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25 Sep

Dealmaker Series: The Future of Higher Education

4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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On September 25th ODP Hosted the Dealmakers Future of Higher Education Summit

The higher education industry is facing disruption.  On September 25, 2018 Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips brought together senior executives and thought leaders to discuss how new learning styles, tech innovations, and rapidly increasing workplace requirements are causing major shifts to higher education.  The speakers included Founders, CEOs, Presidents, and senior executives from Cengage, Hobsons, Inside Higher Ed, Junction Education, Kaplan, Leeds Equity, LinkedIn, and University of Phoenix. 

The first panel titled The Future of Higher Ed: Where to Place Your Investment Bets discussed that the higher ed market is changing…slowly, but there are definitely certain areas that are seeing some transformation.  What was pretty stunning on this panel was the realization that just one of the areas of focus in higher ed for Linkedin is smartly using advanced data analytics to assist universities with their ROI and what value they are actually bringing (or not bringing) to students long-term.  They are also assisting students in assessing which higher ed institutions will most likely help them achieve a lucrative career.  Eric Geveda of Leeds Equity pointed out the myriad of alternative credentials that are now available, and growing, for high school graduates and adults outside of universities and colleges.  Vineet Madan, CEO of Junction Education, pulled the curtain back on what you need to have a successful new company in higher ed: solve a problem, hear students’/universities’ needs, and deliver your service in a way to capture “engagement,” because without “engagement” your offering will not be successful.

The second panel titled What Should My Strategy Be: Does the Future of Higher Ed Look Like the Future of Retail?  featured CEOs and Presidents of some of the largest higher ed companies in the industry.  Their passion and focus on helping today’s students and trying to better a higher ed system that is challenging were evident.  Also, the ways that they are testing out new ideas in this market was extraordinary.  Everything from Cengage Unlimited, where students pay $179.99 for one year and have access to ALL of Cengage’s higher ed digital content (less for 4 months and slightly more for 2 years), to the University of Phoenix having a similarly compelling cost structure for access to all of the digital textbooks a student will need for his/her courses.  Additionally, Kaplan and Hobsons Starfish being creative in serving the needs of today’s target audience, be they students or working adults.  The directions being planned by each of these top-level executives was impactful and eye-opening.

Approximately 100 PE, VC, Corporate Development, Business Development, as well as C-Level executives, entrepreneurs, and founders gathered to join the conversation.  

About the Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips Dealmakers Series

Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips has hosted the landmark annual Dealmakers Summit for nearly twenty years. It is the seminal event in the firm’s Dealmakers Series, which are topical, invitation-only discussions for the top dealmakers and operators in the Media, Advertising & Marketing, Education, Technology, Healthcare, and Private Equity industries. Each event focuses on a specific aspect of the M&A landscape and features innovators in that sector – in this case, higher education. The events approach the discussion through the lens of M&A. They feature industry experts discussing the future of the media and technology industries, specifically focusing on recent and imminent notable transactions, as well as emerging trends and opportunities in our space. We bring together influential leaders for stimulating discussions, valuable networking opportunities and engaging programming.


Kate Cassino
CEO, Hobsons

Peter Cohen
President, University of Phoenix

Paul Fain
Editor, Inside Higher Ed

Eric M. Geveda
Principal, Leeds Equity

Michael Hansen
CEO, Cengage

Vineet Madan
Founder & CEO, Junction Education

Jessica Naeve
Marketing Solutions Director, Education, LinkedIn

Andrew Rosen
CEO, Kaplan


Date: September 25, 2018
Time: 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event CategoryHosted