By now many of you have heard that we’re adding five unbelievable edtech startups to our campus for our Winter ‘17 Breakthrough cohort, and this week was the kickoff.
The Breakthrough Program, one of two accelerators here at LearnLaunch, focuses on post-seed stage companies in one of the most critical growth phases of their life. During the distilled four-week accelerator, companies take advantage of mentors, meet strategic partners, work one-on-one with Venture Partners from LearnLaunch Accelerator and participate in specialized seminars, breakout groups and events designed with each venture in mind. Then there’s obviously the funding provided during program and milestone-based funding available down the line.
To better support this and all subsequent cohorts, we’ve also brought on three new venture partners. Venture Partners are part of the cohort selection process and are paired with a startup for the duration of the accelerator. They use their industry expertise, industry connections and business savvy to help their company overcome hurdles and scale faster.
Admittedly, those are all details you can find if you troll around our website briefly. What we really want to call attention to, is who the ventures are and why we chose to bring them into the LearnLaunch family.
Meet the cohort:
CareAcademy, which educates caregivers to provide excellent care, was selected for Breakthrough for two reasons cited by Steve Shapiro, the lead Venture Partner for CareAcademy. “I was drawn to CareAcademy first because I see it as solving a huge problem, as the largest single job in America is home health assistant and supplying and training this huge pool of candidates is critical for the stability of millions of families across the country. I was very enamored with the two entrepreneurs, Helen and Madhuri, and believe they have the conviction and perseverance to be successful.” Steve plans to use his experience negotiating contracts with large strategic partners to help CareAcademy scale quickly.
CourseStorm, Founded by Brian Rahill a simple online class registration portal for informal education organizations, will be led by multiple Venture Partners. Accelerator Partner Jean Hammond comments on their acceptance to the Breakthrough cohort, “We’re very excited to have CourseStorm in our cohort. They have huge growth potential, especially given that the need for informal education isn’t going away. We anticipate that they will continue to explode as things like the gig economy and everyone involved in it continue to share their expertise with potential learners. It’s also very exciting to work with a company that is on the ground floor of the course management and registration industry.”
Kaymbu, the leading visual messaging and authentic assessment platform for early education, has identified a niche that addresses parents’ needs. “We will be working specifically on refining the team’s go to market strategy and product market fit to extend beyond early childhood. Kin has built a first-class team that is laser-focused on creating solutions for parent engagement and connectivity,” said LearnLaunch Partner Asad Butt. “Kaymbu is set to have tremendous growth in 2017 and we are looking forward to helping them reach and exceed their goals.”
Quality Interactions, lead by Michele Courton Brown, provides e-learning courses to train healthcare professionals to communicate with and care for diverse patient populations, was an easy choice for the Breakthrough program, said Jean Hammond. “ This great company has been out helping the medical industry address cultural diversity in both the patient population and workforce for quite some time. Until now they haven’t had access to outside capital and with our help can access capital that will ultimately help them scale.”
WriteSteps, a K-5 writing and grammar company provides daily lessons, visual aids, and teaching demonstration videos, was picked by Venture Partner Eric Cantor. He cited to the team, problem and potential for market growth as the reasons for choosing WriteSteps to work with, “As a former educator, Suzanne has a keen understanding of how critically important it is for students to develop writing and grammar skills as early as elementary school. And as a former teacher, she knows how to build programs that teachers can easily implement in the classroom. WriteSteps is poised for significant growth and with LearnLaunch’s assistance, she will focus on the critical areas that will enable her to successfully scale and achieve her plans.