|[December 04, 2012]
LearnLaunch Formed to Drive Greater Boston Ed Tech Innovation, Times First National Conference with Digital Learning Day 2013
BOSTON --(Business Wire)--
LearnLaunch today announces its formation as a non-profit fostering the
creation and growth of learning and education technology companies and
the ed tech business cluster across New England. Founded by visionary
investors and education technology leaders, LearnLaunch provides support
to entrepreneurs at critical stages of their development to reach their
next level of growth through access to peers, investors, mentors, and
potential users. LearnLaunch has already identified over 150 education
technology and learning startups in New England.
LearnLaunch also announces its first conference: "Across Boundaries:
Innovation & The Future of Education." The conference will examine the
potential of technology to tangibly improve learning and education
access, and explore market and investment opportunities; February 1-2,
2013, MIT (News - Alert) Tang Center, Cambridge, MA (http://learnlaunchconference2013.eventbrite.com).
The conference coincides with Digital
Learning Day on February 6, 2013 and will involve teachers as both
panelists and participants, as well as showcase successful instructional
technology in classrooms nationwide.
LearnLaunch brings together innovators, K-12 and higher ed educators,
investors, students, school leaders, buyers and distribution channels,
and provides structured services such as classes, forums, conferences
and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs. It also streamlines and
enriches communication between investors and entrepreneurs, and
incorporates two established Boston organizations, EdTechup and Kids
Club, each of which was founded by LearnLaunch principals.
Christopher Gabrieli, Chairman of the National
Center on Time and Learning and Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners,
notes: "LearnLaunch aims to focus attention and build demand for
innovative solutions in education, and will be an important resource for
New England area entrepreneurs."
While venture capital firms have not historically invested substantially
in education technology start-ups, investor interest in this sector has
recently grown appreciably. In 2011, 134 ed tech companies nationwide
received venture funding, the largest number in the past 10 years.
"Boston has a distinctive education heritage and the foundation to build
scalable companies in this sector, which promises dramatic expansion.
LearnLaunch will provide unique sector support, as well as leverage the
existing resources in the Boston innovation ecosystem," said Jeff
Bussgang, General Partner, Flybridge Capital Partners.
Andrew Joseph, President and Co-Founder, TenMarks
Education, observes: "LearnLaunch will be a valuable resource to the
ed tech community in Boston that will help accelerate the development of
innovative learning solutions. Having a place where we can collaborate
with and learn from other companies, educators and policy makers is
something that will help TenMarks deliver solutions that enable teachers
to get great outcomes with their students."
Marissa Lowman, Co-Founder and Executive Director: Marissa founded
EdTechup and previously drove sales and marketing for AisleBuyer
(acquired by Intuit (News - Alert) NASDAQ: INTU). She has taught as a Fulbright Fellow,
worked with Teach For America and helped establish the National
Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA).
Jean Hammond, Co-Founder: Jean founded JPH Associates, co-founded AXON
Networks (acquired by 3Com (News - Alert), now Hewlett-Packard, NYSE: HPQ) and Quarry
Networks. Jean is a member of Hub Angels, the Launchpad Venture Group,
founded the Boston Forum of Golden Seeds and is a board member or board
observer for more than 25 startups.
Eileen Rudden, Co-Founder: Eileen founded Sankaty Growth Partners, was
Chief Officer of College and Career Preparation for the Chicago Public
School System and was a 2009 Broad Fellow. She is the Board Chair of
SoundBite Communications (NASDAQ: SDBT), and was Vice President and
General Manager of Avaya's Unified Communications (News - Alert) Division. She chairs
Brown University's Advisory Committee on Computing and Information
Technology and serves as a board member for several leading education
and academic organizations, including the Pew (News - Alert) Center on the Internet and
Co-Founder Eileen Rudden concludes: "I was struck when I moved back to
Boston in the fall of 2011 at the level of excitement and activity in
the learning and ed tech space. I attended EdTechups, which have brought
together over 800 people, and Kids Club meetings, which have
engaged over 50 companies in collaborative peer learning. I found close
to 150 startups and dozens of growth firms. Jean, Marissa and I want to
see the ecosystem grow even more rapidly to create value for
entrepreneurs, educators, investors and students."
LearnLaunch aims to increase learning by providing support for the
creation and growth of education technology and learning companies in
New England. Supporting Resources:
(organization, conference, full staff bios, etc.)
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