Ed-Tech roundtable - are you equipped for engagement? - Business Leader

Ed-Tech roundtable – are you equipped for engagement?

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?’.

Brought to you by Cavendish

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


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)

Be sure to subscribe to the Business Leader YouTube channel for more interviews with some of the UK’s leading business figures.

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