Ireland’s first ‘Digital Champion’, Lord David Puttnam, has opened the Versari Hub, a facility for early-stage learning technologies companies, in Dublin.
The Versari Hub will provide access to capital and ‘real-time’ expertise for early to later stage businesses developing learning or educational technology products. The Hub aims to provide the elements required by these companies to scale and grow.
The 6,000 square foot Versari Hub, located on Dublin’s Mount Street Lower, has been established by Alan Maguire and Jonny Parkes. Both are educational technology experts and entrepreneurs with track records in building global businesses.
“Unlike Accelerator-type initiatives, the Versari Hub model is open-ended, providing high performance support for start-ups in the context of real-life business execution – all until they can do it on their own. I care passionately about technology, education & entrepreneurship and this new Hub provides a ground-breaking solution that supports & drives all three,” says Lord Puttnam.
“There are huge inefficiencies when multiple start-ups get distracted doing the same non-core things independently. Versari brings the power of the collective together to provide a community and a solution that these businesses could not realise on their own. We’re creating a knowledge exchange ecosystem,” says Alan Maguire.
Companies already at the Hub have raised over €8m in capital to date, employ over 100 people and are actively recruiting. Expenditure on learning technologies is projected to grow at 23% per annum leading to a $250bn global market by 2017 across all education and corporate sectors.
Companies already located in the Hub include Blikbook, Empower The User, and Adaptemy who, between them, provide education solutions to the school, higher education and corporate sectors.
The Versari Hub has a number of key strategic partners including Leaf Investments, an early stage investor in learning technology businesses which is backed by Folens Publishers.