Steve Schoettler, co-founder of Zynga, knows data. When he left the game giant, he knew that he wanted to use data to improve education.  He launched Junyo and initially set his sights on blended learning. He raised a little money in August 2011 (from a couple investors including Learn Capital where I’m a partner).

After a year of developing a platform in partnership with a couple charter networks, Schoettler realized that incrementally growing school-by-school would not generate enough data to achieve our goals or their customers’ goals. They shifted gears and, after looking a couple data-centric opportunities, set off to develop a market intelligence tool that could fill the information gap between schools and suppliers.

EdLights was unveiled today at the AEP meeting in Washington DC. For sales people engaged in the ‘district slog’, EdLights easy to use web app will make it much easier to find, quality, and contact schools that may need their serives.

In record time Schoettler’s team assembled information from about 100 sources,including traditional public sources and new firms like K12 Data, on schools in all 50 states. School profiles include enrollment and demographic data, a map, and academic results.


District information is even richer including a full financial profile.  In 15 seconds suppliers can find all the Texas districts receiving more than $5 million in Title 1 funds with more than 50% ELL and 50% FRL.

EdLights Prospector, the first suite of tools, will cost a sales rep $79 per month.  Bulk subscription discounts are available. “Compared to current offerings,” Shoettler said, “EdLights is more comprehensive, more up to date, and easier to navigate.”

EdLights brings organization and discovery to school information, as Yelp did for Yellow Pages. Next on the product roadmap is a CRM integration and mobile apps.

Early interest has been high–from small to large publishers. They immediately see the potential for sales reps to identify opportunities they would have never uncovered and stop wasting time where its not likely to be productive. “EdLights helps get the right content to the students that need it,” said Schoettler.

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.



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