Pearson-Incubated Startup, Alleyoop, Closes Shop
ALLEY-OOPS: Alleyoop is wrapping up (or missed, as us b-ball buffs prefer to say). Word got out on Wednesday (Mar. 13) that the Pearson-"incubated" startup, which offered a mash-up of gamified math and science instruction and live tutoring, will be closing shop on March 31. (We've got more details on how the platform works here.)
Since crashing through the gates in February 2012 with fanfare, Alleyoop says it's "helped over 100,000 teens, parents and educators get ahead in math and science and get ready for college."
We caught up with Alleyoop's president, Patrick Supanc, during SXSWedu back in 2012. Supanc had the idea for Alleyoop while working at Pearson as Senior VP of Digital Product Management and Strategy. He pitched to then-CEO Marjorie Scardino, who was happy to "incubate" this idea and hand him the resources to run with it. Scardino, however, left in late 2012. One can surmise that new CEO John Fallon, who recently issued a "Pearson efficacy framework" to guide Pearson's future investments, was not as gung-ho about this venture.
These lines in the statement from Pearson may be most telling: "Innovation is a process of trial and error driven by rapid iteration and risk taking. Over the past few years, we've tried some new things and learned a lot..."