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Adding Things Up: Behind the Success of Motion Math’s Suite of Apps

Building a brand, especially in a Wild West world like the App Store, is no small feat.  But there are a number of companies that have managed to rise to the top of the charts in the app stores without established brand power behind them. Motion Math, born from a couple of guys who met at Stanford and had a passion for math and the power of new devices to help educate, […] Read more

It’s Time: Connecting What Students Need & What Entrepreneurs Create

I recently participated on a Digital Promise panel about whether what economists call“pull mechanisms” can create more incentives for innovation in education technology. Pull mechanism refers to things like challenges, prizes, and advanced market commitments – ways of paying for innovations based on their actual performance. This in contrast to government agencies and philanthropists making upfront investments in design and development of solutions and then “pushing” them to (or some would say on) buyers and users. […] Read more

Co.lab Game Accelerator Opens Applications for Next Round

One of the primary ways in which firms are getting products to market or ready to seek larger VC funding is by entering incubators and accelerators. One of the only out there that focus on learning and games is Co.lab, a partnership between the New Schools Venture Fund and the non-profit wing of mobile game firm Zynga.Read the full article on Read more

Strong standards, political air cover, and talent: Exporting the success of Boston’s charter school sector

Here follows the third entry in Fordham’s “Charter School Policy Wonk-a-Thon,” in which Mike Petrilli challenged a number of prominent scholars, practitioners, and policy analysts to take a stab at explaining why some charter sectors outpace their local district schools while others are falling behind. Read more

Venture capitalists make a big deal over education

Venture capitalists are pouring money into educational technology. If last year’s numbers are any indication, the amount of spending could double to more than $2 billion in 2014. The above graphic uses data from the New Schools Venture Fund, a public charity that invests in educational technology.  The Fund estimates that $452 million was invested in the category in 2013.Each bubble represents one of 116 deals that New Schools documented in 2013.  The bigger […] Read more

Venture capitalists learn to love education

 Education isn’t what you’d typically think of as sexy. It’s practical. It’s serious.But add a little tech and vavoom! Venture capitalists are very, very into it.Michael Moe is CEO of GSV Capital, which has invested $100 million in education technology companies like Coursera and 2U. He said there’s a lot to like about education these days. Read the full article on Read more

Baltimore, Boston Move to Build Ed-Tech Hubs

Baltimore and Boston are cities with their own distinct economic identities, but more recently they’ve shared an economic-development strategy: Both have organizations working aggressively to establish their metro regions as hubs for educational technology companies and startups.Read the full article on Education Week Read more

Shauntel Poulson, Principal, NewSchools Venture Fund

Shauntel Poulson is helping to shape this transition. As a principal with NewSchools Venture Fund (for which my Bellwether colleagues recently led a successful CEO search), Polson identifies and makes investments in technology companies and models that are at the cutting edge of developing new personalized learning models with the goal of dramatically improving outcomes for schools and students. Read more