Meet the StartEd-NYU EdTech Accelerator Class of 2016
Last week, we attended NY EDTech Week, a festival focused on education and technology headquartered at NYU’s campus. Hosted by StartEd and NYU-Steinhardt, the festival marked the end of the first round of an accelerator & incubator collaboration between the two, and served to showcase the new accelerator as well as facilitate conversations between the movers and shakers of education technology.
The graduates of the inaugural cohort from the NYU EdTech Accelerator powered by StartEd had the chance to pitch on the last day of NY EdTech Week, along with startups hand selected from a number of other accelerators. We had a chance to sit down with the founders of the first cohort, and talk to them about their inspiration, product development, and hopes for the future.
Interview with chairman & CEO Eghosa Aihfie
We interviewed Eghosa Aihfie, founder of AlumKey, a predictive analytic database for university alumni systems. Aihfie told us about his software is being built to provide universities with information on what students are currently doing, using their algorithm to better communication between universities and alumni.
Interview with co-founder & CEO Manish Katyan
When Manish Katyan worked in marketing for higher ed, the universities he worked with seemed to share a common problem: getting international students to apply. Katyan looked into why this might be, and found that most international students don’t know much about U.S. schools, and what they do know is limited to a small circle of universally known universities, many of which are difficult to get into. To bridge this gap, Katyan started Admission Table, a software program that helps international students find the best school for them in the U.S.
Interview with founder & CEO Tony Leonard
Years after exiting a successful edtech company, Tony Leonard found a new educational problem to solve. His daughter, who had just spent years in nursing school, was afraid of failing her board exam. As it turns out, the statistical likelihood of her doing so was pretty high. So, Leonard created adaptive software that would help students like his daughter prepare for exams, and help them to develop critical thinking skills that would make them into better healthcare providers in the process.
StepUp to Learning
Interview with Founder Jonathan Rowe
Jonathan Rowe’s mother was an audiologist, who opened a private practice to teach kids with learning problems. After years of working with students with learning disabilities, she was frustrated that some kids became efficient learners, while others didn’t, with no clear reason why. So, she developed a framework to help students become more efficient learners by incorporating kinesthetics, rhythm, and repetition and her lessons. Jonathan eventually joined her mission to help her reach a wider group of students with her methods, creating a software program for young children from pre-K to 2nd grade that combines kinesthetics with early learning curriculum, that is now used by over 10,000 students around the world.
Interview with co-founders Sam Blinstein (CTO) & Gregory Minevich (CEO)
Data may not be glamorous, but Bering Science co-founders Sam Blinstein and Gregory Minevich certainly believe it’s essential to most industries. That’s why they created Bering Science, a data analytics platform for science, so that academic institutions and research facilities can use data to make better decisions in hiring, funding, resource allocation, and other crucial decisions.
Interview with co-founders Adam Newman (CEO) and Paolo Catilo (COO)
Adam Newman was an educator for 18 years before starting AugThat. Paolo Catilo was in banking. But the two friends with diverse backgrounds joined together for a common mission: to bring engaging education to students with technology. Now they’re both the brains behind AugThat, a k-12 edtech software company that provides augmented reality for learning.
Interview with co-founder & Chief Creative Officer Laurel Watts
Started by the husband-and-wife team of Torrance Robinson (founder of eChalk) and Laurel Watts, Trovvit is “an app for 21st century college applicants who need to show what they know.” Essentially a hybrid LinkedIn/digital portfolio for high school students, Trovvit is a “living document” that students can own and build to best illustrate their high school experience by saving a record of any school work, sports photos, artwork, school projects, or certificates. And because students can keep the app in their back pocket, they can update their resumes at any time, any where, the minute they accomplish something new. In this one-on-one interview, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Laurel Watts shares her story, covering everything from how she and her husband started the company to her own college application experience.
Interview with founder & CEO Keyur Sheth
Edukids, a “business in a box for childcare centers,” is a mobile app that streamlines childcare centers’ administrative processes and connects the teachers directly to the parents to communicate their child’s daily experiences. For parents, the tool tracks attendance, class participation, and activities throughout the day, including photos and videos of the children. On the other end, the director of the school can upload lesson plans, track staff attendance, and more, so that the daily tasks and upkeep of the childcare center is all kept in one handy app. To learn more about EduKids, we interviewed founder and Keyur Sheth about why he created EduKids, and where they are today.
Interview with CEO Andres Abeyta
When Andres Abeyta found out that some countries spend more on English language learning than on the military, he sought out a way to use technology to provide access to native English speakers to students around the world. Abeyta created TheTalkList to be “an Uber for language learning,” connecting native English speaking tutors with ESL students around the world. We had a chance to speak with Abeyta about why he started the company, where it is today, and how he plans to change the world with education technology.
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.