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Cambridge Judge Business School

Startup Weekend Education (SWEDU) Cambridge!

Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Here’s your opportunity to transform your education ideas into action in 54 hours. Find the right people with complementary skills & the passion to build an education product in one weekend. Design for learning, conduct user tests, receive coaching from experienced education designers & industry professionals and win prizes that will help take your idea to the next level!

Friday night: 60-second pitches that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable education concepts. Educators validate ideas, then all attendees vote. We hope you’ll pitch, but definitely not required!

Saturday and Sunday: Work days! Teams focus on user research, customer development, validating their ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced coaches from the education and entrepreneurial world. You’re welcome to stay and work as long as the venue will allow!

Sunday evening: Teams demo their education products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges. Winning teams take home a grab bag of great tools to help launch their company!

During the weekend of the 23rd-25th May Accelerate Cambridge and ELTjam will be hosting the first Cambridge EdTech Startup Weekend.

Want to know more about Startup Weekends? Have a look at this short video interview about the weekend!

Accelerate Cambridge is the Cambridge Judge Business School’s in-house early venture accelerator. It complements the entrepreneurship programme at Cambridge Judge Business School by focusing on venture creation by teams with a structured combination of training, and mentoring.

eltjam logo

ELTjam is a successful blog focusing on the use and development of EdTech in the field of language learning. eltjam also works with startups and educational publishers in the development of learning products.

EdTech is the focus of considerable publicity and investment at the moment, with the promise of reinventing the enormous global education market through the intelligent and innovative use of online platforms, digital media, mobile devices, big data and social networking. Successful EdTech companies such as Knewton have raised over $100m in investment and are seeking to challenge existing approaches to learning and content delivery on a huge scale. Hundreds of smaller startups are successfully raising money and staking a claim to every imaginable part of the education system. Established education players such as Pearson are investing heavily in the transition of their businesses from print to digital both through internal investment and through an aggressive policy of acquisition of startups. At the same time, media corporations such as Disney and News Corp are moving into education. All of these players are closely watching the current hot topics in EdTech – including adaptive learning, gamification and mobile learning.

The Cambridge EdTech Startup Weekend will bring together budding EdTech entrepreneurs with investors and established EdTech companies. Over the course of the weekend participants will get a chance to develop and pitch their concept to a panel of business leaders and investors with a view to launching a compelling and innovative EdTech business.



May 23
  • Registration at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), collect your badge & Business Cards
  • Dinner & Networking at Royal Cambridge Hotel
  • Welcome and Speakers @CJBS Lecture theatre 3
  • Pitches start (CJBS Lecture theatre 3)
  • Attendees vote for the top 10 ideas (CJBS Lecture theatre 3)
  • Teams start forming and discuss ideas (CJBS)
  • Start to formalise teams and work on ideas (CJBS)
  • Venue Closes


May 24
  • Arrive, Continental breakfast at Royal Cambridge Hotel
  • Lecture on the business model canvas by Simon Stockley (CJBS Lecture theatre 2)
  • Work on your business with your team (CJBS)
  • Lunch (CJBS)
  • Work on your business with your team (CJBS)
  • Coaches start arriving to help the teams (CJBS)
  • Dinner (CJBS)
  • Mid-weekend check-in, updates, call for help and expertise (CJBS)
  • Day finishes
  • Venue closes


May 25
  • Arrive, Continental breakfast at Royal Cambridge Hotel
  • Presentation Skills lecture by Simon Stockley (CJBS Lecture theatre 2)
  • Work on your business. Coaches arrive to help the teams (CJBS)
  • Lunch (CJBS)
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations (CJBS)
  • Upload Presentations and tech check
  • Final Presentations (CJBS Lecture Theatre 2)
  • Guest Speaker: Ian Fordham, Co-founder of The Education Foundation
  • Judges and Awards (CJBS Lecture theatre 2)
  • Dinner & Networking at Royal Cambridge Hotel
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors

Peter Phillips

CEO, Cambridge University Press

Peter Phillips is Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press.
Peter studied Mathematics at Merton College Oxford. After graduating with first class honours, Peter joined the consulting firm Bain & Company, where he spent seven years advising companies on business strategy, before moving on to corporate finance at the leading investment bank SG Warburg.

In 1993, Peter joined the British Broadcasting Corporation as Head of Corporate Planning. He became Finance Director of BBC News in 1997, before being appointed Chief Operating Officer of that division in 2001. In 2005, he became the BBC’s Director of Business Development, and was responsible for the sale of BBC Broadcast which became Red Bee Media.

In 2006, Peter moved to Ofcom, the UK's media and communications regulator, where he was a member of the Board. He was responsible for its approach to reshaping regulation in the light of digital developments, and led Ofcom's work on the future of public service broadcasting, high-speed broadband, and illegal internet file sharing.

