Intel believes technology has the power to transform school systems and create a 360-degree education experience – empowering students and teachers inside and outside the classroom and at every level of their studies. To achieve this vision, it is crucial that we foster innovation in the edtech ecosystem and encourage startups and entrepreneurs that are developing the next generation of education solutions.
Today, Intel Education and Intel Capital are excited to announce the 2016 cohort of the Intel Education Accelerator. This program provides selected companies with the opportunity to receive guidance and insights from technology, business and education experts; leverage Intel’s global reach and relationships across more than 100 countries; and secure investments of up to $100,000 from Intel Capital. As evidenced by the members of our 2015 cohort, this support and guidance can be transformative:
• GotIt! an on-demand tutoring app, raised over $9 million for its series A round, led by Capricorn Investment Group and eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll.
• Vidcode, an app that teaches computer programming to girls by enabling them to customize their online videos through coding, is being implemented in 315 schools in Argentina as a result of connections made through Intel.
• PocketLab, a pocket-sized wireless sensor that offers some of the same benefits of expensive lab equipment at less than $100, is collaborating with Google on their Making and Science initiative.
The eight innovative startups selected for this year’s cohort utilize innovations such as data analytics, game-based learning and maker education to deliver solutions that drive improvement and excellence in education. These companies include:
Comprendio (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Comprendio provides automated personalized feedback for students and actionable analytics for teachers. This web-based platform uses graphical tools to deliver students content, learning activities and automated feedback, which it aggregates into actionable analytics for teachers to personalize support for their students in real time. Comprendio creates value by saving time for teachers, allowing them to grade, give individual feedback and check class performance within seconds.
FlashGrade (Washington, D.C.)
FlashGrade is reinventing grading to save teachers time and improve student achievement. Its Grading Cloud solution simplifies the grading process for educators and improves the feedback loop for students. As academic institutions incorporate more efficient methods to monitor learning and increase student proficiency, FlashGrade offers a scalable, flexible cloud solution that allows teachers to grade using mobile devices, standard scanners and web services. The company’s solutions have been used to grade more than 2.5 million assessments.
HSTRY (Boston, Mass.)
HSTRY is a digital learning platform that enables teachers and students to create and explore interactive timelines. Using a platform designed to mimic social media, it presents material in a format that is easily understood, engaging and familiar to 21st-century students. Originally intended for social studies, HSTRY has grown into a collaborative platform for all subjects and grade levels. HSTRY is used by over 250,000 educators and students across 136 countries and has a weekly user growth rate of 5 percent.
Immersed Games (Gainesville, Fla.)
Immersed Games is creating an immersive online world for deep science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning experiences. Students create their own customizable character to explore this world, becoming part of it as they get their own virtual housing, join clubs and level up. This forms the base onto which content modules are added, each with inquiry-based quests where players solve problems and an experimental sandbox for deeper learning. A dashboard tracks learning and suggests related activities to expand learning into the real world. Immersed Games is starting with middle-school ecology and plans to expand across many content areas.
KiraKira (San Francisco, Calif.)
KiraKira is redesigning the way girls learn engineering. An online community focused on 3D modeling education for girls, it gamifies learning with KiraKira coins, which students win every time they take a class, share a class or create a 3D model. Its community of designers can learn for free and print their 3D models anywhere, including at KiraKira. Students can create artist profiles, communicate and share their designs with others, and with each student design sold, a contribution is made to their college tuition fund.
Learnmetrics (Chicago, Ill.)
Learnmetrics provides smart data for education. The Learnmetrics platform removes the need for districts and schools to build their own data systems, manage from Excel or cobble together workflows through a maze of misfit products. While big data is increasingly popular in education, Learnmetrics seeks to accrue smart data – small data points that create intersections to which better educational outcomes can be anchored. Learnmetrics provides teachers with more manageable results and gives them the opportunity to understand, assess and interrogate education data in context.
PrepFlash (College Station, Texas)
PrepFlash uses cognitive computing software to automatically create study aids from any digital content, such as Microsoft Word documents, webpages and lecture videos. These study aids include multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false quizzes and flashcards to help users truly learn information. If users do not have digital content, the PrepFlash mobile app allows them to snap an image of a textbook page to automatically create flashcards and quizzes. PrepFlash saves students, lifelong learners and instructors several hours a week in reading and preparing study aids and exams.
SAM Labs (London, England)
SAM Labs creates educational technology kits to learn coding and creativity and makes learning fun. SAM teaches complex concepts through a hands-on and visual approach: Without any prior knowledge of coding or programming, users can program SAM building blocks by connecting the dots in the SAM Space app to form wireless circuits, which they can customize with dynamic elements and connect to the internet. With a range of sensors and actuators, numerous add-ons within the app, and endless projects to complete, SAM provides hours of play and creativity and enables users to turn ideas into inventions.
Over the next several months, these eight companies will have access to weekly workshops and opportunities to pilot their products in schools. The companies will also receive guidance from mentors such as Tom Kalinske, former CEO of LeapFrog, Sega and Mattel; John Battelle, veteran Silicon Valley journalist and entrepreneur; and Ronald Chandler, former CIO for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Additional mentors include high-ranking officials from Coursera, Goldman Sachs, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Silicon Valley Bank, VICE Media and the Walt Disney Co. The program will culminate in a demo day in November 2016, which will provide each company with an opportunity to present their startups to potential funders.
We can’t wait to begin working with our newest class of startups and help accelerate their success. To learn more about these companies and the Intel Education Accelerator, visit www.intel.com/EduAccelerator.