populations, which don’t normally fit under the standard K-20 umbrella.
- Community colleges are skyrocketing as compared to other higher education options.
- Innovative higher education and workforce education are collaborating more and more – for example, ASU just graduated 10,000 Starbucks employees through their partnership.
What else happened?
- Deals were closed during the conference. The funding situation felt healthy and strong.
- There were lots of new companies this year, which is a definite sign of industry strength.
- Only 200 people attended the first Summit in 2010 – this year there were around 7,000 and it just continues to grow!
- Mark and Katie were impressed with the number of higher education leaders and high-quality, higher-education presentations at the Summit, which hasn’t been the case in the past.
- Mark had 37 meetings in 2 days! He didn’t get to attend any of the conference sessions – many dealmakers don’t. Thankfully, Summit host GSV Ventures posts the highlights to YouTube. (It’s all excellent if you’re looking for something interesting to watch.)
The opinion seemed universally extremely positive. There wasn’t any bemoaning the economy or complaining about education spending cuts, which says something. Education isn’t a place people go just to get rich; they truly care about making change. There wasn’t anything unusual about any of the challenges this year, which is also good news. (No new pandemics!)
Go next year if you can! Although before you do, review our tips on how to maximize your time at a conference. Plus it’s San Diego in the spring – the weather was fantastic, so what’s not to love?!
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