Startl

Startl (2)

Startl, a nonprofit created to identify and ramp up education technology companies and their innovations, and DreamIt Ventures, the leading technology accelerator, announced today that they are accepting applications for their second annual start-up accelerator program. The collaborative program, which began in 2010, will give a select group of early-stage education technology companies the opportunity to participate in a three-month residency in New York City that will provide an immersion into design methods and business practices for seed-stage learning companies. Startl Accelerator, a component of DreamIt Accelerator Program, helps promising entrepreneurs in the education space to evolve and refine their innovative products so that they can be brought to market quickly, scaled affordably and modified rapidly. The program pushes old boundaries to advance a whole new class of products and services for learners.

"This is an exciting time for education entrepreneurism. The first year of our collaboration with DreamIt Ventures graduated a cohort of four companies, two of which have gone on to receive further outside funding," said Diana Rhoten, Startl Co-Founder and Managing Director. "The Startl Accelerator Program provides a pathway for talented entrepreneurs to build viable new companies that can deliver novel products and services into the hands of learners."

"We are thrilled to be out the gate with the next phase of our partnership. Year one with Startl was a great success and moving the program to NYC allows us to take advantage of the talent and opportunities there while offering the New York tech community the benefit of the blended Startl and DreamIt acceleration models for creating great young companies," said David Bookspan, Founder and Managing Partner of DreamIt Ventures.

The Startl Accelerator Program offers young entrepreneurs the opportunity to engage in an intensive, company-building experience. Accepted applicants are integrated into the regular Summer 2011 DreamIt program and offered the opportunity to learn from and be mentored by recognized experts in marketing, business development, financial modeling, business models, brand building, distribution and customer acquisition, with a special emphasis on the education technology industry. The outcome of the experience is a pitch day where each team has the opportunity to present to a room full of potential investors.

"Programs like the one Startl has developed are essential to ensuring that the best and the brightest entrepreneurs get to market as quickly and smartly as possible, especially in markets like education where innovation has been elusive," said Fred Wilson, Principal at Union Square Ventures. "I'm excited that Startl and DreamIt will be running their Accelerator Program in NYC this summer. There's a lot of startup activity in NYC these days, but not enough -- never enough -- to support the kind of high-growth entrepreneurship this city needs."

The program was created in an effort to help innovative companies turn a great idea into a refined product that can be taken to market successfully. The Startl accelerator is a cash-less program that provides learning entrepreneurs a 24/7 collaborative environment with other start-up entrepreneurs, plus free access to attorneys, accountants and investors, as well as the layered programmatic expertise of companies like IDEO.

"For an early-stage digital learning company like Easel, the DreamIt/Startl program was a perfect fit. Besides the advice and funding, what blew our minds was the depth of their network within the educational space: it seemed like whichever educational company or organization we wanted to talk to, Startl could provide an intro," said San Kim, Founder and CEO of Easel, a digital learning startup and participant in the 2010 Startl Accelerator program. "So even in the beginning stages of our company we were able to develop relationships with educational giants. For any EdTech startup that kind of insider access is priceless -- and represents an enormous competitive advantage."

For more information and to apply, visit http://startl.org/programs-2/accelerator/

Startl
Startl is a social enterprise dedicated to accelerating the growth of digital innovations for learning -- from kindergarten to college, inside and outside the classroom. Focused on catalyzing next generation products with the greatest promise of transforming the education sector and the learning market, Startl recruits young innovators and entrepreneurs, immerses them in a rigorous product design and development process and helps them build socially responsible and fiscally sustainable start-ups. Startl has received initial seed funding from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Lumina Foundation. For more information, visit www.Startl.org.

About DreamIt Ventures
DreamIt Ventures is a pre-seed stage venture firm, with the goal of helping great people with great ideas build great companies. DreamIt provides the aspiring entrepreneurs that it selects with pre-seed funding, services from leading law firms and accounting firms, mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs, access to capital, and a creative, rigorous environment to bring innovative business ideas to market. DreamIt was founded in 2007 by three successful technology entrepreneurs who want to create the same type of opportunities that they were fortunate to have had themselves for the next wave of entrepreneurs. More information about DreamIt Ventures is available online at www.DreamItVentures.com via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Startl, a nonprofit created to identify and ramp up education technology companies and their innovations, announced today the initiation of a capital campaign to continue its work accelerating innovation and investment in education technology. Deemed Startl 2.0, the campaign will leverage the infrastructure and success of Startl’s inaugural year.

