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Hybrid event

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Igniting EdTech

Creating impact through research and enterprise start-ups




Note - Event date

Due to planned strike action, the event date will be changing. We will update this page with a new date as soon as it is confirmed.

16:00 – 18:00 at the Faculty of Education, Cambridge

Participate in-person or online

Taking place in-person at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, this hybrid event will be held on Wednesday, 1 December from 4 to 6 p.m. (Cambridge time – find time in your location). Please let us know if you plan to attend online or in-person when you register.

Join DEFI, the Digital Education Futures Initiative, as we explore themes of EdTech enterprise and research. Produced by the Enterprise Strand of the DEFI Research Network.

Session conveners

      • Prof Rupert Wegerif, DEFI director
      • Dr Pablo Torres, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
      • Ryan Irvan, PhD student

Session agenda


Arrival and registration


Event begins


Session A
Banjos and Dojos – Inspiring the next generation of learners

How can an entrepreneurial approach to education create real change in the world? Our panellists have each started organisations dedicated to expanding knowledge and opportunities to children throughout the UK and beyond. Find out about their experiences and how to take your ideas from concept to reality.


James Whelton

James Whelton

Co-founder, CoderDojo

Dina Fajardo-Tovar

Dina Fajardo-Tovar

Co-founder, Dexterity.Club

Kate Boyle

Kate Boyle

CEO and Founder, Banjo Robinson


Q&A for Session A


Networking break – Refreshments and light snacks


Session B
Local impact – Making a difference in Cambridge and East Anglia

Our EdTech founders in this session each have links to East Anglia. They’ll share their experiences, along with insights on how EdTech is impacting Cambridge, the larger region, and the world beyond.


Sarah Mintey MBE

Sarah Mintey MBE

Founding Director and CEO, Developing Experts

Adam Woodage

Adam Woodage

Exited co-founder and consultant - EdTech and digital PD strategy


Q&A for Session B


Closing thoughts


Session ends

More about our presenters
James Whelton

James is an entrepreneur and software developer from Ireland. In 2011 aged 18, he co-founded CoderDojo, a movement of over 2300 free coding clubs for young people across over 110 countries. James has worked in CTO and private equity roles across the Middle East, Japan and USA. Currently James is building Conjure.so, a platform for behaviour change and achievement, and is co-founder CTO of TokyoMate.jp. James is passionate about self development and well-being, having tested every method possible to burn himself out.

What you will learn

  1. The origin story of CoderDojo and how it grew
  2. My strategies for dealing with the continual confrontations with imposter syndrome and fear of failure
  3. General entrepreneur experiences and learnings
Sarah Mintey MBE

About Sarah

Sarah founded Developing Experts in October 2015. In February 2019 the company won the government backed Tech Nation Rising Stars competition and was recognised as the best EdTech product in Europe plus the Tech Innovator award winner. In 2020 Sarah was recognised as one of 10 most influential female founders in the tech industry, won a place as one of ten companies to join ‘Google for Start-ups Immersion Program for 2020’ and was awarded an MBE for her services to education and the tech industry. In April 2021 Developing Experts was listed in J.P. Morgan’s Top 200 Female-Powered Businesses. Prior to Developing Experts, Sarah was the CEO for OPEN Youth Trust Ltd in Norwich, a Board Member/Chair for National My Place national tech platform on behalf of the DfE, founding curriculum designer for Inspiration Trust as well as a long serving teacher where her passion for science learning commenced.

Presentation title

You are not the sum of you, you are the sum of your network.

What you will learn

  1. Surround yourself with people who extend your reach.
  2. Research who those people need to be.
  3. Deliberately target those people.
Kate Boyle
Originally from London, Kate graduated in English Literature and moved to Los Angeles where she worked in the Literary Department of the William Morris Agency, (now WME), and later as a Story Editor and Creative Executive on Ghostbusters III for Ivan Reitman at Sony, Men in Black III for Amy Pascal at Sony, Museum of Supernatural History for Steven Spielberg at DreamWorks, and additional projects at Paramount, Universal and Disney.

Her passion for storytelling, the written word, animals and travel, led naturally to the creation of a globetrotting cat who sends letters to loved ones.