NEW YORK and UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Dec. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading global start up accelerator Dreamit announced today that Penn State World Campus, the University's online campus, has signed on as a founding partner of Dreamit EdTech, a new program launching in March 2016 to change the face of education and deliver much needed innovations into the hands of educators and students.
The unique partnership between an accelerator and a major university will connect visionary entrepreneurs to a world-class institution with the resources and opportunities to put their ideas into action. Start ups participating in Dreamit EdTech will spend four months developing and de-risking their companies with the benefits of Dreamit's curriculum and access to its global network, including an advisory board studded with Penn State leadership.
Founded in 2008, Dreamit alumni companies in the EdTech space include successes like Elevate, rated by Apple as the top iPhone app of 2014, as well as Learnbop, Notehall, and hoot.me, all of which have had successful exits or raised additional funding.
"We're launching Dreamit EdTech at a time when Education isn't just ripe for innovation, but actually demands it," said Dreamit CEO Avi Savar. "Working in partnership with Penn State, Dreamit EdTech will empower entrepreneurs to create disruptive products while at the same time connecting them with established industry players to integrate those technologies directly into the educational experience. This is demand-driven innovation at its best, and we're thrilled to be at the forefront of bringing this proven approach to acceleration to the Education space."
"This partnership will advance the entrepreneurial and economic development strategies of Invent Penn State and the EdTech Network while helping to ensure Penn State maintains leadership in online learning," said Craig Weidemann, Penn State vice president for Outreach and vice provost for Online Education. "More importantly, the Dreamit collaboration will provide a platform for Penn State leaders, faculty, staff and students to gain a first-hand experience in learning about the entrepreneurial process."
Unique among accelerators, Dreamit removes barriers to innovation and appeals to a broader range of entrepreneurs, including post-seed companies that would not typically consider an accelerator. Dreamit EdTech will feature a hybrid virtual/local curriculum so that companies do not have to relocate to participate as well as extend a no-cash/no-equity offer to more seasoned entrepreneurs. Additionally, companies will have regular touch points with customers and investors across the country all throughout the program where they can receive critical feedback and commercial validation.
Advisors in the Dreamit EdTech network include: Steven Hodas, Innovate NYC Schools; Andrew Cohen, Founder and CEO, Brainscape; Josef Katz, formerly SVP Marketing, Straighterline; Laura Malcolm, VP of Product, Civitas Learning; Katie Blot (Crowley), SVP Corporate Strategy & Industry Relations, Blackboard; Bart Epstein, Founding CEO, Jefferson Education Accelerator, formerly Chief Strategy Officer/SVP at Tutor.com; Burck Smith, CEO, StraighterLine; Adam Fried, Superintendent, Harrington Park School District; Thom Jackson, CEO, EdisonLearning; Justin Miller, CEO, Notehall; Todd Schwartz, CEO, Education.com; Laurie Racine, Founder/Managing Director, Startl; Jesse Pickard, CEO and Co-Founder, Elevate; Sharon van Wyk, President and COO, The Princeton Review & Tutor.com; and Maia Sharpley, VP Strategy and Innovation, Kaplan.
Dreamit EdTech is designed for start ups seeking to solve the challenges faced by educators at all levels of learning including K-12, higher education, adult skills acquisition, corporate training, and more. Start ups can apply now at www.dreamit.com/apply.
Ranked one of the top 10 business accelerators in the world by Forbes, the Dreamit network focuses on bringing the right people together to drive progressive innovation and real business velocity. Dreamit has launched over 215 start ups that have gone on to raise in excess of $275M and are collectively worth in excess of $1B including LevelUp, SeatGeek, BioBots, Adaptly, Meerkat, and more.
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