ETS partners with LearnLaunch Accelerator to launch a new edtech accelerator that invests in early-stage startups seeking to solve educational challenges
ETS and LearnLaunch Accelerator today announced the launch of a new edtech accelerator designed to help early stage edtech entrepreneurs successfully grow their startups. In support of the program, ETS will invest $2 million in early-stage entrepreneurial companies seeking to solve educational challenges. Applications for the first cohort is opened through July 10, 2019.
The new accelerator will be themed-based, providing focused resources and value. These themes focus on critical issues in education and allow for focused programming and resources from ETS and LearnLaunch. Companies applying to this first cohort should be addressing “Skills for a New Economy,” “English Language Learning” or both.
“The purpose of ETS creating an accelerator is to leverage ETS’s vast resources around having a greater impact and reach into education,” said Richard Varn, ETS Venture Partner Lead. “I believe that this accelerator will be among the best because we’re taking the power of two very strong institutions and putting them together to focus on solving educational challenges. LearnLaunch is the leader in the edtech accelerator space. This, combined with ETS’s depth and breadth of expertise in education measurement, provides an advantage to edtech entrepreneurs.”
While this new accelerator is sponsored by ETS, day-to-day operations will be managed by LearnLaunch Accelerator. As in all LearnLaunch Accelerator programs, companies will get access to funding, industry-leading mentors, strategic plans for scale and a community of like-minded supporters.
Founded in 2o12, the Boston-based LearnLaunch Accelerator program is designed to help early stage edtech entrepreneurs successfully grow startups. Founders participate in a three month residential program in Boston, Massachusetts, where founder are immersed in a community of like-minded professionals committed to helping to grow businesses.
The goal of LearnLaunch Accelerator is to advance the product and market development process so that entrepreneurs will be able to secure the resources needed to grow. LearnLaunch Accelerator provides seed funding ($200k of value – up to $120K in funding depending on program) for companies selected to its cohort. Participating companies meet weekly with mentors who push to identify and take the most leveraged next steps to grow products and companies. During the program, companies regularly interact with leading edtech experts. LearnLaunch Accelerator has also developed an edtech-focused curriculum that provides tremendous insight into how to navigate the education industry.
“Over the past seven years, we’ve worked with 58 start-ups and have developed a critical milestone approach that helps founders create a path to success that is measurable, tangible and attainable,” said Jean Hammond, co-Founder and General Partner of LearnLaunch Accelerator. “In ETS, we found an ideal partner, who will help companies design quantifiable research to move change in education. Together, our theme-based accelerator program can drive change to help schools and employers really support learners. We will also continue our standard programs for any edtech company encompassing all of early childhood education, K-12, higher ed and workforce edtech, with applications for the next cohort opening in October.”
This unique collaboration allows both organizations to mentor and fund promising start-ups to help improve their efficacy around solving educational challenges and advancing equity in education. Furthermore, it will substantially increase the resources that start-ups selected by ETS Accelerate will receive to help them reach their growth goals. Specifically, ETS is providing start-ups participating in the program with monetary support, vast industry expertise, in-kind services (including the opportunity for subsequent funding) and access to additional resources.
ETS remains committed to providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services. This initiative, however, provides another avenue for ETS to advance its mission beyond educational research and assessment to include support for the education start-up community.
The ETS® Accelerate program is accepting applications for its first cohort through July 10, 2019. Startups interested in participating can learn more on LearnLaunch Accelerator’s website (www.learnlaunch.com/accelerate) and submit applications by visiting F6S (http://www.f6s.com/learnlaunchacceleratorboost).