Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, Techstars Announce Class of 2014

NEW YORK–()–Kaplan, Inc., the global education company, and Techstars, the global startup accelerator, announced the 12 education-technology startups selected to participate in their three-month immersive mentorship and business development program in New York City.

Chosen from among 500 applications, the 12 companies (increased from 10 last year) comprise the Accelerator’s second class of startups. Launched in 2013, the program is the first corporate-sponsored accelerator focused exclusively in the edtech sector.

The 2014 class includes:

  • 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 K12 classes and also giving teachers decision-making power over budgets and purchases for their classrooms
  • Cognotion (New York, NY): teaches students 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 using adaptive learning, peer-to-peer learning, and game-like motivational features to help students prepare for standardized exams; 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 K12 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 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

All the startups will spend the next three months working together in the Accelerator work space in midtown Manhattan. They will be mentored by several dozen industry leaders, including Kaplan executives like Kaplan, Inc.’s CEO Tom Leppert and Chairman Andy Rosen, Graham Holdings Company Chairman and CEO Donald Graham, Techstars founder and CEO David Cohen, noted venture capitalist and Foundry Managing Director Brad Feld, as well as notable founders of edtech companies and the CEOs of startups from the 2013 Kaplan EdTech Accelerator class.

The startups, excluding Grockit, will receive a $20,000 investment from Techstars and the option for a $150,000 convertible debt note from Kaplan.

The program will culminate in Demo Day (October 22nd), when the startups’ founders will present for an elite group of angel and venture investors and education industry influencers with the goal of securing funding to grow their companies. Last year’s Demo Day attracted more than 500 participants.

In 2013, the first Kaplan EdTech Accelerator served as the launching pad for 10 innovative, successful edtech companies: DegreedFlinja,MathifyMentorMobModern GuildNewselapanOpenRankuUvize, and Verificient Technologies. The entire inaugural class has raised more than $15 million in funding to date.

About Kaplan

Kaplan, Inc. (Kaplan.com) is a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools, and businesses. Kaplan serves students of all ages through a wide array of offerings including higher education, test preparation, professional training, and programs for kids in grades K through 12. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division.

About Techstars

Techstars is the #1 startup accelerator and mentorship-driven seed stage investment program in the world. Techstars delivers programs annually in top startup markets all over the world. Additionally, Techstars powers programs in collaboration with some of the best brands in the world. Companies have gone on to average more than $1.6M raised in outside capital after the completion of the program. To date, Techstars has funded more than 350 companies that are collectively valued in the billions of dollars.

For more information, see full press release.