BOSTON and AUSTIN, Texas, March 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LearnLaunch Accelerator, the leading startup program personalized for edtech entrepreneurs, announced today that six of its companies, active in the education technology sector, closed on funding in the first month of 2017. These six firms illustrate an increased early stage investment in education technology, an industry that facilitates learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing technology.

Edtech companies that raised Series A or seed stage investment include:

  • Metro DC-based Knowledge to Practice raised $6.5 million in its Series A round, led by ReThink Education.
  • Boston-based Authess raised a $2.2 million seed stage round led by EduLab.
  • Chalk Talk, based in Boston, closed on a $2.0 million Series A round led by angel investor Ibrahim Haddad.
  • Boston-based Kaymbu closed on a $1.5 million Series Seed round led by Reach Capital.
  • Riipen, headquartered in Vancouver, closed a $1.0 million Series Seed round led by angel investor Mohamed Mansour.
  • Pittsburgh-based Zulama closed the first $650,000 of a Series Seed round led by angel investor Jean Hammond.

“Education continues to change, and having six of our Accelerator companies reach these milestones in late 2016 and early 2017 is a reason for encouragement,” said Jean Hammond, LearnLaunch Co-Founder.

“LearnLaunch Accelerator companies are given a unique set of advantages,” said Liam Pisano, LearnLaunch Managing Director. “There are 35 edtech-focused companies housed on the LearnLaunch Campus, and we have more than 150 active mentors providing expertise and connections.  This edtech ecosystem supports entrepreneurs as they develop their business strategies, bringing value from day one of the LearnLaunch Accelerator program.”

Knowledge to Practice, an edtech market leader delivering competency based, personalized learning had the largest raise of LearnLaunch Accelerator participants.

“We knew our tailored continuing medical education products were uniquely meeting physicians’ learning needs and preferences,” said Mary Ellen Beliveau, M.Ed., CEO, Knowledge to Practice. “We decided to participate in LearnLaunch’s Accelerator program to help us better define our go-to-market strategy. Broadening our GTM (go-to-market) strategy to include enterprise solutions enables us to leverage our data to serve critical needs of hospitals and healthcare systems.”

The LearnLaunch Accelerator portfolio houses diversified strategies that are front and center trends in edtech today, including augmented reality, machine learning, big data, and the like.

“There is broad consensus that we need to do a better job preparing learners and employees for success in a rapidly evolving workplace,” noted Paul Crockett, CEO and co-founder of Authess. “Authess is using machine learning and data analytics for higher levels of assessment – to expose and measure the in-demand skills needed to thrive in today’s economy. This new funding allows us to accelerate development of our authoring framework and AI engine.”

Furthermore, LearnLaunch Accelerator company CEOs are finding new ways to benefit from the evolution of education by exploring new revenue models, innovative offerings, and taking a fresh look at antiquated business models.

“Schools traditionally teach to the curriculum, while test prep is typically offered by private tutors and after-school learning centers and only to those who can afford it,” said Chalk Talk founder and CEO Mohannad Arbaji. “Chalk Talk pioneered a new way to provide test prep that both improves student performance on their curriculum and increases standardized test scores at the same time. Using patent-pending technology, Chalk Talk’s fully adaptive platform helps students achieve one of the highest average SAT, ACT, and SAT II score improvements on record. This new funding will increase our ability to reach more students across the globe.”

“We’re excited that 2017 is off to a great start for our companies.  While recent macro statistics point to a slowdown in early stage investment in the edtech space, we’re confident the LearnLaunch Accelerator process is effectively preparing our companies for a successful fundraise,” said Pisano. “It’s an important show of support by the edtech investment community, and validation of the value of LearnLaunch’s Accelerator program and strategy.”