It was today announced that 12 education-technology startups have been officially selected to participate in the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator in New York City. Kaplan, the global education company and largest subsidiary of the Graham Holdings Company, is partnering with Techstars to power the three month immersive mentorship and business development program.
The common thread that unites these dozen startups together is that they’re tackling a broad range of challenges on the K12, higher education, career readiness, and consumer and lifelong learning fronts. Last year saw 10 startups selected, and this year’s 12 were chosen from over 500 applications.
The participating startups, with the exception of Grockit – they’re embedded in the program, will receive a $20,000 investment from Techstars and the option for a $150,000 convertible debt note from Kaplan. Come October 22 the program will culminate in a demo day where the startup founders will present for an elite group of angel and venture investors.
In 2013, the first Kaplan EdTech Accelerator served as the launching pad for 10 innovative, successful edtech companies: Degreed, Flinja, Mathify, MentorMob, Modern Guild, Newsela, panOpen, Ranku, Uvize, and Verificient Technologies. Collectively, the entire inaugural class has raised more than $15 million in funding to date.
The startups participating in the 2014 class are:
- Branching Minds (New York, NY): an online tool to help identify, understand, and address students’ cognitive strengths and weaknesses while tracking and reporting data across grade levels, classes, and the home-school divide
- ClassWallet (Miami, FL): digital wallet and e-commerce platform letting donors easily give and track donations to K-12 classes and also gives teachers decision-making power over budgets and purchases for their classrooms
- Cognotion (New York, NY): teaches students another language and career skills through story-telling, using online video narratives, gamification features, live simulation, and social media tools
- CreatorBox (New York, NY): helps children ages 7-12 years old develop their creativity and practical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through a monthly series of engaging building projects
- Edvisor.io (New York, NY and Toronto, ON, Canada): increases access to global educational opportunities by seamlessly connecting schools and educational travel agencies via a worldwide distribution system with integrated web tools
- Grockit (New York, NY): online tool uses adaptive learning, peer-to-peer learning, and game-like motivational features to help students prepare for standardized tests; originally founded in 2007, Grockit was acquired by Kaplan in July 2013
- Lea(R)n (Raleigh, NC): runs cost-effective pre-clinical and clinical trials to validate emerging education technologies’ impact on learning outcomes
- reKode (Redmond, WA and Reykjavik, Iceland): teaches computer coding skills to children and young adults—including those with learning challenges and disabilities—in a face-to-face environment, emphasizing peer-to-peer learning, positive development and creativity
- RobotsLAB (San Francisco, CA): creates robots as in-classroom teaching aids that help K-12 educators bring to life abstract math and science concepts in fun, engaging ways
- SmartOn (New York, NY and Bangalore, India): teaches “new economy skills” in such areas such as coding, data science, social media and design
- Story To College (New York, NY): offers online and in-person courses that leverage the neuroscience of storytelling to help students write impactful, effective admissions essays
- TuvaLabs (New York, NY): teaches data literacy skills by engaging students through the exploration and use of real data related to students’ own favorite topics and interests