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TIME features Blue Engine in documentary on American dream

Watch this TIME video to see how BlueEngine schools are preparing students for success at high levels. On Tuesday night, Michelle Obama was joined by a handful of people to watch the President’s State of the Union address in person. From astronaut Scott Kelly to Alan Gross, the foreign aid worker who was recently released after five years of imprisonment in Cuba, each of the White House’s guests personifies a story the President […] Read more

New Chronicle Award Will Honor Top Bay Area Visionary

Innovation is as much a part of the Bay Area as the fog in San Francisco, houseboats in Sausalito or sunshine in Santa Clara.It is where creative leaders, trendsetters and game changers proliferate — where genius is part of the kaleidoscope of culture. This abundance of brilliance is why The Chronicle has decided to embark on a mission over the next few months to select a particularly radiant light from among the […] Read more

Startup Founders Apply Education Experience

Former educators with technology interests are increasingly making their way from classrooms into the startup world as they try to use their school expertise to create ed-tech products and services that solve common problems. What these new “edupreneurs” are often lacking is the knowledge needed to launch and run a business.Even if the concept for the new venture is sound, experts say, educators-turned-entrepreneurs must develop their business acumen to avoid startup failure.“Most […] Read more’s Game-Based Learning Accelerator Pairs Newbies With Experienced Players

Co.lab is a start-up accelerator that focuses on learning games. A partnership between and the New School Venture Fund, co.lab “works with startups leveraging the power of digital games to build transformative educational technologies for PK-12 students and teachers.”Their third cohort was just announced. It includes seven start-ups “founded by a talented and diverse set of entrepreneurs including educators, technologists, game developers, school founders, researchers from the University of Wisconsin – […] Read more

Educators must do more to reach young men of color

It’s my first time at the New Schools Venture Fund conference, and I’m excited to exchange ideas with entrepreneurs, educators and policymakers. The day will be brimming with innovative approaches to transforming public education for underserved students. But what strikes me first is that, for once, my reflexive search of the room for brown and black faces comes up full.The conference won’t necessarily be better or worse, the discussions more or less fruitful, but […] Read more


Kelowna-based edtech startup FreshGrade has raised a $4.3 million seed round led by NewSchools Venture Fund, Emerson Collective, Accel Partners and Social Capital.Designed by developers in collaboration with teachers and parents, FreshGrade is an education resource for administrators, teachers, and parents allowing for maximum classroom engagement and real-time assessment. The company said it does this by “mirroring how people communicate and use technology today.”Founded in 2011, FreshGrade said its tool underwent a “rigorous development […] Read more

FreshGrade Raises $4.3M to Connect Teachers, Students and Parents

Club Penguin founder Lane Merrifeld sold his kid-safe, massively multiplayer online gaming community to Walt Disney Co.DIS -0.88% in 2007 in what amounted to a $350 million deal.But he never gave up on the idea that kids should be able to safely use the best of today’s technologies in their daily lives.In 2012, he left Disney to co-found an education tech venture called FreshGrade Inc.–with Steve Wandler and Mark Payne–that connects teachers, school administrators, students and their parents or […] Read more

How Foundations Can Engage the Startup Community to Accelerate Impact

Foundations and startups are two words you don’t often see together.  Typically, foundations fund established nonprofits in order to further foundations’ missions.  Yet, foundations could increase their impact by finding innovative ways to work with startups.“Why would a foundation consider partnering with a startup?” This was one of the questions posed to me during the “Foundations And Startups: New Alliances” panel at 1776’s Challenge Festival in May.  As a nonprofit investor at NewSchools Venture Fund, […] Read more

Accelerated: Inside Pixowl’s Decision to Focus on Parents Rather than Schools

A lot can change in two months. When we talked with Pixowl in late May, they had just finished their first test of their educational game Sandbox EDU in a Bay area classroom.Now, they are a few weeks away from launching their app, but their target market is no longer teachers but parents and kids.Read the full article on Read more