McGraw-Hill, in Collaboration with UPenn, Invests in Edtech Incubator

In its press release yesterday, McGraw-Hill has announced that the company is investing into Education Design Studio, Inc. (EDSi), an edtech hybrid incubator and seed fund launched by University of Pennsylvania. While the terms of investment were not disclosed, EDSi is a $2.1M seed fund.  As part of this initiative, McGraw-Hill will provide “financial capital, consultation and valuable insight into current market demands” to 4-6 startups in the first year of their program.  Presumably this will enable the company to get access to budding and innovative educational technology concepts, products, or business models, and the startups involved will obtain crucial access to potential partners, customers, or even acquirers.

It is worth noting that this announcement by McGraw-Hill follows a similar initiative in our city of Boston by Pearson. Pearson has partnered with Exponential TechSpace, LearnLaunch, and LearnLaunchX—three premier EdTech ecosystem organizations in the Boston area (see our original article, and Pearson’s press release). What makes McGraw-Hill’s initiative different is that it apparently is also investing financially into EDSi, as opposed to Pearson’s initiative.  Another distinction between these two initiatives is that as opposed to the initiative in Boston, McGraw-Hill and EDSi are also partnering with a university, University of Pennsylvania. One must keep in mind that EDSi has itself been launched by an university—a large, highly reputable university making inroads into the budding EdTech scene not just by partnering, but by actively launching and investing.

It will be interesting to observe how these similar yet distinct initiatives by large publishing companies in Boston and Philadelphia develop over the next 1-3 years, as well as how will edtech startups fare under these two programs.

Yevgeny Ioffe

Yevgeny Ioffe

Yevgeny Ioffe, or as people call him, Yev, has been working in both the startup world and established companies. His career spans from joining Xplana Learning as it launched to Cengage Learning to MBS Direct when it acquired Xplana in 2009. Yevgeny brings to EdTech Times his passion for start-ups and technology, along with his interest in the ever evolving world of edtech. Yevgeny obtained his BSc and MA from Brandeis University and MBA from Boston College.