In 2010, Peter moved to Cambridge University Press, the world's oldest publisher with a global reputation in its academic and educational fields, as Chief Operating Officer. In 2012 he was appointed as the Press's Chief Executive.

He has also been a trustee of the Crafts Council, Article 19 and the John Schofield Trust, an adviser to the Royal College of Physicians, Chairman of the Sabre Trust and a director of Parliamentary Broadcasting Limited.

Ciarán Rooney

CTO, busuu

Ciarán is the CTO of busuu, a mentor, advisor, conference speaker and entrepreneur. busuu is the world’s largest social network for learning languages with over 35 million users and 20 million app downloads from over 200 different countries.

Jack Lang

Founder Raspberry Pi Foundation

Jack Lang is a serial entrepreneur and business angel with high-tech and internet companies based in Cambridge, where he is Entrepreneur in Residence, and Fellow at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, an affiliated Lecturer at the Computer Lab and a bye-fellow of and Director of Studies in Management at Emmanuel College.

Recent ventures include the Raspberry Pi an ultra low cost computer for education and Moviestorm which makes 3d Animation systems. Previously he was founder of Netchannel Ltd, an early Interactive TV company which was acquired by ntl: where he became Chief Technologist. Before that he was founder of Electronic Share Information Ltd, one of the first online brokerages, acquired by E*Trade Inc. He is author of “The High Tech Entrepreneurs Handbook”. He has other interests in molecular gastronomy and fireworks.

Paola Cuneo

Director of The Sirius programme

Paola is passionate about Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She has spent over 10 years working for British Telecom in various senior positions in marketing, sales and operations.
Between 2009 and 2011, Paola was seconded at London & Partners, the organisation funded by the Mayor of London with the objective of driving investments into the Capital . Paola was Head of EMEA and also covered the position of Head of Asia Pacific for almost a year, running the local offices and personnel in both China and India.
Paola is currently running the Graduate Entrepreneurs Programme at UK Trade & Investments, aimed at bringing young talents to the UK and helping them to develop successful businesses.
She is also mentoring Startups, advising on all aspect of business growth and raising capital.


Ian Fordham

Co-founder of The Education Foundation   |  

Ian Fordham is the Co-founder of The Education Foundation, the UK’s first cross sector education think tank. He is also Director of the Edtech Incubator, the UK and Europe’s first education technology accelerator programme set up in partnership with Tech City UK. He was previously Deputy Director of the British Council for School Environments, Managing Director of Big Picture Consultancy, Head of Policy for ContinYou, the national charity responsible for scaling up the Extended Schools agenda, and Training Manager for Education Extra, the national out of school hours learning charity.

Ian is recognised as one of the UK’s leading education entrepreneurs and policy advisers and has led a number of collaborations with leading technology companies and organisations in the UK and USA including Skype, Google, McKinsey, Sony Playstation, Facebook and Harvard University. He is a member of the newly formed cross government Education Technology Action Group (ETAG), is a Tech London Advocate and is an adviser to the Year of Code Campaign and the Sunday Times Festival of Education.

Simon Stockley

Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School and Deputy Director of Accelerate Cambridge   |   LinkedIn

Simon is a Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School and Deputy Director of Accelerate Cambridge, the School’s new enterprise accelerator. Prior to his recent appointment at Cambridge, Simon spent 10 years at Imperial College Business School as director of the full-time MBA programme and a principal teaching fellow. His MBA course in entrepreneurship was ranked 3rd in the world by the Financial Times. Outside work, Simon is a social entrepreneur and an advocate for trafficked women in which capacity he has advised Parliament. He holds several non-executive directorships and has advised well over 100 technology start-ups.


Hanadi Jabado

Director of Accelerate Cambridge, Cambridge Judge Business School   |   LinkedIn

Hanadi is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. She has founded and built businesses in several industries, including education, online retail and property, and has used her multicultural background and experience with new technologies to cofound Ecamb, a business accelerator aiming at helping entrepreneurs to succeed globally. Hanadi has driven the creation of Accelerate Cambridge, the new accelerator at the Cambridge Judge Business School, and is currently its director.

Hanadi has been closely involved with over 100 start-ups over the globe and across industries over the last three years.

Ben Tristem

Entrepreneur & Concept stage Angel   |   LinkedIn

Ben is a Cambridge based technologist with a deep intuition for systems and digital technology.

A fellow of the Institute Of Consulting, Ben started building EmbraceIT from scratch in 2008, turning it into a highly successful home computer support business that provided a service to one in a hundred houses in Nottinghamshire, a remarkable market penetration. A systematised approach to marketing and operations presented a consistent brand identity, and allowed the company's engineers to provide a highly consistent service.

