Keynote 2: In the Dragon’s Den – opportunities in Asia

Keynote Presentation Video & Keynote Presentation Slides

Karl Engkvist

Based in Hong Kong, Karl is the Senior Vice President, Business Development, Asia Pacific, for leading education company Pearson.  He joined Pearson in January 2012, having spent around 20 years in education services and education technology positions in the USA and Asia.

The early years

Early in his career, Karl worked at The Princeton Review managing a series of operations that delivered test preparation services to students preparing for high-stakes tests in the USA. such as the SAT, GMAT, and GRE. He was responsible for a turnaround that tripled its sales in an 18 month period, and also for top line growth rates in excess of 20% in some of the largest territories in the company.


In 1999 Karl joined a startup called Blackboard that saw an opportunity to harness the internet to enable anytime, anywhere learning. During his tenure the company grew from a single e-learning platform company to a multi-product, global entity with several hundred million dollars of turnover per year. Pearson’s investment in Blackboard in 2000 led to his involvement in the early stages of CourseCompass.


During his eleven years at Blackboard, Karl had such roles as VP of Business Development, Vice President of Integration, Senior Vice President of International, and Chief Operating Officer of Cerbibo, a joint venture between Blackboard and CERNET, a spinoff of China’s Ministry of Education.


Today, Karl is providing regional leadership of business development and strategy for Pearson, which is rapidly transforming to a full services education provider.  His focus is on China, Korea and Indonesia and business development initiatives include new business models and organic product/service development as well as participation in M&A initiatives.  His strategy work includes setting the direction for key markets in partnership with geographic and business unit leaders.

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