LearnLaunch Accelerator’s Breakthrough Program Gives Established Edtech Companies and Startups a Boost
On June 15th Boston’s LearnLaunch Accelerator hosted its fifth Annual Demo Day at District Hall in Seaport, South Boston, MA. LearnLaunch Accelerator is a program aimed at providing edtech startups around the world with the necessary tools for success—such as seed funding, mentorship, and coaching. The Demo Day introduced five promising edtech companies from LearnLaunch’s Breakthrough Program that pitched to a room brimming with edtech investors excited to observe new education innovations that work. The program also featured eleven LearnLaunch Accelerator alumni companies that shared their experiences along with updates from LearnLaunch’s past three years of work.
The five companies graduating from LearnLaunch Accelerator’s Breakthrough Program are: Chalk Talk, Cram Fighter, EduMetrics, Riipen, and Zulama. The first three of the companies are based in Boston and the latter two hail from Vancouver, Canada and Pittsburgh, PA, respectively.
Chalk Talk is an online platform designed to help secondary school students perform their best on the SAT exam while improving their grasp of Math and English subjects. Chalk Talk’s software has an international edge, assisting students in countries around the world including Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, and India. Its platform emphasizes personalized learning, generating individualized content for students. Chalk Talk developed its intricate software through specialized data collection based off student’s engagement with books, homework, practice exams, and personal study. The company’s Learning Engine provides students with performance reports and analytics derived from accumulated data. Chalk Talk is able to assess a student’s strength and weakness and develop a unique personalized program that adjusts for such factors.
Cram Fighter is dedicated to crafting individualized study plans for students to enable them to be more productive and time efficient. This program is structured around two simple steps: the first is setting study goals and the second is telling the app how a student prefers to study. After inputting this data, the app will generate a study plan tailored to a student’s preferences, which can then be altered according to their needs. Cram Fighter analyzes users schedules for them to block out their studying time so that students can focus exclusively on acing the test as opposed to designating their time. Furthermore, if and when a student adjusts his/her study plan, CramFighter automatically recalculates the student’s schedule for them.
EduMetrics aggregates social and emotional data from schools to help the administration better understand their students and implement changes for improved results. EduMetrics revolves around student, teacher, and parent input and offers two solutions to enable smart data-driven decision-making. The first of these solutions is iNOTED, a data collection app that sends out multiple-choice questions at programmable times. The second is their Baseline Assessment Test (BAT), which is an iPad app that measures crucial predictors of academic and social achievement in K-2 students.
Riipen is focused on connecting industry with faculty and students to strengthen a student’s employability, with both real-world skills development and the establishment of a professional network. This platform provides faculty with projects from successful organizations for students to complete as classroom assignments. This enables students to gain real world experience while excelling in the classroom as well. The program greatly benefits the organizations it partners with, giving them access to consumer brand awareness and insight from the demographics they hope to target, as well as opening up a potential recruitment channel for new employees
Zulama is a Game Design Program targeting middle and high school students with burgeoning interest in programming, art, design, and storytelling. Zulama enables students to build games and skills that will propel them to careers in the creative and STEM industries.
The LearnLaunch Breakthrough Program was created with early stage education technology companies in mind; it bolsters the success of such companies by offering assistance at both the strategic and financial levels. Liam Pisano, the Managing Director of LearnLaunch, admired the success of the Breakthrough Program as it “…forced [LearnLaunch’s] team to aggressively look for ways to help maximize pipeline, find new distribution channels, and better serve them as investors.” The four-week program is unique in its approach to tackle the challenges of preexisting companies with established customer bases.