ISTE 2016: Edtech Companies Pitching a Mile High

ISTE 2016: Edtech Companies Pitching a Mile High

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Among the fun and games happening at ISTE in mile-high Denver this year is a pitch competition. Nine edtech companies, nominated by the incubators that hatched them, will present to an audience of 25 education leaders. The press release for the event says that investors are "expected to invest in at least one of the nine startups." 

Here's who will be pitching:   

Boulder Learning: Developing learning systems with virtual tutors. The Colorado-based company was formed  in 2016 from the merger of two existing organizations: Digital Directions International (est. 2000) which sells HELP Math, and Boulder Language Technologies (est. 2007), a research lab which builds virtual tutors for reading and science. 

EdConnective: Video-based coaching system for teachers that connects educators to trained coaches with rubric-based evaluations. The program facilitates multiple observation-feedback sessions per teacher.  

Kinems: Founded in 2013, Kinems aims to use Microsoft's Kinect to develop games to support special education, particularly students in grades K-9 with dyspraxia, autism, and ADHD. MIcrosoft's Innovation Center in Greece is a partner. 

LessonCast: Baltimore-based teacher preparatio and development platform. Teachers use LessonCast to create and share resources and lessons for their community. (LessonCast triumphed in a recent educator "SharkTank" webinar, hosted by EdSurge. Here are the details.) 

Listenwise: Current events podcasts developed for the classroom. The Premium edition includes standards-aligned lessons that teachers can use to create custom online assignments from the library of podcasts.

Peekapak: Character-based stories for students in grades pre-K through 3 that emphasize social-emotional skills. Lessons are aligned to ELA standards and include at-home extensions that families can use. 

 Ruvna: Mobile-based software that teachers and adminstrators can use to locate students during emergencies. (Does not require an extra app.) 

SmartTrack: Mobile app created by Philadelphia-based former educators to manage school inventories using optical character recognition scanning software. 

Zulama - Game design curriculum developed by faculty from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. The curriculum (which includes instruction and assessment both online and offline, as well as project-based learning materials. It supports coding in professional languages (Python, Ruby-on-Rails, Javascript) and screenwriting and game production and marketing. 

The participating accelerator programs include LearnLaunch Accelerator, Arc Capital Development, Dreamit Ventures, Jefferson Education Accelerator, 1776, EDSi, Edge EDTECH, MaRS, and Village Capital.

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