This article is cross-posted from edtechtimes.com, where I currently serve as editor-in-chief.
Earlier this month, Boston-based ed-tech accelerator, LearnLaunchX, announced their inaugural demo day to be held on September 18th. At tomorrow’s event, Massachusetts’ Governor Deval Patrick will join investors, entrepreneurs and educators in a first look at the seven early stage companies that make up LearnLaunchX’s first cohort.
LearnLaunchX’s website talks about Patrick’s record for supporting innovation, saying:
“Investing in innovation to create jobs and opportunity in the state has been a key part of [Governor] Patrick’s growth strategy. By making meaningful, targeted investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, the state has seen job numbers return to pre-recession levels, and unemployment remain below the national average. These investments, especially in the innovation sector, have positioned Massachusetts as a global leader in the life sciences, biotech, bio pharmaceuticals and IT, as a national leader in clean energy and Massachusetts students lead the nation in achievement.”
Monica Brady-Myerov, founder of Listen Edition and one of the LearnLaunchX cohort members slated to pitch tomorrow, is excited to demo her product to the governor. “This really shows his commitment to support ed tech in the state, and his overall committment to education,” says Brady-Myerov.
Companies in LearnLaunchX received $18,000 in seed funding, an intensive three month mentoring program which began in June, and office space for six months. The seven companies were chosen for their exceptional potential to make education more effective, impactful, accessible and affordable across the education continuum.
The following companies are lined up for tomorrow’s demo day at District Hall in the Innovation District on Boston’s waterfront:
- Listen Edition: Public radio stories, lesson plans and activities that enliven STEM and social studies curriculum, foster critical thinking and listening skills, and align with Common Core State Standards (CCSS), led by respected public radio reporter Monica Brady-Myerov.
- Gradeable: A new assessment and feedback tool that helps teachers give students smarter, faster feedback and reduces their overall workload. Developed by a team from MIT and Harvard, it uses optical character recognition to handle paper inputs in both written answer and multiple choices formats, and provides simple, visually appealing reports.
- Cognii: Using powerful natural language processing technology, Cognii enables automatic assessment of students’ essay answers. Cognii helps learning service providers create personalized and engaging learning environments which can measure students’ content mastery.
- Empow Studios: Bringing technology, arts, and learning together, Empow Studios helps young learners discover and build talents that will prepare them to navigate, master, and thrive in their future careers and lives. Empow Studios programs teach exciting robotics, video game design, animation, and other creative skills for the 21st century to kids 4 through 15 years old through after-school, holiday, and summer programs. Opening in Lexington Town Center this fall, the company is poised to grow to new communities and regions through franchising.
- Countdown: A planning tool for creating Common Core-aligned instruction that allows teachers and districts to map standards by day across the school year, link curricular resources, share calendars, manage changes and create a record of what is taught. Countdown improves pacing, increases the effectiveness of co-teaching and supports standards-based teaching and learning.
- EduCanon: Powerful, easy-to-use video tools for teachers to create highly engaging and interactive video instruction. EduCanon adds formative assessments into videos, and empowers teachers to quickly identify and track students’ grasp of concepts. Created by teachers, for teachers.
- Intellify Learning: Provides a standards-based instrumentation framework for online course developers and schools, curriculum and learning designers, and Ed tech application developers. Led by LearnLaunchX entrepreneur-in-residence Chris Vento, former CTO of Blackboard, WebCT and Cengage, Intellify’s cloud-delivered data and analytics drive the progressive refinement of on-line learning experiences.
EdTech Times will be there covering tomorrow’s demo day event and will be featuring the companies in the cohort.