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3DBear Details

Description: 3DBear provides end-to-end solutions for simulation training that are accessible (can be used on almost any device), and adaptible (tailored to local curriculum). They are in particular suited in learning hands-on skills in vocational training. 3DBear's solutions employ virtual reality technology and they make learning engaging and immersive.

Type: Private EdTech company, for profit

Ownership: 70 % Finland, 30 % USA, founding team/team members own over 50 %

Organisation size: Micro-entreprise

Operational in: Tanzania, implemented with HAMK

Serving: TVET/VET segment

Technology Type and Infrastructure Requirements: Virtual reality technology, also accessible on mobile devices

User Competencies Developed: Practical skills training, in job training, hands-on skills

Connection Required: Yes. Offline use is possible but not recommended, 360 images are big files but streaming them online is fast.

Contact: Jussi Kajala, CEO
3dBear logo

1. WHY

What specific education challenge is this solution trying to resolve: Access to learning in vocational training and access to genuine learning environments and work situations


The solution can be used by/serves: Students and teachers who create simulations


Resources needed for implementation/Offline accessibility: Yes, but not recommended




Read the interview of Jussi Kajala the CEO of 3DBear


What specific education challenge is this solution trying to resolve?

We guarantee access to learning in all fields of vocational training, as well as access to genuine learning environments and work situations.

For example, if students live inland and there is no water, but the vocational training is related to fishing, students can practise it in a simulation environment. Similarly, even if you are not in that environment, you can study nature conservation or tourism in a virtual environment, and experience it and learn. Another example would be studies in which you need to train for a truck maintenance test, but you don’t have the necessary vehicles at the school. Repairing a virtual truck is an inexpensive feat. Not everyone has to own all the vehicles when a virtual model is sufficient.

Where does this solution fit into a global or local (digital) educational landscape?

There is a huge skills gap in, for example, the social and health sector, and there is a huge critical need to teach medical skills. It is difficult to train these skills. Regarding patients, even if the student has read a lot, the practical training situation is important. We train staff in local conditions to do the right tasks.

Our solutions also support training in advanced countries, for situations such as the problems caused by the shape of the age pyramid, different language groups, and learning country-specific working methods.

How does your solution work, especially for new users?

Let's take an example from the social and health sector where students practise need and care assessment as part of a basic degree. First, the teacher may have gone through the basics and given homework, after which the teacher gives the student a simulation task at school or at home. Our solution is used within their existing learning system. The teacher shares the link, and the student opens it without leaving the learning management system and begins to work on a computer or mobile phone. The students play through the learning experience, receive feedback and points, and the teacher leaves the activity. The data can also be provided to artificial intelligence, which can make recommendations. The score can be adjusted as needed. The solution can also be used as a training environment.

How well-known, popular, or used is the solution in Finland? (To what do you attribute this success?)

60% of vocational schools and colleges are our clients, so we are the market leader.

The international market approaching 70% may be a realistic upper limit in Finland. Our NPS (Net Promoter Score) is 88% and we have not lost any Finnish educational institutions as clients. The customer base is strong, and we are trusted—we are very happy about our brand.

How safe is it to use this solution?

We are GDPR Compliant as are our subcontractors.



Who can use the solution, what is the user’s role when using the solution, and what kind of skills are required?

Students of different ages who have the ability to see can use our solution. The solution is mainly for the student, and the teacher creates and develops simulations.

Basic ICT skills are needed. As an example, I could say that even a teacher who cannot open an email attachment can use our solution.

The solution is mainly intended for use by a student, and the teacher makes and develops simulations. There is also ready-made content that the teacher can introduce. Sharing learning materials is one of the big international challenges in the industry and there are different practices.

Imagine a classroom setting: Describe the experience of the learners, teachers and other possible user types.

The user is immersed in an environment that is very lifelike. The use of the virtual environment is alternated with other learning. However, some skills need to be learned in the real world, such as the measurement of blood pressure, which needs to be done on a person. For example, 100 repetitions are required in some cases. But it can also be practised virtually before and repeated, trying to correct different errors. A simulation environment is the best addition and an option in addition to the right environment. It never replaces the real situation.

How are the users/teachers communicating with each other or building community in the context of/inside the solution?

There are two roles in the multi-user environment, presenter and learner, where two users can communicate with each other. Usually the solution is used alone, and we prefer simplicity, especially at the beginning. First use is done at a live event, which strengthens deployment. Problems that are independent of our solution will appear if the customer is left alone without technical support (we never do), such as browser update requirements or missing access, etc. The later steps will then be easy to implement remotely. We recommend communication to be done using a system built for the purpose of learning management and the exercise to be done in our environment.

What kind of capacity building or system support is necessary to ensure the successful implementation and sustainability of the innovation?

Knowledge and utilisation of simulation pedagogy would be an advantage. The challenge is not technology but a pedagogical skill. We have evangelised for this in Finland. But if there is no user base in a certain country, understanding the benefits is not self-evident. It takes time to train teachers to understand the pedagogical opportunities, and for this we implement teacher training programs that have been perceived as very useful. I would see that this could be included in all training of vocational teachers as part of recommended training. I also see that a similar development is ahead in emerging markets.


