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Ward Hadaway acts for The British Educational Suppliers Association on a new joint venture to run EdTech Exchange

The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and Founders Exchange Ltd (FEL) today announced a new joint venture to run EdTech Exchange, which will be the largest European network of EdTech entrepreneurs.

Frank Suttie, a Partner in the Commercial team at Ward Hadaway

EdTech Exchange was started by FEL in 2014 and provides members with mentoring, support and a programme of events designed to share best practice through peer-to-peer learning. The Exchange brings together like-minded EdTech entrepreneurs, encouraging them to exchange ideas, swap war stories and share advice with their peers. It is solely for founders of EdTech companies who have raised at least £100,000 in financing or revenue, with many members having raised significantly more.

EdTech Exchange Ltd will be a 50/50 Joint Venture between BESA and FEL, with George Burgess, who co-founded the Exchange in 2014 becoming Chair of the Board. He will be joined on the board by BESA’s Director General, Caroline Wright, and Director, Patrick Hayes.

George Burgess said: “EdTech Exchange started four years ago with a small group of founders having dinner in a pub. Today it is one of the most influential EdTech groups in the UK. Our mission is to support, represent and connect the EdTech community and combining our efforts with BESA will enable us to do this even more effectively at scale.”

Caroline Wright, Director General of BESA, who is joining the EdTech Exchange board, said: “Not only is the UK’s EdTech sector world-leading in terms of its products and services, it is also unparalleled in terms of its level of collaboration to develop initiatives that have a transformative nature in classrooms across the globe. In our celebration of idea-sharing and networking, BESA and Founders Exchange are kindred spirits and are brilliantly positioned to partner to make EdTech Exchange an international community of EdTech founders that is unrivalled in its scale or influence.”

BESA will take on the operational running of EdTech Exchange, overseen by Director Patrick Hayes. Hayes said: “With EdTech Exchange, George Burgess has created something incredibly special. Over the coming months, our team are looking forward to working with him to scale the number of EdTech Exchange events and opportunities for founders to meet and share ideas in venues around the world. Whether in America, China or – of course – the UK, we will be sure to maintain the same unique spirit and buzzy atmosphere of collaboration and idea-sharing that EdTech founders love about the Exchange.

“The Joint Venture was made possible through the fantastic support and expertise of our legal teams, Ward Hadaway – acting for BESA – and JagShaw Baker – acting on behalf of Founders Exchange Limited. On behalf of the board, we would like to express our thanks for making this possible.”

Frank Suttie, a Partner in the Commercial team at Ward Hadaway, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support BESA on the development of this joint venture which represents a commitment by our clients to support the further development of the organisation.

“The UK is one of the most active countries for innovation within education and this is an exciting development for everyone concerned.”

Tina Baker, co-founder and partner of JAG Shaw Baker, said: “It has been a great pleasure for our team to be involved with EdTech exchange and to be able to help them create this meaningful partnership and to create this much-needed network of European EdTech entrepreneurs.”

“It’s important to support education initiatives of every kind and set a precedent that will impact not only this growing entrepreneurial community but the thousands of people that will benefit from the technology and services that can emerge from that community.”

The announcement about EdTech Exchange was made today at the Bett Show, London.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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