High Impact Startups Spotted at ASU+GSV

Key Points

  • The ASU+GSV Summit last week was bigger and better than ever.

  • These are the startups we spoke with.

The ASU+GSV Summit last week was bigger and better than ever. The premier innovations-in-learning conference launched in 2010 in a crowded admin building on the ASU campus. It graduated to the Grand Hyatt on the San Diego waterfront where 7,000 edleaders, innovators, and investors gathered. 

In addition to great keynotes and valuable sessions, ASU+GSV has become the biggest edtech pitch competition. This year, the GSV Cup brought in over 900 global applicants. The Elite 200 semifinalists were evaluated by an expert panel of more than 200 judges and included almost half founders of color, half women and more than 40% international. 

The $1 million prize package was split among the three finalists: 

  • Maro is making mental health an asset to student success instead of a roadblock, 
  • Vinco a company empowering LATAM’s workforce through education, and 
  • Luca who offers a gamified learning platform with own-made content to teachers and students) placed third in the competition.

We spoke with four startups of note 

  • Transeo manages work-based learning and learner pathways. The idea emerged from D214 in Chicago (which we visited earlier this month). 
  • LifeLab Studio is a growth-as-a-service platform spinout from ASU launched by Dr Sasha Barab. Focused on value creation, a sense of belonging, and personal life transformation, LifeLab is helping justice-involved youth (both detained and on parole) experience big gains in life skills. 
  • Thinkist supports metasocratic peer tutoring. They train college and high school students to tutor middle-grade learners making it a valuable experience for mentors and mentees and a scalable and sustainable approach to high-dose tutoring. 
  • Skillsline helps young people develop job-ready skills. After six years of leading the ASU+GSV Summit, Courtney Reilly bootstrapped Skillsline which provides learning experiences to partners including Jobs for America’s Graduates-Louisiana. 

The ASU+GSV Summit last week was bigger and better than ever.

Tom Vander Ark

Nonprofit Startups 

We also met three exciting new nonprofit startups at ASU+GSV: 

  • Flare Education provides a 36-month program skill-building pathway that includes three internship experiences at Boston-based employers. Students receive a $20 per hour stipend for every hour engaged in the program. 
  • unCommon Construction uses the build process to empower youth with the skills, network, resources, and experience to lead the workforce after high school or college.
  • Data Science 4 Everyone is a campaign launched by the University of Chicago Center for RISC. They encourage the adoption of data science standards and integration of data science learning experiences across the k-12 curriculum.    

For more on for-purpose business, check out the inaugural SMU+GSV Summit in Dallas, May 22-24. Join global leaders from across investment, government, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy communities to shape the future of business.

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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