Video debate – find out more about the fast-growing Ed-Tech sector

Cavendish Ed-Tech roundtable

Watch the live panel discussion here

Together with Cavendish Corporate Finance, Business Leader recently hosted a live roundtable debate focusing on the fast-growing Ed-Tech sector.

The debate with Cavendish featured leaders in the Ed-Tech sectors and built on Cavendish’s recent report ‘Are we all Ed-Tech now?’.

In the discussion, the panel looked at the immediate impact of the changes to delivery in training, the standout stars in the sector and also discussed the long-term benefits from digitisation.

You can watch the full debate here and find out more about our panel below.


Oli Barrett MBE


Karri Vuori: Partner at Cavendish
Mike Dinsdale: Associate Director at Cavendish
Brenda McLeish: CEO, Learning Curve Group
Hector Payne: Chief Learning Officer, Alpha Development
Sean Cosgrove: CCO, Lifetime Training Group
Ian Rowe: Senior Leadership Team, GCSEPod

Here’s a breakdown of what we covered during the panel discussion:

Karri Vuori: Cavendish are a trusted advisor that guide companies and help them raise money but is this across all industries? (1:49)
Mike Dinsdale: People may think that no deals have happened over the last year due to the pandemic, is this the case? (2:35)
Brenda McLeish: Learning Curve Group is one of the UK’s leading providers of training, could you remind our viewers of the range and scope of your business? (3:38)
Ian Rowe: I bet you’ve got parents and teachers thanking you for your services, could you give us an idea of the numbers that access your platform? (4:48)
Hector Payne: When I think of Alpha Development, I think of financial services on a global scale. Is that correct? (6:11)
Sean Cosgrove: Your business largely focuses on apprenticeships is that correct? (7:16)
Brenda McLeish: What are the main changes to your business pre and post COVID? Which of these changes are now here to stay? (8:21)
Ian Rowe: The British Government put out a call to support schools and your company certainly answered it. Could you tell us about this? (11:52)
Ian Rowe: To what extent are you awake at night looking at tech giants like Amazon and Google wondering if they will have a crack at your lunch? (13:21)
Sean Cosgrove: There are lots of misconceptions about apprenticeships, I’m sure it can’t have helped not being able to get face-to-face. Would you agree? (14:00)
Sean Cosgrove: Could you give us a sense of what changes you’ve had to make to survive vs which ones are here to stay? (14:41)
Hector Payne: It could have been plain sailing; financial services, a global business with lots already happening remotely. To what extent were you buffeted? (15:43)
Karri Vuori: How typical are the examples our panel have given us would you say? (17:29)
Mike Dinsdale: When you talk to an entrepreneur like Brenda, you get an idea that the opportunity is massive when you think about it. Would you agree? (18:49)
Hector Payne & Brenda McLeish: How has the appetite to invest in learning (and education) changed in the past year? (19:50)
Brenda McLeish: In practical terms, you talk about that switch to CSR, part of the wider ESG agenda. Does that mean you’re having to compete for different budgets? (22:40)
Ian Rowe: I can see how an organisation like GCSEPod becomes a force for good in a time of crisis. Is it tricky balancing between doing the right thing and being a successful business? (23:32)
Sean Cosgrove: How has the appetite to invest in learning (and education) changed in the past year? (26:53)
Karri Vuori & Mike Dinsdale: We’ve heard from a few of the panel about a shift to B2C. From your experience, do you do see this as a red herring or a longterm opportunity for their businesses? (28:57)
Sean Cosgrove, Hector Payne, Brenda McLeish & Ian Rowe: The pandemic has meant that businesses have had to adapt their models quickly. What are some of the upsides to your newly-evolved businesses? (29:58)
Ian Rowe & Sean Cosgrove: How much more of a measurable benefit can your customers see from your services? (35:48)

Questions from the public

Brenda McLeish, Sean Cosgrove, Karri Vuori & Mike Dinsdale: What have been the stand-out deals that have happened in the market – in regards to levels of investment? Just to give an insight into how this vertical compares with others in the tech sector? (38:10)
Ian Rowe, Hector Payne, Brenda McLeish & Sean Cosgrove: Could the panel give an insight into how the UK EdTech sector compares with other countries – is there anything we can learn? (42:48)
Sean Cosgrove, Ian Rowe: What does the future hold for the sector, in regard to what’s next and what role could VR and AR play? (46:39)

Brenda McLeish, Hector Payne, Ian Rowe & Sean Cosgrove: Which training/development/educational experiences are better suited to an in-person approach vs. a digital one? (48:33)
• Final word from Sean Cosgrove (54:56)
• Final word from Brenda McLeish (55:30)
• Final word from Ian Rowe (56:25)
• Final word from Hector Payne (57:47)
• Final word from Karri Vuori & Mike Dinsdale (58:30)

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