Claudia Bickford-Smith

Director of International Education Business at Cambridge University Press

Claudia Bickford-Smith joined Cambridge University Press in September 2008 as International Publisher for Cambridge International Exams and IB Diploma lists. She was appointed Director of the International Education Business in May 2012.

Claudia has overall strategic and financial responsibility for leading the development and delivery of multi-million pound, profitable, blended publishing, sales and marketing plans for the International Education Business, selling print and digital educational (school) content and services into 160 countries.

She leads a cross-functional team to achieve the targets and strategies for the International Education Business, while also taking a lead role in the identification and verification of new business opportunities in the Middle East and Asia. She works with Examination Boards and Ministries of Education to support Education Reform programmes. She also evaluates business opportunities for the licensing of content for new markets, digital platforms and tools, and is particularly interested in the measurement of students’ progress through adaptive digital technology.

Claudia is a Board Member of the Global Education Board at Cambridge University Press along with the Directors of the India, UK, Australia and Africa Education Businesses and is a Board Member of the International Publishers’ Association.

Mila Rendle

Platform Technology Director at Cambridge University Press

Mila is Platform Technology Director at Cambridge University Press where she has been responsible for launching a number of new online products and services. Much of her work has been at the ‘cutting edge’ of new business models and technology, working with a diverse range of 3rd party learning companies and digital start-ups to put together new propositions for learners. She has a wide ranging experience in publishing and digital media and previously worked for Macmillan and Oxford University Press.

Kirsten Campbell-Howes

Learning Design & Technologies Consultant   |   LinkedIn

A learning design and digital education expert with 12 years' experience designing, developing and assessing learning technology implementations across a wide variety of sectors, including large corporates, public schools, private universities and education technology startups. Clients have included The University of Law, Eton College, The British Council, Pearson Education, BP, PwC, Credit Suisse and the BBC.

Kirsten's work is largely strategic and advisory, whether it be assessing the viability of large scale technology implementations across a business, advising on new product development or investigating the possibilities of a new market.

She takes a pragmatic and outcomes-focused approach to each assignment, working closely with stakeholders across the business to identify and fix knowledge gaps, skills gaps and any other impediments to a successful implementation. Her clients value her insight, diplomacy and ability to work flexibly in alignment with their needs, as well as her ability to translate complex technological and educational requirements between team members.

James Stanforth

Head of Computing & Digital Education at Eton College   |   LinkedIn

James Stanforth is Head of Computing & Digital Education at Eton College. Aside from his teaching role, he is the lead advocate and facilitator of technology in teaching and learning across the school. He also spends a good deal of his time working with Eton Online Ventures, a new company established by the college to work with technologists, educators and entrepreneurs to develop new approaches to education.

Ben Whately

COO Memrise and Human in Residence at Cat Academy   |   LinkedIn

Ben is an Ed-Tech Entrepreneur. At Memrise they are make learning tools ( and that are used by a vibrant and rapidly expanding community of more than 1.5 million people. Prior to becoming COO of Memrise, he was a Financial Analyst and founded a shirt tailoring company. His specialities include Entrepreneurship, China, Social Media, Crowd Sourcing, Education, Financial analysis and Investment.

Jeff Foster

Head of Software Engineering at Red Gate   |  

Jeff is the head of Software Engineering at Red Gate. Prior to working at Red Gate he's worked on a diverse range of projects from a recognizing people by the way they walk, writing a Java IDE, stitching together satellite images and trying to optimize the fuel mix inside of a furnace. He still enjoys writing code, particularly a bit of functional programming with Haskell. As head of Software Engineering at Red Gate, his focus is on connecting the dots and building a community of practice amongst the software engineering teams.

Charlie Harrington

Director of Business Development at Knewton

Charlie Harrington is the Director of Business Development at Knewton and Co-Head of the Knewton London Office. Knewton personalizes digital courses for students so every student is challenged and no student slips through the cracks. Charlie is responsible for Knewton’s international expansion throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), developing partnerships with leading publishers, universities, and startups. Previously, Charlie worked at Morgan Stanley and The Students of Georgetown, Inc. Charlie holds a BA from Georgetown University.

Eva Barabas

Software Engineer at NHS Choices   |  

Designer, developer and maintainer of Ruby applications, working on RESTful API's integration with current .NET codebase to create Health and Social Care Digital Service at NHS Choices. Responsible in training and mentoring current staff and future apprentices in Ruby. Former full stack developer at epiGenesys and contractor at 196Destinations, an early stage startup. Co-organiser of Sheffield Ruby User Group and Young Professional Representative of BCS South Yorkshire branch. Attendee and organiser of coderetreats, hackathon runner up and wannabe speaker.

