The Lab

“The perfect moment for start-ups to conquer the market” Interview with EdTech expert Tobias Himmerich

Within the publishing industry, digitalisation poses a particularly tough challenge for the education sector. That’s why, with Frankfurt EDU, the Frankfurter Buchmesse is offering a new international platform for innovative concepts, content and technologies in the education sector. EdTech companies that develop from start-ups play a special role in this transformation. To find out more, we interviewed Tobias Himmerich, CEO of EDUvation, Germany’s biggest education start-up community. He is responsible for the start-up area of Frankfurt EDU.

Tobias Himmerich

Tobias Himmerich

CEO of EDUvation, Germany’s biggest education start-up community. He is responsible for the start-up area of Frankfurt EDU.

CEO of EDUvation, Germany’s biggest education start-up community. He is responsible for the start-up area of Frankfurt EDU.

 

1. What is EDUvation and why did you decide to organise Frankfurt EDU together with the Frankfurter Buchmesse?

EDUvation was founded by eight successful start-ups in the education sector in order to pass on their experiences and knowledge to young entrepreneurs. We want to have a real impact in the German education sector. We want to support innovative ideas, concepts and applications in the education sector.

Yet virtually all start-ups lack prominence and reach. Obviously, young companies can’t afford expensive and — particularly in the education sector — drawn-out marketing campaigns. Trade fairs are the ideal platform for presenting products, apps or services directly to the target group. What’s really exciting at the Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international approach, which allows start-ups to have a go at being active across boundaries and to win new partners or customers.

2. Why is the education sector such a relevant market both for start-ups and for the Frankfurter Buchmesse?

If you look at other markets such as travel, finance or retail, you see a lot of start-up success stories, with some companies turning the entire sector on its head. In contrast, in the education sector, true innovation is rather rare and unfortunately there aren’t many major success stories. However, in the current debate about the future of work, the issue of education and professional training is becoming increasingly important. Now is the perfect moment for start-ups to conquer the market.

3. What is the status of digitalisation in the German education sector compared to the international competition?

I think we definitely have some catching up to do in this area. Digitalisation in the education sector has already advanced significantly not only in Anglo-American markets, but in India as well. Of course, there are also a lot of positive examples in Germany, but the wider school landscape still isn’t aware of all the advantages and possibilities digitalisation offers.

4. Which visitors and business partners absolutely should not miss Frankfurt EDU? And what are the highlights?

The start-ups at the fair will present many innovative ideas. For teachers, new approaches will be presented. Some start-ups at the Book Fair are specifically looking for partners to cooperate with in the areas of sales and content. So it’s also worth it for established companies to show themselves among the start-ups and to gather information.

Thank you very much for talking to us!

Frankfurt, 3. August 2018
Interview by Frank Krings, PR Manager Frankfurter Buchmesse