Launched in 2010, Startl received initial seed funding from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Lumina Foundation. Over the year, Startl leveraged the founding team's understanding of the education space, business acumen and extensive professional networks to encourage and facilitate innovation in education technology. By engaging with early-stage entrepreneurs to guide the development of their products, bridging critical industry stakeholders and funders, and by showcasing the most promising innovative companies in EdTech, Startl was able draw attention to and build community in this quickly accelerating market. As part of this strategy, in partnership with design leader, IDEO, and the business accelerator, DreamIt Ventures, respectively, Startl introduced two incubating programs in 2010: Design Boost, a week-long bootcamp for prototyping digital learning products, and Startup Accelerator, a three-month immersion into product design, market strategy and business development for early-stage learning enterprises. Finally, to expose great new talent and products to potential investors, Startl collaborated with Berkery Noyes, Education Growth Partners, the Aspen Institute and Investors Circle in a variety of showcase events.

“Startl was founded in an effort to support entrepreneurs interested in building learning-rich, market-smart digital products and services focused on anywhere, anytime learning,” said Phoenix Wang, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Startl. “Startl 2.0 is the natural next step to expand and enhance the services we offer the EdTech sector for entrepreneurs but also for investors and consumers as well.”

At the epicenter of Startl 2.0, Co-Founders and Managing Directors Laurie Racine, Diana Rhoten and Phoenix Wang, are seeking to launch a physical “laboratory” location that will foster innovation and collaboration and create a community for stakeholders to interact. The laboratory will be designed to be a creative workspace and playspace where emerging and incumbent companies alike can test out elements of product design and get real time user feedback, test marketing campaigns to see if they reach their intended audience in meaningful ways, as well as explore ways to sell to consumers, whether they are students, teachers, parents or institutions.

“Already the Startl team has proven the significant impact they can have on early-stage education companies, from sharing their business and education expertise, to bridging the gaps between private and philanthropic investors and education start ups, to supporting innovative EdTech entrepreneurs in a sustained way,” said Adam Newman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Education Growth Advisors. “The idea of a laboratory is a powerful and exciting concept. By offering an environment for education entrepreneurs, Startl will not only be able to help them develop their ideas and launch their companies, but they’ll also provide an outlet for them to engage, inspire and collaborate with one another, further establishing Startl as an invaluable resource for EdTech start-ups.”

In addition to the laboratory, Startl 2.0 will also add:

• A Boost/Accelerator hybrid program, with shorter more frequent cycles, serving more entrepreneurs each year
• A new annual innovators showcase event co-hosted with Education Growth Advisors for emerging EdTech companies and funders with interest in the market
• A new testing and marketing program so that entrepreneurs can reach testers and users during the product design and development phase

“The Startl team is comprised of visionaries that not only know the education space, but can see where the market is moving,” said Sean Conway, Co-Founder and CEO of Notehall.com, an online marketplace for college students to buy and sell class materials and a participant in the “Education Innovators Showcase” at the 2010 Venture Capital in Education Summit hosted by Berkery Noyes and Startl. “Their unique understanding of the industry and strategic insight was invaluable to Notehall, helping us develop and grow as well as forge partnerships with investors and other entrepreneurs that would not have otherwise been possible.”

“Beyond providing access to fantastic resources that help start-ups develop innovative learning products, Startl builds community within the education technology space and breaks down barriers, connecting early-stage entrepreneurs and industry leaders,” said Gabriel Adauto, co-founder of Motion Math, a movement-based, mobile education company and a 2010 participant of Startl’s Design Boost program. “Startl 2.0 will further enhance that community by creating a space where entrepreneurs, ideas and investors can interact and influence the future of learning.”

“EdTech can be a little lonely, especially for innovative early-stage companies that are exploring ideas that are unfamiliar to the industry, so it would be incredible to have a place where you can discover your peers and gain access to an influential team that can help you navigate the process,” continued Conway. “Startl needs to create that space.”

For more information about Startl, visit www.startl.org or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

About Startl
Startlis a social enterprise dedicated to accelerating the growth of digital innovations for learning – from kindergarten to college, inside and outside the classroom. Focused on catalyzing next generation products with the greatest promise of transforming the education sector and the learning market, Startl recruits young innovators and entrepreneurs, immerses them in a rigorous product design and development process and helps them build socially responsible and fiscally sustainable start-ups. Startl has received initial seed funding from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Lumina Foundation. For more information, visit www.startl.org

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