EdTech Conferences: Recap of Educelerate 2015

Last week, we headed to the “Windy City” to meet with some of our Midwestern colleagues at the 2015 Educelerate Conference on Personalization and student success. This was the second annual conference by Educelerate, a not-for-profit network that seeks to foster entrepreneurship and innovation within education. All proceeds were to be added to a $25,000 investment allotted to one lucky startup selected at the end of the conference. (Keep reading to find out who won!)

Starting bright and early at 8:30 am, the conference was jam-packed with informative sessions about personalization in every aspect of education technology, covering the spectrum from the trendy topic of adaptive learning to the less glamorous (but equally important) topic of data analysis. Each panel honed in on how personalization can be used within each edtech segment, including admissions, assessment, engagement, and career searches.

The lineup included 7 panels, nearly 30 panelists, 2 guys named Manoj, and a jam-packed day full of learning about learning (and technology). See below for the full line-up.


• Lauren Herskovic, COO @Admissionado (Chicago)
• John Knific, founder & CEO @DecisionDesk (Cleveland)
• Justin Shiffman, founder & CEO @NextTierEDU (Chicago)
• Ryan Hoch, founder & CEO @Overgrad (Chicago)
• Joel Hernandez, CEO @Official_eLumen (Twin Cities)
• Chris Kalmus, founder @LiveTextedu (Chicago)
• Jamie Candee, CEO @QuestarAI (Twin Cities)
• Kirk Becker, Senior Research Scientist at @PearsonVUE (Chicago)
• Keith Clougherty, co-founder & CEO @CopleyRetention (South Florida)
• Karan Goel, founder & CEO @GetSetLearning (Chicago)
• Judy Peppler, president & CEO @KnowledgeWorks (Cincinnati)
• Mawi Asgedom (@MawiAsgedom), founder & CEO MawiLearning (Chicago)
• Eric Frank, CEO @Acrobatiq (Pittsburgh)
• David Vinca, founder & CEO @eSparkLearning (Chicago)
• Manoj Kutty, co-founder & CEO @LoudCloudSys (Dallas)
• Manoj Kulkani, CEO @RealizeItLearn (Chicago)
• Chris Motley, founder @BetterWeekDays (St. Louis)
• Loren Dinnen, Program Manager, 1000Jobs @WorldBizChicago (Chicago)
• Steve Tiufekchiev, Chief Evangelist @Yello_Co (Chicago)

Moderators & keynote speakers:
• Niraj Kaji, VP @Bridgepoint_Ed (Southern California)
• Cebra Graves, VP @USAFundsOrg (Indianapolis)
• Susan Van Gundy, founder @Eduvate and organizer EducelerateCO (Colorado)
• Dale Leatherwood, SVP Marketing of KeyPath Education(@KeyPathEDU) (Kansas / South Florida / Chicago)
• Ray Henderson (@ReadMeRay), board of directors at IMS Global and formerly of Blackboard and ANGEL Learning (Indianapolis)
• Dr. Nivine Megahed, President of National Louis University (Chicago)
• Julian Miller, founder & CEO @LearnMetrics (Chicago)
• Kiran Kodithala, founder & CEO @N2NServicesInc (Atlanta)
• Charlie Coglianese, co-founder & CEO @SchoolRunner (Colorado)
• Arrun Kapoor of @SJFVentures (Raleigh Durham via NYC)
• Raghu Krishnaiah, COO of Western Governors University (@WGU)
• Phil Komarny (@PhilKomarny), CEO Robots and Pencils

Albeit a bit of a mental marathon for attendees and speakers alike, the conference certainly provided a broad range of useful and thought-provoking information on the development of personalization in education technology.

And the $25,000 investment went to…

N2N Services, a higher education systems integration software company based in Duluth, Georgia. Congratulations, N2N!

Educelerate, Inc. is a not-for-profit network that holds monthly meetups and workshops to a membership base of over 2,000 Educelerants in Chicago, Twin Cities, Los Angeles and Colorado.  Podcasts and blog content can be found at Educelerate.com.


Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren is the General Manager of EdTech Times. A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.