Is "Race-to-the-Top" Helping to Create a Race to EdTech Investment?

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 03/29/2012 - 5:32pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Race-to-the...Money
As Janet Jang points-out in this recent EdLab blog post, investment in edtech startups is growing by leaps and bounds (over 6x's the amount of investment capital in 2011 over the last 4 years)*. Pair this growth with the continued dispersal of billions of dollars to schools that qualify for Race-to-the-Top Funding to improve teacher evaluation and you have a recipe for unprecedented interest in both starting and funding educational technology-focused companies.

Incubation...
Beyond Race-to-the-top, new edtech-focused startup incubators like Imagine K12 and Startl are helping to fund and shape new entries in the field. These Y Combinator-like training-grounds are graduating fledgling companies from their programs at a rapidly accelerating rate. Learn more about Imagine K12's first graduating class here.

What will all this innovation mean for schools?
Offering new alternatives to help improve the "education time-warp" that Tim Brady, a partner at Imagine K12, describes in this Wall Street Journal article, "When you visit a school, it feels like stepping back in time." As we race to create new innovations in the field through funding and incubation, will American student's scores rise in proportion to the amount of money we invest in these technologies? Or are we continuing to fund "business-as-usual" disguised as "new technology" and continue our race-to-the-bottom of the world's educational performance scales?

*If 2011 was any indication...
Listed below are the top edtech investments of the past year as featured on FastCo's Co.exist site:

$33M Knewton
$32.5M 2tor
$30M Kno
$20M CampusBookRentals
$17M Inkling
$17M Zeebo
$13M Edmodo
$11M Dreambox
$10M ConnectEDU
$10M MyEDU
$8M Instructure
$7M Grockit

Piazza and Desmos.com just received massive funding within the last few months and it is yet to be seen what new ventures will be hatched and funded in 2012.



Demetri Lales's picture
Demetri Lales Says:
Thu, 03/29/2012 - 5:43pm

Whoa 3 of them are ALTs, Knewton, Dreambox, & Grockit. That's pretty cool.


Kate Meersschaert's picture
Kate Meersschaert Says:
Thu, 03/29/2012 - 6:16pm

Demetri, adaptive learning technologies are shaping-up to be a major continuing trend... what are your favorite ALT-focused startups?