NewSchools Ignite creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to learn, connect and grow together. Our virtual accelerator program lasts for approximately twelve months, featuring targeted content and feedback delivered via phone/video meetings, web-based presentations, and opportunities for online collaboration. While our program includes two in-person convenings, challenge winners do not need to re-locate to participate in other program elements.
NewSchools Ignite is a virtual accelerator program that supports edtech developers addressing the most pressing gaps in PreK-12 education. In addition to customized management assistance focused on product and business strategy, we connect ventures to targeted feedback from researchers, educators, investors, and other experts. Since summer 2015, we have launched six challenges to support more than 70 teams of educators and entrepreneurs working to reimagine edtech to meet critical student needs in science, middle and high school math, English language learning, special education, early learning, and the future of work. Through these challenges, we seek to cultivate high-impact, sustainable and scalable innovations that will help millions of young people – especially those in underserved communities – achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans.
In addition to grant funding ($50,000-$150,000 depending on product stage), challenge winners receive:
One unique aspect of our program is our partnerships with premier research organizations. During the 12-month program, we work with WestEd to synthesize and share research-based best practices as well as provide ventures with actionable product feedback from educators and researchers. We also partner with Evidentally to provide ventures with user demographic profile reports, which approximate the racial and socioeconomic characteristics of a product’s users. In addition, challenge winners work with our research partners to complete a small-scale study focused on subjects ranging from usability and feasibility to promise of learning. By infusing iterative research early into the ed tech development process, we hope to improve products, increase alignment with educator and student demand, and enhance ventures’ research capacity, helping to put more developers on a path toward efficacy, scale, and impact.