This morning, AT&T kicked off its Aspire Accelerator – its effort to develop edtech ventures utilizing mobile tech, apps, and services to help educators and students succeed – and announced the five edtech startups that are participaing in its inaugural class. Among them are Washington, D.C.'s eduCanon and Raleigh, NC's Lea(R)n.
“These organizations are on the cutting-edge of education technology. Their innovations are helping students succeed in the classroom and beyond,” said AT&T chief sustainability officer Charlene Lake, in a statement. “Through the AT&T Aspire Accelerator, we want to help grow these solutions to reach even more educators and students.”
The AT&T Aspire Accelerator kicks off at Runway in downtown San Francisco, CA. The five startups selected to participate in the edtech accelerator were chosen from hundreds of applicants, and represent some of the best and most innovative ideas in education. As part of the accelerator program, each startup will receive a $50,000 investment and an additional $25, 000 to cover program expenses. The six-month program will put each company through a customized program to accelerate their growth, connecting them with the mentorship and programming they need to take their product to the next level.
EduCanon – a D.C.-based startup that offers educators with a platform that allows them to create, share, and integrate online video content into their lessons – previously participated in 1776's Challenge Cup global competition back in 2014. The edtech startup ended up as the domestic finalist in the education category. Lea(R)n – which offers a research-backed, online platform and services for educators and their organizations to know and manage the technologies that are best for their classrooms – previously participated in the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator. Based in Raleigh – one of America's under-recognized, thriving, startup economies – the company is helping to drive further interest in Raleigh's startup ecosystem.
The other three edtech organizations selected to participate in AT&T's Aspire Accelerator include:
- GradGuru (San Francisco, CA): a nonprofit software service and mobile iOS and Android app that guides and motivates community college students by using customized nudges to take actions and engage in behaviors proven to help them graduate faster;
- MindBlown Labs (Oakland, CA): an edtech social enterprise that creates highly-engaging mobile games to empower teens and young adults with financial capability skills; and,
- Quill (Brooklyn, NY): a nonprofit literacy tool that builds students’ grammar skills through personalized writing and proofreading activities.