Learnovate – Bridging the Gap

Learnovate Conference – Bridging the Gap

Lexi attended the Learnovate 2017 conference in the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday last. Taking on a different approach from previous years, Learnovate presented a number of speakers from a range of backgrounds followed by a series of workshops for the attendees. With the intention of broadening our knowledge around EdTech, we were interested to hear what the speakers had to say.

Jonny Parkes and Owen White spoke about the difficult transition faced by companies when moving from initial innovation to bringing a profitable product to market. It is no mean feat nowadays. This sentiment was echoed by Tendayi Viki who spoke on the importance of addressing the hidden assumptions in your business model. Great ideas do not always lead to great market products and Tendayi examined the precautions to take to bridge this gap. Similarly, Rob Fitzpatrick presented the downfall of many startups. Rather than creating a product that people like, Rob leaned towards creating something that people will buy – a handy tip when your salary depends on sales.


The prevailing theme from these speakers was one of closing the gap in startups. It seems that with more startups in Ireland than ever before, the formula of what makes a successful business has become blurred. Bad habits have crept into the startup scene in Ireland, with companies releasing products that are either not revenue generating or not what customers actually want. However, just as quickly as the startup scene has exploded in Ireland, so have the solutions to these pitfalls. Following Tendayi’s and Rob’s talks, it was clear that these obstacle generating problems were easily avoided. An example of such a business who was able to develop their innovation into a product fit for the market was Vivienne Ming’s Socos. Combining neuroscience with machine learning and marketing it towards parents who want a brighter future for their kids, Vivienne has uncovered a fascinating niche in the market. 


Learnovate was a fantastic event where pure innovation met an unwavering enthusiasm for teaching technologies. Teaching practises have been stagnant for quite some time. However with technology evolving at such a rapid rate, it seems that there is finally a shift to more efficient ways of teaching children on the horizon. More funds than ever are being pushed into technology in schools and there is a growing shift in attitude by educators to embrace the change. The education landscape is in for a technological overhaul.

Thanks to TCD LaunchBox for bringing us along to the event. You can check out the programme  here .

Learnovate is in phase two at the moment. You can learn more about what they have done to date and their aspirations for future development here.