Kaplan, Inc., the global education services company and largest subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE:GHC), and Techstars, the global startup accelerator, jointly announced today they are accepting applications for the 2014 class of the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, powered by Techstars. Ten technology startups—focused on all areas of education, including K-12, higher education, professional education, corporate training and lifelong learning—will be chosen to participate in an intensive three-month, mentor-led business development program in New York City from July 25 to October 22, 2014. Applications are available at www.kaplanedtechaccelerator.com and due by May 5, 2014. In 2013, the first Kaplan EdTech Accelerator served as the launching pad for these innovative, successful edtech companies: Degreed, Flinja, Mathify, MentorMob, Modern Guild, Newsela, panOpen, Ranku, Uvize, and Verificient Technologies. The entire inaugural class has or will soon close a post-program funding round and to date has raised more than $10 million in funding. For the upcoming program, Techstars will invest $20,000 and Kaplan will offer a $150,000 convertible debt note to each selected company as well as office space and facilities. The startups will be mentored by several dozen industry leaders, including Kaplan, Inc. Chairman and CEO Andy Rosen, Techstars founder and CEO David Cohen, Graham Holdings Company Chairman and CEO Don Graham, noted venture capitalist and Foundry Group Managing Director Brad Feld, and many notable founders of edtech companies, including Jose Ferreira of Knewton and Jeremy Johnson of 2U. Additionally, the startups gain entrée to specialized resources—including Kaplan’s proprietary learning products that leverage the latest advances in cognitive science, instructional design, and technology—and extensive industry connections. Kaplan has tremendous reach in education, serving more than one million students annually, relationships with 300-plus U.S. school districts, more than 1,000 university partnerships worldwide, and thousands of corporate customers.
The program culminates in Demo Day in the fall, when the startups’ founders present to a select group of angel and venture investors and education industry influencers, with the goal of securing funding to grow their companies.“Education will change more in the next 20 years than it has in the past 200 years, fueled in part by the new, innovative uses of technology that these startups and companies like Kaplan develop to help students worldwide better attain their educational goals ,” said Andy Rosen, Kaplan, Inc. chairman and CEO. “Based on the very encouraging results from our inaugural class of startups in 2013, we’re excited to again partner with Techstars to run the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator this year. We invite startup companies from all sectors of education and across the globe to apply and help us change education together.” Kaplan has a history of pioneering notable education innovations. It launched the first wholly online law school in the U.S.; built its online university into one of the country’s largest; and, more recently, created mobile delivery systems for its test prep and professional education customers, a new prior learning assessment service for adult learners, and an innovative, large-scale online instructional platform, KAPx. Many of the Kaplan professionals who have driven these innovations will serve as mentors. “The inaugural Kaplan EdTech Accelerator was a tremendous success and we are proud to again partner with Kaplan in helping change the face of education,” said David Cohen, Techstars founder and CEO. “We are looking for companies that can bring disruptive change to how individuals learn and are educated, from cradle to grave,” said Don Burton, Techstars Managing Director for the Education Technology Sector. “There is probably no sector of our economy more ripe for change than education, but also no sector that is more challenging to navigate. The purpose of the Techstars model is to help entrepreneurs with great ideas find the right path to succeed.”
“The Kaplan and Techstars teams were phenomenal and we could not have been in a better accelerator program,” said Tim Dutta, co-founder and CEO of New York-based Verificient Technologies, part of the Accelerator’s inaugural class. “Kaplan was very heads into the game, giving us access to their executives, businesses, and clients. Since our first product release during the Accelerator, we’ve already successfully integrated into several leading learning management systems at schools around the world.”The application deadline is May 5, 2014; early applications are due April 4th. After selected companies are notified on or around June 18th, the program begins on July 25th and culminates on Demo Day, planned for October 22, 2014. Live, in-person information sessions in New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, and London will happen between now and when applications are due. Further details and the application for the program are available at KaplanEdTechAccelerator.com. About Kaplan Kaplan, Inc. is a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools, and businesses. Kaplan serves students of all ages through a wide array of offerings including higher education, test preparation, professional training, and programs for kids in grades K through 12. Kaplan also operates an active venture capital fund, Kaplan Ventures, which invests in and supports early-stage education companies. Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE:GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com. About Techstars Techstars was founded in 2006 and is consistently ranked the #1 startup accelerator in the world. Techstars executes an intensive 90-day, mentorship-driven program for entrepreneurs. For each program, 10 companies are selected from a large pool of applicants. Techstars offers programs in seven locations: Boulder, Boston, London, New York, Seattle, Chicago, and the Cloud program in San Antonio. In addition, Techstars offers the same successful model to corporations such as Nike, Microsoft, Barclays, and Kaplan, Inc. as "powered by Techstars" programs.