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This year, I am co-organising the third edition of Startup Weekend Education in Dublin. For those who still haven’t heard what a Startup Weekend is, it can easily be summarize in six words – build a startup in 54 hours. If you would prefer like a more detailed explanation, I suggest you take a look at this amazing article written by my buddy Katalina!

Now that you know what we are talking about, you might wonder why we decided to focus on education. Indeed, why not just keep the regular Startup Weekend version held every year at Google? Since I cannot talk for others, I will explain why educational technologies (edtech), and therefore a Startup Weekend Education, is so important to me!

As long as I can remember, I have been very eager to learn new things (I am currently looking for taking some flying lesson!). I was always excited to go back to school after long holiday breaks and I never minded having homework. I was, and still am, an extremely curious person.

However, during my last two years of High School, when I specialized in Sciences for my A-level, I started to have some huge difficulties.

I would study Mathematics or Physics for hours with a private tutor to only get an F when I was at my best! During these two years, I started to have the feeling that my teachers or the French Education System failed me. And I just cannot stop thinking of what would have been these high school years if I had access to educational technology tools to help me. It is true that Edtech tools do not only help people with special needs learn at their own pace, they also help students personalize their learning experiences through adaptive learning, or help teachers teach large group of students through blended learning.

Years later, this question – does Edtech could have help me in High School – led me to write a Master’s thesis on French Edtech Startups while I was working on the creation of an app that combines language learning and AI (if you want to check it out: meet Mr Smith). This enquiry also led me to join Learning Tech Labs, where I am organizing monthly events, and then to join the Startup Weekend Education team. It might be easy, even cheesy, to say that I want to be part of the ongoing change in Education but that’s what I truly want! If that’s what you dream of too, join us for a weekend of creativity in September!

Rachel Fay


Rachel Fay