George Burgess, a 22-year-old from London, is hoping to expand his education technology (edtech) business into the US while on a government-sponsored trip to Boston, Chicago and New York City this week.
Gojimo, founded by Burgess in 2009, was selected to participate on the UK Trade & Investment’s Great Tech Expedition, which aims to help 20 of the UK’s fastest growing cloud software startups explore commercial opportunities and build relationships with US enterprises and investors.
The Gojimo exam preparation mobile app is designed to help students study and comes with free assessment content for major UK qualifications, including Common Entrance, GCSEs, A-Levels and undergraduate. The app also offers content from leading educational publishers after Burgess secured exclusive deals with the likes of McGraw-Hill Education and Oxford University Press.
Gojimo is also available in the US, offering content from SAT, ACT and AP exams. But Burgess wants to further improve what Gojimo offers US students.
“Our hope is to forge new relationships with US-based partners and also strengthen our existing partnerships,” said Burgess. “We’ll be meeting with educational publishers and local school districts as well as US-based edtech startups.
"We're quite optimistic that we'll be able to get one or two publishing deals out of the trip and we're also hoping to sign up one or two schools to test our new support for teachers," he told Techworld.
Burgess dropped out of Stanford University to focus on building Gojimo in 2012 and has since gone on to receive over $1 million in venture capital funding from Mayfair-based Index Ventures and Innocent Drinks investment arm, JamJar Investments.
Funded by the Mayor of London’s Export team, European Regional Development Fund and UKTI, the trade mission, which began on the 5 October, has been supported by The Education Foundation who have worked with the organisers to select and support five Best of British edtech startups on the trip.
Co-founder of The Education Foundation, Ian Fordham, said: “This mission proves that Edtech is coming of age. The development of education technology in London and in clusters across the UK has enormous potential for jobs, skills and growth.”
Edtech could represent a major growth market for the UK economy. Indeed, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) estimates that annual UK education sector exports (including edtech and e-learning) are worth an annual £17.5 billion.
But investment in UK edtech firms remains low when compared to their transatlantic counterparts. In the US alone, there is close to $400 million investment in edtech startups each quarter, which has the potential to leave the UK trailing in investment and education innovation.
Other edtech startups on the trip include: Knodium, RefMe, ShowMyHomework and Century. A full list of companies taking part can be found here.