When EdSurge reports on financings, we typically cover investments by investors (either angels or professionals) in companies. Putting in dollars is one sign that people see a future in an idea. Yet such investments come with a cost: in exchange for financing, entrepreneurs give up a piece of their company to investors.
That’s not true of organizations that win Small Business Innovation Research Awards from the US Department of Education. The scrutiny these entrepreneurs receive is just as intense as any professional investor. The government is keen to see their dollars pay off—even if it doesn’t actually own a piece of the business.
Twenty-one edtech companies have just been awarded 2015 SBIR grants. A baker’s dozen (13) are $150,000 Phase I grants, designed to support student learning or to facilitate teacher practices in education or special education. Phase II awardees receive up to $900,000 over two years and are building products and doing pilot studies to demonstrate the usability and effectiveness of their tools.
Expect to see those Phase I winners go back for more. And expect to see the government ramp up its request for SBIR proposals again at the end of this year.
Here’s who the government is betting on:
Phase I Awardees
- 3C Institute: A Comprehensive Tool Supporting Social and Emotional Learning Instruction for Students with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder; Emotion Explorer: An Integrated Online and Mobile Emotion Literacy Program for Early Elementary School Students and Educators
- Appendis: Inq-Blotter: Revolutionizing How Teachers Identify and Support Students Needing Help During Inquiry
- Brainquake: Mobile Learning and Assessment-Game Based Apps with Direct Representation of Mathematics
- Charmtech: Just-In-Time Contextualized Reading Assistant for ESL Students
- Mathalicious: Interactive Exploration of Real World Math
- Play Works Studio: Computer Science Curriculum for First Grade Students Using a Robot Games Platform
- Querium:StepWise Virtual Tutor for Common Core Algebra I
- SimInsights: Authoring Tools for High Quality Formative Assessments for Classroom Testing
- Spry Fox: LifeSim
- Sokikom: S4: A Game-Based 4th Grade Math Curriculum
- Teachley: Teachley Analytics Library: A Collection of Educational Apps Personalizing Gameplay and Reporting Insights
- ThinkZone: ThinkZone: A Research-Driven Gaming Portal for Transforming K-8 Teaching and Learning Practices
Phase II Awardees
- Foundations in Learning: The Iowa Assessment of Skills and Knowledge for Automatic Word Recognition and Decoding (iASK)
- Schell Games: Happy Atoms
- Kiko Labs: A Game-Based Intervention to Promote Executive Function and Reasoning in Early Learning
- Lingo Jingo: Lingo Jingo: Expanding Supports for Teaching and Learning of English Language Learners
- Sirius Thinking: Tutoring With The Lightning Squad: Integrating Technology, Peers, and Home for Reading Success
- Speak Agent: Enhancing Augmentative and Alternative Communication Speed and Accuracy
- Strange Loop Games: Eco: An Online Virtual World for Middle School Environmental Literacy and Collaborative Problem Solving
- Zaption: Building Zaption's Ecosystem to Support Video Learning at Scale