COVID-19 drives growth for Australian EdTech business Leaders of Evolution

Covid-19 is acting as an accelerant for Australian EdTech business, Leaders of Evolution, with remote learning fuelling subscriber growth globally for its digitally based educational courses. This growth comes off the back of significant partnership announcements with teams from the AFL, NBL and Special Olympics Australia, along with a key US-based appointment as it seeks to expand its presence in the huge North American secondary school and college sector. 

According to the cofounders of EdTech firm Leaders of Evolution (LoE), Jon Shepherd and Damian Hecker, the faster adoption of digital technologies by the global education sector over the course of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic is underpinning subscriber and revenue growth for the fast-growing learning management business.  

Athletic Leaders | Team Captain | Leaders of Evolution
Jon Shepherd with Emerging Leaders in Sport students.

LoE specialises in the creation of digital pedagogy – the delivery of educational curriculum utilising technology – via online educational courses focusing across a diverse array of areas including leadership, workforce skills for secondary students and a dedicated program for emerging and established athletes. 

The Australian headquartered firm reported significant revenue growth over the course of the past 12 months as the platform was adopted by 400 + schools globally. Domestically, AFL teams the Gold Coast SUNS, Essendon Football Club, NBL team the South Melbourne Phoenix and Special Olympics Australia are partnering with LoE to deliver personal and professional development programs for their students, players, coaches, and executives. 

COVID-19 driving the adoption of digital online courses

Responsible for the development of the online education content, Mr Hecker believes that while COVID-19 is providing significant challenges, it is also driving the faster adoption and acceptance of digital pedagogy– which LoE specialises in the delivery of. 

“Both Jon and I believe that the experience of what’s happened to all of us through COVID-19 but in particular the education sector has heightened the importance of how digital technology is employed by educators in the delivery of their teaching and learning practices.”

Damian Hecker, Leaders of Evolution Co-founder and Director of Learning & Development
Australian Student Wellbeing Framework | Personal and Social Capability | Leaders of Evolution

“For us as a business, the pandemic has acted as an accelerant as it has driven growth and more importantly the acceptance of our platform by educators as they see it as an effective tool to help them in driving positive student outcomes,” Mr Hecker said. “Despite the uncertain times we as a business have grown substantially over the past year with 400 + schools nationally signing up to our e-Learning Hub – in addition to teams in the AFL, NBL and Special Olympics Australia.”

2020: The year of partnerships

2020 for LoE has been a year of significant achievement with partnerships with the major national sporting code, being one of the only Australian firms to be accepted into Amazon Web Services (AWS) EdTech accelerator and key appointments for the business that will support its drive in the United States market – with the huge college sports sector a key target.

For former NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) student-athlete Jon Shepherd, it is these last elements that are as exciting as the business growth, as it validates the ongoing investment into the products and the LoE brand both in Australia and the US.

“Without a doubt 2020 has been the most significant year for LoE since its founding with some significant appointments in the US market providing us the ability to focus on the NCAA (along with American professional sporting teams) and look at how we can partner with them to deliver programs to sports participants in much the same manner as we’ve done in Australia.”

Jon Shepherd, Leaders of Evolution Co-founder and Director of Business Operations & Development

“Senior US sporting executive Andy Dolich who has worked in leadership positions in the ‘big four’ American sports – NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball and NHL – has recently come on board to drive growth in the North American market,” Mr Shepherd said. “He joined our team as he sees the long term growth of our organisation and how the trend towards digitisation will not go away, combined with the rigour with which we have developed our programs so that they equip athletes with the life, personal and professional skills they will need both pre and post their sporting careers.” 

Empowering learners with leadership development opportunities

Best Social-Emotional Curriculum | Australian Curriculum Lessons | Leaders of Evolution
Year 5 & 6 Students from Ilim College, Melbourne.

For Andy Dolich, President of Dolich Consulting the solid growth of LoE in Australia validates the investment made into a digital curriculum that supports the needs of students by providing teachers with the tools to bring accountability, responsibility and leadership into every classroom so that every student receives the benefits of being in an elite sporting environment. 

“I am passionate about this business because I personally believe that in empowering educators by providing them our products we can deliver positive results in areas like leadership, life skills and accountability to students from all backgrounds globally.”

Andy Dolich, Leader of Evolution Business Development Consultant

“My role with the business will see me help to build and strengthen relationships with US-based professional sporting organisations – by virtue of my 40 years’ experience across each of the ‘big four’ professional sports codes – and education providers alike,” Mr Dolich said. “Life, leadership and workforce skills are the next frontier in education worldwide so at a time where companies such as Google are now moving into the Higher Ed market with its own courses, what LoE is doing very much aligns with the disruption about to occur across the global secondary and tertiary sectors.” 

For media enquiries, images or interviews please contact Jon Shepherd, co-founder, and Director of Business Development, at + 61 400 761 231 or [email protected].

student leadership, athlete development, Learning Management System

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Leaders of Evolution are passionate about education. We expertly design and deliver technology enhanced e-learning courses focused on leadership, social and emotional learning, career readiness and sports coaching for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and the wider community.

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Sean Braybrook

In Basketball terms, Sean would be a small forward in that he's a bit of a jack-of-all trades with executive level experience in the private and government sectors, in areas covering partnerships, corporate communications and commercial development. When not providing a little bit of PR expertise to the Leaders of Evolution team, you will see him at sporting events supporting his local teams.


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