Scalability, Impact and Sustainability

Scalability, Impact and Sustainability

Scale is a result of multiple successful implementations in a variety of contexts. How can the solution be scaled up to reach a larger number of learners and schools?

It requires content development as a co-development process, which will be tailored to a local fit. It is then distributed locally and introduced.

The implementation begins with teachers’ and users’ buy-in, that they understand what to do and why and what is being sought. What we have discovered in Finland, is that a loose way doesn't work, "here you have some games, try and see what works." What in turn works is "Let's make your learning opportunities better," and a clear facilitated process. Two extremes of what works and what doesn't.

Share an implementation success story/quote to describe your scalability.

Tanzania was successful and there are several reasons for it. The need and willingness was so big that it was easy to do. There are a certain special features in the market compared to Finland. They renew vocational training, the age pyramid is reversed compared to Finland, there is no legacy in the background. Most people are young and hungry who want the new and best technologies now and immediately. Working is very different, the willingness to adapt is completely different. When vocational training capacity will triple there in the next 3 years, there is a huge need.

Responsibility Report:, page "Work in Tanzania with Hamk" from the perspective of Impact.

(The Finnpartnership report describes the Tanzania-Case in detail. Jussi sent a link and report)

Explain your Operational model / Business model

Our business model is different in Tanzania than in Finland. We have learned that it is not easy for a startup to do business in Africa. It's a good idea to proceed first through a project. Everyone assumes that when you are European or from developing countries that you come with your money with you. There are so many grant and donor activities that there is the question of why they would even pay. First, a project must be done, a functionality must be demonstrated that you do not want to stop using. We have received funding from different parties to pilot. After three years, I believe there are significant direct business cases. If you want to go straight to business, you should have a significant budget for it and I don't believe in this in Africa.

Is it possible for parents, teachers, schools, municipalities, governments, CSR/NGOs/Funds to become users/customers of your solution?

It is possible for everyone to become our clients, but our biggest clients are vocational schools. There is no state budget for umbrella edtech purchases in Finland—maybe it should be that vocational schools have access to, for example, the five best technology solutions? This could succeed in Tanzania much faster.

What are your pricing plans / funding models like?

In Finland, € 20,000 a year is a school-specific package and local prices are determined separately.

How do you measure the impact, or effectiveness, of your solution?

Each year, we write a voluntary responsibility report in which we bring out our impact. In addition, we are involved in university projects. In the big picture, the egg-chicken problem, solutions must first be made to investigate them. We have now done 500 implementation processes and have created a new business in Finland.

Authentication of true effectiveness is a difficult and long process and three years is not enough. For this reason, when technology is so fresh, research has not yet been done. Still, we are able to evaluate and develop metrics with partners. The potential effectiveness of our solution, for example in terms of sustainability, is significant when we train the best practices, such as recycling or sustainable development, and we get partners at the level of practical activity.

The research project example, the project on teaching special needs students, focuses particularly on the abilities of autism spectrum students using virtual technology. We do focus groups, interviews in four countries. Based on this, we produce content banks based on doctrine.

Does the user receive feedback on the impact of the solution after using it? If so, how?

The solution produces extensive data through the dashboard, and it is possible for the customer to follow everything. It is also possible to monitor at the personal or group level. You can also enter the data in artificial intelligence solutions.

We are good at the customer interface, in practice we live with the customer, and we get a lot of information in coffee table discussions. Maybe not very scalable but creates a good feedback loop.


Implementation and adaptation needs

Implementation and adaptation needs

They say innovation needs to be flexible, as it will look different over time. Describe the flexibility of your solution.

Flexibility means that you can produce content for whatever topic you want. We provide a pen for producing virtual content.

We see how, for example, nurses are trained in Tanzania and in Finland, and we can adapt and take the right context into account when building learning environments.

What kind of adaptations are necessary when implementing the solution in a new location?

2-3 people from our side work for half a year with the localization of the first local environment. The customer's workload can be around 40 hours. In a professional context, there is a great need for hyperlocal solutions. For example, the implementations of Tanzania, the US or Europe have been in the range of € 50-100,000 in creating the first application.

The customer is pleased when they are the first to receive simulation teaching throughout the country, but they need to understand the up-front cost. We often have discussions about risk sharing when neither party wants to take the risk.

How do you expand into new markets?

It is not advisable to enter a new market on light grounds. Every local instructional context is different. Understanding the benefits and needs is essential to having a serious discussion.

We take into account different requests and visits, but we are selective in terms of market and funding. We do not go anywhere for free, and the customer’s expectations must be clear. Otherwise, it is useless to have discussions.

How has the solution been implemented and adapted?

This is not a SaaS product that you can lightly deploy for a demo, so this is not a way forward for us. Our solution is more consultative in the beginning. Once the need has been detected and there is desire, a fairly long process begins, and the average sales cycle is 6 months.




Who are the necessary people and roles needed to ensure a successful implementation of your solution?

It is quite true, partnerships are important. Networks that allow, for example, local implementation.

Students need comprehensive solutions, and we are part of a bigger entity with the larger ones. However, they often take time and do a lot of work, and the cake to be shared is not big.

How can local innovators, startups or organisations collaborate with you or the solution?

We would like to make more and better joint trade offers. We have made a few suggestions.

How do you collaborate with the ministry?

Our partners talk directly with the ministry, which is important in hierarchical societies.