Three Ring Raises $1M to Digitize Student Work


Three Ring Raises $1M to Digitize Student Work

NYC startup also packs its bags for Baltimore

By Katrina Stevens     Feb 11, 2014

Three Ring Raises $1M to Digitize Student Work

There’s quite an edtech bash going on in Baltimore, and the party just got bigger.

Yes--EdSurge will be there for our Tech for Schools Summit on Feb. 22. But another startup is setting up shop--permanently.

Three Ring, founded in New York in 2011, is packing its bags for Charm City this month. (It’s a similar journey that another startup, Citelighter, made last fall.)

The company will arrive with $1 million in seed funding. NY-based Great Oaks Venture Capital led the round, while Baltimore investors Frank Bonsal Jr., Vince Talbert, and John Cammack helped chip in the rest along with several other angels. (Frank Bonsal III, son of Frank Bonsal, Jr., also now serves as a board advisor.)

Steve Silvius, Three Ring’s chief education officer and a former teacher, says the move makes sense given Baltimore was where the company saw significant adoption. “Many of our first customers are here,” he tells EdSurge, “so I’ve been spending much of my time in Maryland working with teachers to create a seamless way to organize and analyze student work. Our goal is to demonstrate growth and celebrate success.”

The company has built a tool that makes it easy for students, teachers, and administrators to capture, organize and analyze student work in digital formats. Students and teachers can upload photos, audio clips and videos of discussions, presentations and other projects and tag them so that they can be accessed later.

Three Ring is free for individual teachers; school and district licenses allow more access to school-wide data. Three Ring’s iOS and Android apps are currently used by 35,000 teachers in over 100 countries.

Frank Bonsal III, edtech investor and director of entrepreneurship at Towson University, sees Three Ring’s move to Baltimore as a natural one. “Now that they’re moving to Baltimore and participating in the Towson University incubator, the Three Ring team will be closer to existing customers and have increased access to unique business and edtech industry mentoring,” he says. “Because of Three Ring’s work in supporting teacher effectiveness, they’ll also benefit from Towson University’s 100+ years experience in teacher education.”

Adds Silvius: “For an education company like ours, being located at the center of Baltimore’s growing edtech ecosystem connects our team with top tier collaborators and forward-looking school systems poised to integrate new technologies that help students learn.”

Baltimore’s emergence as an edtech hub is attracting attention from the entrepreneurs, investors, and the media alike. It begs the question: Which company will be the next to move here?

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