Europe’s leading digital education player: Talent Garden + Hyper Island

The global digital education market will grow from $8.4 billion in 2020 to $33.2 billion by 2025, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the post-pandemic era. This growth forecast results from a mismatch between the skills that companies require and the current market situation. In fact, according to the study The Future of Jobs 2020, by 2025, up to 85 million jobs will be affected by human-machine task sharing, while 97 million new jobs could emerge. As a direct effect of this scenario, corporations will need to manage the reskilling of 50% of their employees over the next few years.

Within this framework, Talent Garden and Hyper Island, both having already established a solid and successful track record in the education sector, have recently announced that they are to join forces to provide a compelling answer to the current European unemployment issue.

Talent Garden has been operating in Italy since 2011 as a player in the digital coworking sector, focusing on networking and skill development in addition to space solutions. Over the past six years, the company has grown considerably in the digital education market, providing services to students, professionals and large European companies. This deal further reinforces its focus on digital education, accounting for 80% of its business

About Hyper Island

Hyper Island is a business school specialising in digital education with a range of accredited, part-time and full-time educational programmes (master’s degree) and intensive courses. It targets students and executives of large companies and designs its programmes to provide training that increases knowledge of digital culture and transformation technologies. It has more than 25 years of history. Headquartered in Sweden, Hyper Island has a global presence operating in Europe, Asia-Pacific, North and South America through physical establishments in the UK, Singapore, USA and Brazil.

The scale of the new edu-tech player confirms its leadership in the sector – with expected revenues of €50 million in 2022, 20,000 professionals trained a year, 5,000 students placed on the job market with a 98% placement rate and more than 4,500 start-ups and digital innovators as teachers and community members.

Europe’s leading edutech platform

With this transaction, Talent Garden group aims to give as many people as possible the chance to learn and update the digital skills needed to help guarantee their professional development. “Digital Education is the great social and economic challenge of our century. From the outset, we have focused on the value of community, viewing digital training as the way of creating new talent and helping companies face digital transformation. Today, through joining forces with Hyper Island, our project is making a new leap forward. In such an important but fragmented market, we are readier as ever before to act as aggregators and game-changers. We will expand our training offering for the benefit of many current and future workers who are living through this time of digital transition.”, said Davide Dattoli, Talent Garden’s Co-Founder and Executive President.

The deal between Talent Garden and Hyper Island — envisaging Talent Garden’s acquisition of a control stake in Hyper Island with the aim of creating an edu-tech alliance and involving other European digital schools in the future — will be finalised in early December. The partnership between Talent Garden and Hyper Island will result in a group with a solid geographical footprint in Europe with physical presence in 12 countries (eight already served by Talent Garden and four by Hyper Island), a strong position in the strategic Nordics area (Sweden and Denmark), South Europe (Spain, Italy and Austria) and UK & Ireland (London, Dublin and Manchester) and strategic establishments through Hyper Island in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Talent Garden and Hyper Island will jointly employ a team of 250 professionals and hundreds of closely collaborating speakers, facilitators and trainers across three continents. 

Fredrik Mansson, Chairman of Hyper Island says “For more than 25 years Hyper Island has yearly assisted many thousands of individuals and organisations to adapt and take charge in a fast changing world. Our human centric approach to handle tech driven change truly represents life shifting development for our students and corporate clients. Through the alliance with Talent Garden we will jointly get a substantial increase in the resources to accelerate both companies growth and impact in the world.”

Talent Garden, the biggest community of digital innovators in Europe, together with Hyper Island, will meet a variety of educational needs, having developed a comprehensive training offering broken down into three main categories:

  • Business-to-Consumer: training courses for the digital working world and professional learning for students and professionals; 
  • Business-to-Business: training programmes for the digitalisation of large companies with upskilling and reskilling programmes; 
  • Business-to-Government: professional training courses subsidised by governments to refresh the skills of citizens and workers.

Each year, 20,000 students are offered courses organised on an alternative business school platform that aggregates more than 2,500 teachers working online and at more than 20 campuses, covering many different fields, from user experience to digital marketing, product management, HR and data analytics. Training programmes are rather demanding and can take from 3 to 24 months of full-time work to be completed.

Upon completion, 98% of students have found a job in a startup or big corporation. 

The pandemic has had a positive impact on online education, helping it to increase its reach. Many people who were looking for reskilling and upskilling opportunities have chosen the solutions offered by Talent Garden and Hyper Island.

Irene Boni, Talent Garden’s new general manager for this new era 

According to Davide Dattoli, Co-Founder of Talent Garden and the callout honouree of Forbes’ European 30 Under 30 Technology section in 2019: “The objective of becoming a digital education leader offers Talent Garden a big opportunity, but also means greater complexity and tremendous efforts. To manage it strategically and effectively, we have set up a new governance system with the important addition of Irene Boni as Chief Executive Officer. Thanks to her proven experience with digital and integration management, Irene will work alongside Lorenzo Maternini, Rasa Strumskyte and me, as well as our entire management team, ensuring optimal execution of the Group’s growth strategy”, said Davide Dattoli.

“I am enthusiastic about joining Talent Garden, a dynamic company with a strong focus on impacting individuals and organisations. Having had the privilege of experiencing the potential of digital transformation first-hand, I am convinced that my contribution is even more significant now that the founders’ vision is poised to realise its full potential. Talent Garden has an opportunity to grow considerably in the in the digital education market in Europe, also by training individuals as well as large companies that want to take advantage of the benefits of digitisation — which is certainly a technological issue, but most of all a question of human capital.”, said Irene Boni, new CEO of Talent Garden.

Before joining Talent Garden, Irene had been working for the past ten years in the unicorn Yoox Net a Porter (today part of Richemont luxury group)  as CoGeneral Manager. Before she worked at McKinsey.

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