Financing the VocTech solutions of the future

Has the case for venture investing in digital tech for adult skills come of age?

Date:
Thursday 18 November
Time:
3pm – 4pm

The adult skills development sector has seen massive transformation in recent years, further accelerated by the pandemic, in the growth of digital innovations, such as AI, remote delivery of learning replacing traditional instruction methods as well as the emergence of alternative pathways to jobs, such as bootcamps and employer funded learning. Investment in the sector has also grown as investors and entrepreneurs recognise the untapped potential vocational technology brings to the industry.

In this session, Ufi Ventures brought together a panel of founders, investors and industry experts to discuss the latest developments in the adult skills development sector, the investment opportunities in vocational technology and how businesses and investors can make the most of the recent shift towards remote and hybrid working models.

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Our panellists

Alex Bishop (Chair)

Investment Manager, Ufi Ventures

Alex leads the deal flow process at Ufi Ventures. Prior to Ufi, Alex was an investment manager at Sky, where he worked in their impact fund team, Sky Ocean Ventures, building out a portfolio of 20 seed stage companies focused on the circular economy.

Helen Gironi

Venture Partner, Ufi Ventures

Helen has been investing in early-stage ventures since 2002 and early-stage impact ventures since 2016. She is a Venture Partner at Ufi Ventures, working with early-stage technology companies focused on the future of work and skills and sits on the board of Learnerbly and Learning Labs.

Helen is an experienced non-executive director and works with a number of clients on their impact investment portfolios. She was previously Investment Director at Nesta Impact Investments, where she led several investments in high-growth businesses (Applied, Third Space Learning and Oomph) and managed successful exits for the fund (Applied and Reconnections).

Nick Kind

Managing Director, Tyton Partners

Nick joined Tyton Partners in April 2019 as a Senior Director in the strategy consulting practice. Nick has worked in strategy, investment, corporate development and digital product management for over 20 years, with the vast majority of his time spent in the education sector. His work in learning has covered all age groups from “Pre-K to grey” and a wide range of geographies and contexts across the world.

Until mid-2016, Nick was Head of Business Insights for one of the largest media organizations in the world, the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, where he managed a thought leadership, market intelligence and internal strategy consultancy team for the board.

Louise Marston

Director of Ventures, Resolution Foundation

Louise joined the Resolution Foundation in February 2020 as Director of Ventures, after working in technology and innovation policy and research for 10 years. Louise works on Resolution Ventures, the social investment activities of the foundation, with a focus on worker tech and financial health and resilience.

Prior to joining the Resolution Foundation, Louise was Managing Director at Doteveryone, a responsible technology think tank. She has also previously worked as a business and requirements analyst and IT project manager, and as an investment analyst for venture investment group Blenheim Chalcot. Louise grew up in Somerset, and holds an MA in Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Computer Science from UCL.

Mikhil Raja

Co-Founder & CEO, SonicJobs

Mikhil founded SonicJobs in 2016, a mobile app that helps jobseekers recognise their skills before applying for relevant roles in a variety of sectors, with more 700,000 job applicants using the service to date. Before establishing Sonic, Mikhil worked in Investment Banking.

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