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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

LearnLaunch: Boosting Boston EdTech | Vander Ark on Innovation

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"With some of the best universities in the world, Boston has been a top education city for centuries." inform Tom Vander Ark, education advocate, advisor, and author of Getting Smart: How Personal Digital Learning is Changing the World. 

Photo: LearnLaunch Campus
Several publishers built a Boston base but it wasn’t until recently that Beantown emerged as the #4 EdTech hotbed (behind the Bay Area, NYC and Chicago). A leading reason for the surge is LearnLaunch, perhaps the most successful education ecosystem catalyst to date. 

In a three-year Smart Cities investigation, we concluded that skilling up fast is increasingly important to individuals, communities and companies; and the key to quality learning--from pre-school to job training--is a rich ecosystem that includes sustained leadership, aligned investment, talent development, and incubation of tools and schools. Boston was pretty good on the first three and LearnLaunch provided a boost of inspiration and intermediation.

Why Boston EdTech is Blowing Up 
LearnLaunch is dedicated to driving innovation and transforming learning by providing support for the creation and growth of edtech and learning companies in New England. LearnLaunch was founded in 2012 by its partners angel investor Jean Hammond; tech veteran Eileen Rudden; leading EdTech strategy and M&A advisor Mark Miller; serial edtech entrepreneur Hakan Satiroglu; and technology entrepreneur Vinit Nijhawan. It’s managing director, Liam Pisano, is an experienced hand at financial investment.

LearnLaunch now boasts a 6,000 person EdTech community and three dozen companies that have graduated from the Accelerator program. It implements a three-pronged approach that includes a selective accelerator program, a collaborative co-working space and educational events for the edtech community:

1. LearnLaunch Accelerator
After a highly selective application process, the LearnLaunch Accelerator program provides the most promising edtech startups worldwide with seed funding, a team of mentors, intensive coaching and the necessary tools to grow a successful edtech startup (the next round of applications are slated for acceptance this summer).
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Source: Education Week (blog)  


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