Helen Cunningham

Publishing Director, Education, Cambridge University Press

With almost fifteen years' experience in the industry, Helen is currently the Publishing a Director for the UK Education Division at Cambridge University Press. As part of the role, her job is to come up with innovative and compelling publishing solutions to disrupt market norms. She played a major role in the development and launch of the Press's first educational MOOC, aimed at Computing students, developed in conjunction with OCR and Raspberry Pi. Now kept busy managing a multi-million pound digital-first programme for UK schools, Helen has worked in commercial and not-for-profit settings and has a wide range of experience of publishing for diverse markets, including the Caribbean and West Africa.

Daniel Hutchinson

Learning Solutions Director, Cambridge University Press

Daniel has worked in the field of ELT (English Language Teaching) and language education since 2002 and has been involved in a number of different commercial roles including the set-up and delivery of overseas education projects and franchise network management. Currently, Daniel is Learning Solutions Sales Director at Cambridge University Press, and is responsible for working across the different functions of the organisation to identify, target and deliver comprehensive learning solutions to education providers, government organisations and Ministries of Education. Such learning solutions consist of a range of different products and services to meet the specific needs of each client including blended learning and online materials, teacher training and programme development. Daniel recently completed his MBA from the Open University.

Marcus Barber

Founder at Inspiring Careers

Marcus develops new business partnerships for Alzheimer’s Research UK. He also founded Inspiring Careers, a coaching business helping people and organisations become more inspired in their careers and businesses.

He has an LLB in Law from Newcastle University and spent a number of years in the recruitment industry, developing new business and managing key accounts in the healthcare and IT/financial services sectors.

Mark Gibbons

CIO Middle East and Africa BNY Mellon

Mark is the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Chief Information Officer (CIO) for BNY Mellon. BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon has $27.6 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.6 trillion in assets under management. Mark is responsible for Information Technology within EMEA. Mark works closely with staff, clients, business partners, regulators and vendors globally to deliver best-in-class technology solutions and services.

Before joining BNY Mellon, Mark was at JP Morgan Chase for 8 years and was responsible for EMEA Middle Office Outsourcing Technology and Major Change. Prior to this Mark was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for start-up, a funds trading platform which was incubated and subsequently acquired by JP Morgan Chase. Throughout the 90's Mark worked within the Financial Technology sell side, successfully running his own IT start-up and helping to bring IT products to market at Synamic Ltd, backed by venture capitalist 3i Group. The Financial Products Division of Synamic was ultimately acquired by SunGard Trading & Risk where Mark was responsible for Programme and Development Management. Throughout his career in the buy and sell side Financial market, Mark has developed a wealth of experience in bringing IT products & services to market and industrialising their manufacture and support.

Jennifer Mudge

Freelance Consultant

Jennifer is a Cambridge-based freelance consultant working in the field of social development and education. She is passionate about promoting opportunity for women, girls and members of socially and economically marginalised groups such as those with disabilities or from ethnic minorities. Previously, Jennifer worked for Unicef and Save the Children in Bangladesh. In recent years her work has taken her to the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean and various countries in Asia, developing strategies to enhance equity in access to education and integrating a focus on gender in institutional and national programmes and policies. Although her interest was initially in basic education, she is increasingly also involved in the technical and vocational education sector.

Toby Sims

Developer Relations at Pearson   |  

Toby has been working on with the Pearson Plug & Play team, making API content more accessible. He likes making life simple for other people, probably because he'd like others to do the same for him.
When not hacking code together, Toby can be found being nostalgic about his time on GA's WDI course or wishing he spent more time doing martial arts.
Toby finds talking about himself in the third person difficult.

Paola Cuneo

Director of The Sirius programme

Paola is passionate about Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She has spent over 10 years working for British Telecom in various senior positions in marketing, sales and operations.
Between 2009 and 2011, Paola was seconded at London & Partners, the organisation funded by the Mayor of London with the objective of driving investments into the Capital . Paola was Head of EMEA and also covered the position of Head of Asia Pacific for almost a year, running the local offices and personnel in both China and India.
Paola is currently running the Graduate Entrepreneurs Programme at UK Trade & Investments, aimed at bringing young talents to the UK and helping them to develop successful businesses.
She is also mentoring Startups, advising on all aspect of business growth and raising capital.

Leda Glyptis

Head of EMEA Innovation, BNY Mellon

Leda studied Social and Political Sciences at King’s College Cambridge and holds an MSc and a PhD from the London School of Economics. After researching political transitions and the legitimation of change for a number of years, Leda made the transition into designing and implementing change and managing transitions in the corporate world, working in private security before making a move into fin tech in 2008.

Leda served as Head of Services Development for a boutique bespoke software firm working with tier-1 investment banks for 3 years before moving in-house to run client-facing process re-engineering efforts for BNY Mellon. In 2013, Leda was tasked with leading the innovation efforts for the Bank across the EMEA region, driving culture change, process agility as well as building bridges with the world of fin tech and research.

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