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Note from Editors
NewSchools Ignite launched its first Science Learning Challenge for Companies and NonProfits to meet the teachers & students’ need for good digital content.  $1.5 million in grants awaits 15 challenge winners. Link to application included, with deadline set on Sept 4th.


by SchoolBoard


At least once a month we come across a breathless article or blog post about the hot growth in investing. No wonder. From Q2 2014 to Q2 2015, investment was up 96% compared with the previous four quarters. As the most active investor in K-12 companies over the last few years,  NewSchools Venture Fund has helped fuel this growth. One thing is clear: broad brush statements about “the market” don’t speak to whether all this investment and matters much for kids and teachers.

Consider the following:

  • Total EdTech investing (K-12, post-secondary, corporate training, informal learning) nearly doubled over the last year. But the number of K-12 investments fell every quarter in 2014.
  • Investments in companies focused on school operations and other non-instructional use cases swamp investments in digital content for students and classroom supports for teachers.
  • Within digital content, the growth in math and ELA outstrips other subjects such as science and social studies.
Schools are focused more than ever on using blended instruction to support personalized learning for students, but they have limited choices for high quality digital content and tools outside of math and literacy. Teachers talk about the struggle to find great science and social studies content that is engaging and rigorous. Market research confirms these gaps.

At NewSchools, we’ve learned important lessons through our Seed Fund investments and as a founding partner of the co.lab accelerator. Building on these experiences, this week we launched NewSchools Ignite, a virtual accelerator program that will mobilize and inspire to develop solutions in market segments that matter for learning, but in which innovation is lagging. Ignite will provide grant funding and a customized cohort experience for companies and nonprofits developing products in particular segments. What entrepreneurs are most interested in learning about:


  • educator perspectives – understanding different classroom use cases and how schools handle purchasing/procurement;
  • standards alignment – how to ensure content is aligned to the Next Gen Science Standards, Common Core, and other academic standards;
  • research – what types of research are required for what purposes, including cost/benefit analysis of various approaches;
  • business models – key considerations and what has worked for other entrepreneurs in the space; and
  • fundraising – sources of funding and how to ensure that products are aligned and eligible.

Ignite will run periodic Challenges aimed at specific market segments. The first is the Science Learning Challenge, open to companies and nonprofits creating engaging, interactive digital science content that helps students develop mastery of K-12 science and engineering concepts and skills.




Read the full article:

Curated from EdTech Is Hot, Except When It’s Not: Accelerating Innovation in Market Gaps – Forbes

 Note: Featured Image credit to

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