Kaplan EdTech Accelerator Announces Inaugural Companies Selected for Mentoring and Business Development
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, powered by TechStars, today announced the 10 startup education technology companies selected to participate in its intensive three-month mentoring and business development program beginning today at Kaplan, Inc.'s New York City offices.
The companies include:
- Degreed (San Francisco, CA): a credentialing solution for lifelong learning that scores and validates a host of different learning inputs
- Flinja (San Francisco, CA): a peer-to-peer, college-centric job marketplace for students and alumni
- MentorMob (Chicago, IL): a crowd-sourced platform that curates the best learning resources for any skill
- Modern Guild (New York, NY): online career prep service with a learning platform, 1-on-1 mentors and customized curriculum
- PanOpen (New York, NY): an open educational resource platform providing a framework for shared content
- Playpower Labs (Pittsburgh, PA): an online platform of web and mobile math games for students in grades K-8
- Ranku (New York, NY): a platform for ranking and marketing online, non-profit degree programs
- Uvize (Boulder, CO): a service to help military veterans succeed in college academics
- Verificient Technologies (New York, NY): a solution to scale online proctoring with machine learning
- Whipsmart (New York, NY): personalized literacy solutions using current news content
The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator is the first corporate sponsored accelerator focused exclusively on the education sector, using TechStars' mentor-driven, deep immersion model. TechStars has completed more than 25 accelerator programs and its selected companies have attracted $333 million in funding in the past six years.
The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator will host the startups at its offices in New York City's West Village neighborhood until September 2013. They will be mentored by industry leaders, such as Kaplan, Inc. Chairman and CEO Andy Rosen, TechStars founder and CEO David Cohen, Washington Post Company Chairman and CEO Don Graham, noted venture capitalist and Foundry Group Managing Director Brad Feld, and many notable founders of ed-tech companies, including Jose Ferreira of Knewton and Burck Smith of StraighterLine.
"I have been very impressed by not only the level of talent and motivation of these teams, but also their passion to drive real change in education," said Bernardo Rodriguez, Chief Digital Officer for Kaplan's Test Prep business unit and the executive who will be spearheading the project this summer at Kaplan's New York City offices. "It will be exciting to work with these entrepreneurs and TechStars, and to see them in action over the next three months."
Additionally, Kaplan is providing the startups with office space and facilities, and other resources as they work to build their companies and products. This support includes access to Kaplan's proprietary "Kaplan Way for Learning" program, which harnesses the latest tools from the fields of science, instructional design, and technology to support the development of highly effective, evidence-based learning products. Kaplan also has tremendous reach in education with more than one million students enrolled annually taught by 10,000-plus instructors globally, relationships with 300-plus U.S. school districts, more than 20 university partners worldwide, and thousands of corporate customers.
The program will culminate in Demo Day (mid-September), 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.
Kaplan, Inc. 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 also operates an active venture capital program, Kaplan Ventures, which invests in and supports early-stage education companies. Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYS: WPO) and its largest division. For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.
TechStars was founded in 2006 and is backed by over 75 different venture capital firms. Consistently rated the #1 startup accelerator in the world, TechStars executes an intensive 90-day, mentorship-driven program for entrepreneurs. For each program, ten companies are selected from a large pool of applicants. The selection rates for a TechStars program are lower than an Ivy League school at 1%. TechStars offers programs in eight locations: Austin, Boulder, Boston, New York, Seattle, Chicago, London (UK) and the Cloud program in San Antonio. In addition, TechStars offers the same successful model to corporations such as Nike, Microsoft and Kaplan, Inc. as "powered by TechStars" programs.
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