20 High Impact EdTech Enterprises at ASU+GSV

Of the 300 presenting companies at ASU+GSV this week, 10 startups and 10 growth companies appeared to have big impact potential.


  1. Andela trains Africans to code, gives them 1,000 hours of software development experience, helps them find jobs at American and European companies, and continues to support them with learning experiences and code review. After the co-founder of 2U helped reimagine HigherEd, Andela CEO Jeremy Johnson must have felt he needed a real challenge.
  1. Citelighter is a comprehensive K-12 writing platform. It breaks writing down into easily manageable tasks. The free version is being used in 5,000 schools. Watch 8 and 9 year olds talk about writing a research papers.
  1. EdCast is a personal learning network to enhance human ability to collaborate and learn across educational materials, instructors, students and employers. EdCast powers social, mobile and cloud based learning for world class institutions, enterprises, governments and nonprofits to enable millions of students to collaborate with each other and learn. CEO and veteran entrepreneur Karl Mehta hired open resource expert Cathy Casserly to learning networks. EdCast is a Stanford StartX company backed by NewSchools, SoftBank, Kapor Capital, and Menlo Ventures.
  1. Educents is the first and only marketplace for educational products and services. Teachers, Parents and homeschoolers can now discover curated content & educational products all in one central place. Founded in 2013 by Kate Whiting and Kaitlyn Trabucco, Educents has saved members over $15 million and has delivered over 1 million high quality, affordable educational resources to classrooms and homes all over the world. The company announced $2.9 million in seed funding from SoftTech, Kapor Capital, Learn Capital, and others.
  1. myEDmatch is a job-matching site that connections mission and culture aligned teachers and schools. It is like online dating for education–schools find and recruit best-fit teacher talent and provide teachers with job opportunities to help them thrive in their careers. CEO Alicia Herald founded the St Louis-based company in 2012. There are 24,000 teachers and 425 hiring partners on the platform. Dallas ISD uses myEDmatch in all 250 schools; a Dallas hiring fair last week resulted in 400 offer letters.
  1. Upraised Learning was founded by former Scholastic executive Jeffrey Mathews to empower parents to support student learning. Leading districts are making their first product, Upraised Math, available to parents.
  1. Learn Trials combines teacher insights and data from multiple sources to help educators decide which products are a best fit for their class and school. Karl Rectanus (@karlrectanus) launched Raleigh-based Learn in 2013.
  1. Accreditrust ensures independent validation of certification data. They provide transcripts with digitally signed credential for tamper-proof portability. This week the company announced a strategic investment from Verisys, a leading healthcare compliance solution provider.
  1. Degreed is jailbreaking the degree by measuring academic, professional, and lifelong learning in authentic ways. An enterprise offering provides employers with a training solution including 225,000 courses. This week David Blake, co-founder and CEO, announced a $7 million round of funding including  Mark Cuban and Deborah Quazzo.
  1. Koru is attacking youth un/underemployment driven by the lack of job skills. The Seattle company, founded by Kristen Hamilton and Joshua Jarrett and backed by Maveron, offers job skills bootcamps in Seattle, San Francisco and Boston.

Growth Companies

  1. Agilix offers xLi, an eXtensible Learning Infrastructure and Buzz, a powerful Personalized Learning System for student-centered, competency based learning programs. (See feature)
  1. BloomBoard is an online observation and professional growth platform. Individual growth plans are connected to an open marketplace of professional growth opportunities.
  1. Curriculum Associates is a privately owned, rapidly growing Boston-based producer of print (Ready) and adaptive (i-Ready) math and literacy programs. Curriculum Associates has seen a 400% growth in staff size in past 5 years, has tripled revenue in past three years and is focused on continual reinvestment in product lines and programs. (See feature)
  1. DreamBox Learning offers an adaptive K–8 math experience. DreamBox differentiates content, pace, and sequence so every student can learn to think like a mathematician. (See feature)
  1. Instructure developed Canvas, the fastest growing LMS in HigherEd–with just as many users in K-12. This week North Carolina adopted Canvas as part of its statewide improvement system. (See feature)
  1. MasteryConnect is a K-12 market leader in mastery learning and standards-based education. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, the MasteryConnect platform empowers teachers to track mastery of standards and identify student levels of understanding, providing the clear path to individualized learning and real-time data in the classroom. The platform now has over 1 million registered teachers, and 21M students worldwide.
  1. McGraw Hill Education became an independent company near the end of 2012 (see 2013 post spinout feature). David Levin took over as CEO in April and, with president Peter Cohen, is setting an aggressive path forward as a learning science company. Leading gradebook Engrade (purchased a year ago) is central to the platform strategy and is now connected to formative assessment system Acuity (see feature). At ASU/GSV Levin announced a new prize strategy that will include a prize for a K-12 innovation, an innovation in higher education and a final one for an individual that makes an advancement to education. Also announced was a partnership with Microsoft that will allow “anyone to build personalized learning experiences,” by using Office Mix.
  1. Minerva is the Ivy killer launched by Ben Nelson. The super selective innovative college just accepted 200 students of 11,000 global applicants. With the help of eight students in the first cohort, the faculty is reviewing every lesson and every class to improve learner experience and outcomes. This first full class will live and learn in San Francisco. The global rotation starts next year.  Minerva will close a big round of funding in the next few weeks.
  1. School Improvement Network provides comprehensive professional growth and school improvement services. PD360 is now Edivate.
  1. RealizeIt, based in Dublin and Chicago, can semi-automatically ingest almost any form of learning content and, with a little coaching, can identify prerequisite relationships and build a competency-based sequence of granular learning nodes with assessment gateways. The company serves higher education clients, particularly in career education, with a growing number of secondary pilots. (See feature)

What other promising companies did you see this week?

Agilix, Curriculum Associates, DreamBox and Instructure are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. MasteryConnect and BloomBoard are portfolio companies of Learn Capital where Tom is partner.

Image via hechingerreport.org

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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Richard Taylor

Thanks for the GSV/ASU rundown. I didn't make it this year but keep a close watching brief especially as there were a few UK companies like Gojimo pitching.

Matthew Miller

Surprised, as a public school superintendent, that no one is taking a look or discussing nearpod.

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