BOSTON, Sept. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LearnLaunchX, Boston's education technology accelerator, today graduated seven education technology start-ups. The inaugural Demo Day event was held in District Hall, located in Boston's Innovation District at 75 Northern Ave.

Entrepreneurs pitched their products and business plans developed during LearnLaunchX's immersive, three-month program to a group of more than 150 angel and venture capital investors and education industry leaders.

"Our digital technology sector holds enormous promise in better preparing our students for the 21st century global economy," said Governor Patrick. "I thank the entrepreneurs for their commitment to creating opportunity for all of our students."

"These ed tech companies really are at the top of their class and have the ability to help teachers and students," said Eileen Rudden, LearnLaunchX Partner and Co-Founder. "We are excited about the many opportunities LearnLaunchX companies have in front of them and look forward to seeing their companies move to the next level and transform education."

"I believe teachers and school leaders will be excited by the tools and offerings that the LearnLaunchX companies have created," said Ann Koufman-Frederick, former Deputy Superintendent for Teaching & Learning in Newton and Superintendent of Watertown Schools. "This is the time when students and teachers are looking for more engaging and personalized learning experiences."

After a competitive application process, LearnLaunchX selected its first cohort of early stage ed tech entrepreneurs to participate in a residential program designed to help them successfully grow their startups. Companies received $18,000 in seed funding, an intensive three-month mentoring and business development program, and office space for six months.  The companies were chosen for their exceptional potential to make education more effective, impactful, accessible and affordable across the education continuum. Mentors included successful technology and education entrepreneurs, investors and educators.

The LearnLaunchX companies presenting at the 2013 Demo Day were:

  • Listen Edition: Public radio stories, lesson plans and activities that enliven STEM and social studies curriculum, foster critical thinking and listening skills, and align with Common Core State Standards (CCSS), led by respected public radio reporter Monica Brady-Myerov.
  • Gradeable: A new assessment and feedback tool that helps teachers give students smarter, faster feedback and reduces their overall workload. Developed by a team from MIT and Harvard, it uses optical character recognition to handle paper inputs in both written answer and multiple choice formats, and provides simple, visually appealing reports.
  • Cognii: Using powerful natural language processing technology, Cognii enables automatic assessment of students' essay answers. Cognii helps online education providers create personalized and engaging learning environments, which measure students' content mastery.
  • Empow Studios: Bringing technology, arts, and learning together, Empow Studios helps youth discover and build talents that will prepare them to navigate, master, and thrive in their future careers and lives. Empow Studios teaches exciting robotics, video game design, animation, and other creative skills for the 21st century to 4 to 15 year olds through after-school, holiday, and summer programs.
  • Countdown: A planning tool for creating Common Core-aligned instruction that allows teachers and districts to map standards by day across the school year, link curricular resources, share calendars, manage changes and create a record of what is taught.  Countdown improves pacing, increases the effectiveness of co-teaching and supports standards-based teaching and learning.
  • eduCanon: Powerful, easy-to-use video tools for teachers to create highly engaging and interactive video instruction. EduCanon embeds formative assessments in videos and empowers teachers to quickly identify and track students' grasp of concepts. Created by teachers, for teachers.
  • Intellify LearningProvides a standards-based instrumentation framework for online course developers and schools, curriculum and learning designers, and ed tech application developers. Led by LearnLaunchX entrepreneur-in-residence Chris Vento, former CTO of Blackboard, WebCT and Cengage, Intellify's cloud-delivered data and analytics drive the progressive refinement of online learning experiences.

About LearnLaunchX:

LearnLaunchX is an ed tech accelerator dedicated to growing great education companies. Based in the Boston area, often referred to as the world's education capital, LearnLaunchX provides select companies with seed funding, workspace, an unmatched team of mentors with deep domain experience and relationships, direct access to the learning marketplace and strategic advantages in navigating successive funding, growth, market entry and exit cycles.

Asad Butt


Melissa Hurley
MJH Communications