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About This Event 

In partnership with Cooley, learn how events in 2020 shaped EdTech investment trends and navigate new trends emerging in the US market.
4:30 – 4:35pm GMT - Introduction and Welcome

4:35-5:25pm GMT: One-on-one chats with each speaker (10 minutes each) to provide their trends and prediction across early childhood, K-12, higher ed and workforce training in the US heading into 2021

5:25-6:00pm: Speaker discussion and audience Q&A
Following the fireside chats, you'll be able to ask questions to the speakers and moderators.
View Spotlight Here >


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Matthew Johnson | EdTech Attorney & Advisor | Cooley

Matt Johnson is an attorney in Cooley’s Education, Education Technology, and Privacy & Data Security practice groups and resident in the Washington, DC office. His practice primarily focuses on assisting companies (from prefunding stage to IPO) and investors focused on the future of learning and future of work regarding the wide variety of legal, strategic and market issues in the global education market. Matt helps clients from around the world get funded and grow successful businesses in the pre K-12, postsecondary, and lifelong learning sectors. Matt’s practice focuses on the U.S., Chinese, and European markets.

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Vicky Guo | Director | Pearson Ventures

Business development & investment professional with a background in technology investing and finance. I lead partnerships for Pearson's North America business and invest in innovative learning companies through Pearson Ventures. I'm currently focused on leveraging Pearson's talent and resources to support innovation in education and education technology. If you are a company that is working to improve the quality of and access to education and want to partner with the world's largest education company to achieve their goals, please reach out.

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George Straschnov | Managing Director | Bisk Ventures

I'm an experienced early stage investor, and also a senior executive skilled at developing, executing and sustaining strategic and new business initiatives, building and leading cross-functional teams, and dramatically enhancing revenues. I have served in senior leadership and founder roles with Internet-based ventures including start ups and mature enterprises. Currently I am investing in early stage education technology ventures focused on access, efficiency and efficacy in higher education and professional learning. I'm extremely active as a hands on advisor to BV portfolio companies, leveraging my prior experience as senior strategy officer at industry-leading online program management services firm Bisk, where I had direct relationship responsibility for university presidents, provosts and deans creating and supporting enterprise online degree and executive education programs. I have also served in executive legal roles, handling regulatory matters at the highest levels of the federal government, and negotiating complex technology services, software, M&A and IP agreements with many of the Fortune 500. 

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Jean Hammond | General Partner | LearnLaunch Accelerator II

LearnLaunch Accelerator provides investment, world-class mentoring and support to a select cohort of high-growth edtech and workforce edtech startup companies. Since 2014, LearnLaunch Accelerator has invested in 71 companies in 11 cohorts. Accelerator II’s portfolio has 20 companies from prek-12 and 20 from higher ed and workforce edtech. These were founded by 60% women and minority founders and reach about 6 million learners. Jean was a serial tech entrepreneur, now an active angel investor and builder of entrepreneurial and investment ecosystems. Jean has focused her investments in women owned/managed businesses and edtech.

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Ian Chiu | Managing Director | Owl Ventures

For over 20 years, Ian has been an investor, entrepreneur, and advisor to education and technology companies. He has a deep global network in the education sector and brings a wealth of investing and board experience to the Owl Ventures team. Ian serves on the boards of Degreed, BenchPrep, LeLe Ketang, Sanjieke, and Abl and works closely with MasterClass. Prior to joining Owl Ventures, Ian led the education sector at Warburg Pincus and was a technology investor at Silver Lake Partners. Earlier in his career, Ian was a consultant at Bain & Company and also helped launch BigMachines, a SaaS company that was acquired by Oracle.

Ian serves on the Advisory Board for SEO, a non-profit that provides educational, career, and mentoring programs for young people from underrepresented communities. He is a member of the Advisory Council for Gladeo, a digital social enterprise dedicated to providing career guidance to underserved youth of diverse backgrounds. Ian was also the lead author of Caution: Watch for Scholarships Ahead, a practical guide for students to navigate the complex scholarship application process, which was endorsed by Stanford University’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid.
Ian is a graduate of Stanford University, where he earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, with Distinction, and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering, with a concentration in technology management and entrepreneurship. He also received his M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and Arbuckle Leadership Fellow.

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Benoit Wirz | Partner | Brighteye Ventures

Benoit Wirz is a partner at Brighteye which he helped launch in 2017. Brighteye Ventures is Europe's leading edtech focused venture capital fund, backing companies that leverage technology to help people learn and grow. Brighteye portfolio companies include:  Ornikar - France's largest driving school, Aula a digital campus for universities, Epic  an online library for kids in over 90% of US elementary schools, IronHack, Europe’s largest tech bootcamp and ZenEducate the best solution for supply teacher placement in the UK.

Prior to Brighteye, Ben spent 20 years financing and building startups. He launched and ran the Knight Enterprise Fund, a venture capital fund investing in early stage media and edtech companies in the US and UK as part of the Knight Foundation from 2010-2017. Previously, as a principal with US Global, he invested in and developed businesses in energy, manufacturing and tech.

Before working with startups, Ben was a journalist with Asahi Shimbun and an investment banker with Jefferies & Company. He earned an MBA from INSEAD and a BA and MA from Stanford University.