Stephen Bonney, AWS; Joe Fernandez, Alpaca; and Linda Waters, Learnovate

Alpaca wins Learnovate, AWS accelerator programme

Game-based tool identifies potential reading issues in children
Stephen Bonney, AWS; Joe Fernandez, Alpaca; and Linda Waters, Learnovate

21 February 2024

Alpaca has been selected as the overall winner of the new EdTech Accelerator Programme from The Learnovate Centre in Trinity College Dublin and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The EdTech Accelerator Programme for learning technology start-ups ran from 5 December 2023 to yesterday and 10 companies were selected to take part in the programme. Its aim was to provide start-ups with mentoring by leading experts in business and product development as well as significant AWS cloud computing credits. Companies selected had to have identified a learning problem or need and were working on a digital solution.

All participants presented their solutions at the final showcase, at the AWS offices in Dublin where the winner Alpaca – chosen by Learnovate, AWS, and industry judges – was announced.




Alpaca will receive $100,000 USD of AWS credits as overall winner. The start-up creates evidence-based games that help teachers and parents identify children who may struggle to read, before they can read print.

The Programme is a collaboration between Learnovate, part of the Technology Centre programme supported by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, and AWS.

The Programme was open to early-stage start-ups who are developing digital solutions to problems related to learning and want to accelerate growth and scale operations.

Joe Fernandez of Alpaca said: “We are grateful for the support of hundreds of primary schools who have trusted ALPACA to screen over 8,000 infants’ early literacy skills this school year. It shows the power of early identification and timely intervention by teachers. Winning the EdTech Accelerator validates that the AI solutions we are building resonated with the EdTech experts on the judging panel.”

Stephen Bonney of AWS said: “Every edtech founder starts out with a problem to solve – the EdTech Accelerator has been designed to help 10 of the brightest in Ireland to develop their solutions. AWS has a history of innovation and bringing disruptive solutions to the market.”

Learnovate head of business development Linda Waters said: “The global edtech market continues to rapidly expand and Irish start-ups are key players worldwide, providing learning solutions that are used in companies, schools, universities and at home. Big congratulations to Alpaca as the winner and to all the start-ups who were successfully accepted onto the accelerator to enjoy the benefits of expert business and technology mentoring during the programme.”

TechCentral Reporters

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