Philadelphia, PA, July 1, 2014 – Penn’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) has announced that the Education Design Studio, Inc. (EDSi), a $2.1 million hybrid incubator and seed fund built specifically for education ventures, has selected its second cohort of entrepreneurs to join them in Philadelphia this August. Nine early stage edtech start-ups have signed on for support and incubation through EDSi.
The group will be an anchor tenant of Oxford Mills, an education focused housing and business hub in Philadelphia’s South Kensington, which opens this month. Steelcase Education has contributed design services as well as access to furniture and research support for the space.
“We found the program to be a valuable opportunity to meet and learn from the Penn community, as well as other talented entrepreneurs across the U.S.” said Preston Silverman, CEO & Co-Founder of Raise, a member of this past year’s cohort. “With EDSi’s support, we’ve been able to build partnerships with over 100 leading colleges, school districts, and foundations across the country.”
The Design Studio fund is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between Penn GSE and a host of seasoned venture capitalists and investors. EDSi represents a new paradigm for investors, with a model that blends the best elements of an incubator, design studio, seed fund and social impact company. The fund specifically emphasizes the importance of good research for any education business, and has developed ongoing relationships with a number of K-12 and higher education institutions to allow the selected start-ups to test their products. The nine participating start-ups include:
- 21st Century Brilliance (PA)
- 321 eLearning (TX)
- CuriousBee (PA)
- EdConnective (VA)
- Edumize (PA)
- Open Assembly (NYC)
- Propagate, Inc. (CA)
- JustMaybeCo. (PA)
- Ubongo (Tanzania, Africa)
The participating start-ups have been invited from a pool of finalist and semi-finalists from the May 2014Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition. Last year’s EDSi cohort of three start-ups have all grown significantly in revenue, investment and customers. During the program, this year’s start-ups will have the opportunity to travel domestically and, for some, internationally to learn from experts, and explore the global investment community and marketplace.