Back brings sparks to learning: signs a deal with GEMS Education

15-11-2016 brings sparks to learning: signs a deal with GEMS Education is a Finnish educational game start-up. It is a born-global company that combines social learning and versatile ways of using mobile technology in its games. Now brings sparks to learning in the Middle East – and gradually all over the world via GEMS Education.
Mr. Riku Alkio and Ms. Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education and Culture of Finland, together with the Chairman Sunny Varkey and CEO/Principal Michael Gernon from GEMS Education in Dubai in October 2016.
Seppo makes learning fun!
Visitors at Finland House in the Rio Olympics enjoyed the seppo game.

The educational seppo games take students outside the classroom to explore in a real environment and challenge them to solve problems together. Also GEMS Education, the world's largest chain of private schools with around 300 000 pupils in 90 schools globally, uses seppo games to teach in a way that inspires and motivates students. and GEMS Education signed a commercial cooperation agreement in November 2016. The agreement will expand the use of seppo gradually to all GEMS Educational institutions around the world.


"The game is a great educational tool. We have used seppo already in many subjects. Seppo represents a new way of learning, in which students can take advantage of technology in an incredibly versatile and pedagogically sound way,” describes Helen Loxton-Baker, Assistant Director of AHSL (Arts, Humanities, Sports & Leisure) of GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis.


GEMS Education piloted seppo games already during the spring semester 2016. Signing the agreement between and GEMS Education was facilitated by a Team Finland business delegation visit to United Arab Emirates, led by Ms. Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education and Culture of Finland., among other Finnish education companies, participated the visit. The deal opens up wider cooperation possibilities between Finnish educational technology companies and GEMS Education, stresses Riku Alkio, Co-Founder and CEO of


"Our cooperation with GEMS proves that Finnish innovation thrives when it is done properly. The agreement is a significant step to, especially in the Gulf region. GEMS Education is an important reference company for us locally, but also internationally.” is an active member of Education Export Finland (EEF), a Team Finland growth program managed by Finpro.


“Being an EEF member has opened many doors for us. In the end, it is our duty to do the work, but EEF has been really supportive and helped us greatly.”


Cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Education

In addition to the deal with GEMS, Seppo will start cooperation also with the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education.


"We will, together with the UAE Ministry, gamify National Innovation Weekend event at the end of November2016," Alkio reveals.


The game designed for the event will be carried out entirely in Arabic.


"We have designed seppo so that it runs natively also in Arabic. Seppo can easily be applied to all languages and cultural areas."


Gamifying Finland House in Rio Olympics: excellent reference has received a lot of positive visibility and references this year. The company was present at Finland House in the Rio Olympic Games in August 2016. The Finnish hospitality house was a great success and hosted 35 000 visitors. The visitors got the chance to learn about Finnish sports, culture, nature, excellence in education and cleantech by playing the seppo game. Many visitors went wild with the interactive and fun game, some of the visiting groups spent even six hours by playing the game, in which Finland was introduced as a travel destination and country of world-class education and cleantech know-how. (See a short video showing how a Brazilian couple finds the game.)


Riku Alkio was overwhelmed by the success of the game and how much publicity Finland House received in local media. Brazil is a new market for the company. Being at Finland House in Rio opened up cooperation possibilities with local universities.


Alkio tells that in addition to important contacts and leads, Rio House provided the company a perfect opportunity to test and develop their concept of gamifying a large event.


“Educational games are our main product. However, we are also more and more expanding our product line into gamifying large events and fairs. Gamifying Finland House was an important step in testing our concept. The success of the game also provides us a very important reference,” Alkio rejoices.



Seppo is a tool for teachers to build their own learning game in any environment (school yard, city center, shopping center etc.) Seppo games take students out of the classrooms and support phenomenon-based and collaborative learning in versatile ways.


Around 6000 teachers have access to seppo. About 60 0000 students in over ten countries have played games built on the seppo platform. The company focuses on international growth, and will expand its operations internationally, the Netherlands being one of the next focus countries.