December marks the holiday season and a time when companies looking to enter or grow in the educational resources market tell their stories and solicit funding, partners and wisdom.
At the Education Business Forum of the Education Technology Industry Network in early December, eight companies made presentations and four received recognition.
Attendees at the EBF voted Capit Reading most innovative offering with Inq-IT’s the runner-up in that category. Dream Catcher was voted product most likely to succeed with Ed Tech Skills Platform the runner-up in that category.
Capit Reading is a language-agnostic reading program that is foundational in K-2 and also can be used with older struggling readers.
The philosophy in building Capit was if it is not necessary, do not include it. Students are expected to be engaged by the curriculum, rather than external rewards. No verbal instructions are needed as students move through the program, so it is ready for English-language-learner use out of the box.
Capit Reading spent one year in beta testing, one year in pilot and now is ready to scale. The company came to EBF looking for partners and distribution, as growth to date has come from word-of-mouth, the web or conferences.
Capit Reading has teacher, principal and district portals. An annual subscription is $550 for one teacher with up to 30 students.
Dream Catcher was built to help students, starting at age 12, discover purpose-driven careers.
Dream Catcher features a web-based eight lesson curriculum that can be driven by individual students or delivered whole class. The focus is on self-exploration, career exploration, action and execution plans, a final project, and developing soft and employability skills taught by mentors.
Dream Catcher is seeking to raise $500,000 to expand the program for adults, translate it to Spanish and to build sales and marketing teams. The current price is $1/student, but that likely will increase to $4-$5 as the program expands.
Ed Tech Skills Platform for Teachers:
Ed Tech Skills Platform for Teachers wants to re-imagine professional learning by clarifying needs. Every participating teacher receives a skills dashboard, starts with a diagnostic that is followed by personalized learning. Price for the skills diagnostic is $35/teacher; $55 is the annual price for the full offering with professional learning.
Spun out of accelerator at the University of Pennsylvania, the goal of the founders is to enroll 25,000 teachers onto the platform in 2018, seeing that number as the break-even point for expansion.
InqIts is a middle school science learning platform aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Students working on the platform are encouraged to form hypotheses, test those hypotheses and communicate their findings.
InqIts includes simulations for physical science, earth science and life science. Virtual labs and patented algorithms help students show what they know and provide support when needed. Teachers get alerts on when to intervene and the teacher grading step is eliminated.
InqIts' platform is priced at $10 per student per year, with an additional $3 to add an automated tutor. IngIts currently is used in 75 schools and the founders came to EBF seeking investors, partners and advice.
New York Ed Tech Week Up Next
From Dec. 19-21 at New York Ed Tech Week, a global education innovation festival focusing on how entrepreneurship and education technology can drive advancements in education and learning, ed tech founders will pitch their vision to investors and industry experts in a competition modeled on Shark Tank and tell their stories one-to-one during at a Gallery of Innovation.