Edge is gearing up for its New York début. The new accelerator will take over the reins from Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, the brainchild of Kaplan, the test preparation heavyweight. After two years, the old accelerator is closing its doors to make way for the fully independent, New York-based Edge. The new accelerator’s timing couldn’t be better. The educational technology sector is booming, with an estimated 25% annual growth rate in the U.S. alone.
Edge also has two EdTech veterans for founders. Don Burton helped manage the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator and created several startups himself in addition to working for McKinsey & Co and the Disney Education Initiative. Jonathan Harber served as the CEO of Pearson K12 Technology, a major player in education technology. Together, they raised an unspecified amount of funds in order to launch Edge.
The accelerator plans to make its mark thanks to its location. Harber observes, “New York is clearly the EdTech hub.” The city has the country’s biggest school district and largest community college network. Additionally, New York is home to the headquarters of dozens of education sector companies, publishers and specialists.
Edge will select ten startups to receive a very generous $170 thousand investment each. It will retain a 6% interest in exchange for a classic array of incubator services : three months’ of access to office space, mentors, coaches, investors and other contacts. Additionally, Edge will host Demo Days to showcase its startups’ work and other networking events.
So what is Edge looking for? For Harber, continuing education is a big priority, as are projects that close the education gap between the haves and the have-nots. For Burton, “Learning by doing and project-based learning have real appeal.” He cites the example of Lynda, the online learning company that was just purchased by LinkedIn for a whopping $1.5 billion. Only time will tell if Edge will find the next Lynda.
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Jessica Gourdon, Translated by Nina Fink | Publié le