October 24, 2014
This week, the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator officially ended its 2014 series with a Demo Day presenting the 11 startups that went through its intensive, three-month program. Each of the startups got the opportunity to pitch their ideas for improving education to an audience of renowned leaders in New York City’s education sector, as well as to potential investors.
“For the first time in history – with technology – education can reach people we’ve never been able to reach before. That’s why this is so exciting, and that’s why what you’ll see today is going to give you a look at what education is tomorrow,” said Kaplan, Inc. CEO Tom Leppert at Wednesday’s closed event. “What separates the people that you’re going to see today is not just the great ideas, but it’s the passion for education and what they can do to change the world.”
Launched just last year in a joint effort by Kaplan and global startup accelerator, Techstars, the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator is the first and largest corporate-sponsored accelerator that is focused solely on the education technology sector. After the success of its first class, the accelerator program received hundreds of applications for their 2014 class. In the end, the class was narrowed down to a handful of startups.
Over the course of three months, each of the 11 startups went through an intensive business development program where they were provided with mentorship by more than 70 Kaplan executives and more than 100 other experts in the tech, education, and business communities. They also received up to $170,000 in investment capital to help develop and drive their individual companies.
“The opportunity to invest in edtech has never been better,” said Kaplan EdTech Accelerator managing director Don Burton. “We believe that education will change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last thousand.”
For the 11 startups that pitched at Demo Day, it was not just a ceremonial act (of “graduating” from the program), but also an opportunity for them to pitch their ideas to the various angel and venture investors in the audience, as well as to hopefully garner interest from leaders in the education sector.
Here are the 11 startups that pitched at the 2014 Kaplan EdTech Accelerator Demo Day:
Branching Minds (New York, NY): Web application to identify students’ learning challenges, match them with research-backed learning supports, and then track and report on students’ progress.
ClassWallet (Miami, FL): Platform where administration, parents and vendors connect with teachers for peer-to-peer funding and purchasing for anything from supplies to technology to field trips.
Cognotion (New York, NY): Delivers immersive mobile training solutions for the entry-level millennial workforce on a user-configurable, industry-specific, and cloud-based platform.
CreatorBox (New York, NY): Delivers fun projects families build together that inspire kids to learn about topics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Edvisor.io (New York, NY and Toronto, CAN): Global distribution system that aggregates school data and distributes to global educational travel agencies to better serve students seeking international education experiences.
Lea(R)n (Raleigh, NC): Online platform that collects and quantifies data to improve how schools and districts try, buy and use education technology, saving them money and time, and avoiding costly mistakes.
reKode (Redmond, WA and Reykjavik, Iceland): Developed a proprietary curriculum and specially designed tech centers to spark interest with kids in the wonders of coding and technology.
RobotsLAB (San Francisco, CA): Created award-winning, standards-aligned programs that use robots to engage students in hard-to-teach math and science subjects.
SmartOn (New York, NY and Bangalore, India): Online bootcamp for digital skills teaching specific technology tools in areas such as e-commerce and digital & social media marketing through project-based courses leading to certificates.
Story 2 (New York, NY): Puts students in charge of the admissions process by teaching their proprietary Moments Method® curriculum, leveraging a scalable online writing platform, and connecting students with a network of trained admissions experts.
Tuva Labs (New York, NY): Empowers students of all ages to learn critical data literacy skills around their favorite topics or desired careers.
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