Former National Geographic Society President Eyes Ed-Tech Market

Managing Editor

Tim Kelly, the former president of the National Geographic Society, is reportedly turning his sights to launching a game-based education technology company, in what would be a high-profile entry into the crowded digital landscape.

The company, STEAM Engine Inc., has raised $8 million in investment so far, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and as was first reported by the website DCInno.

The filing lists Kelly as the company’s executive officer and director, but provides few other details.

Kelly is known for his work expanding National Geographic from a print-based magazine to a multi-faceted entity with a strong presence in television, digital media, and other areas. He could not be reached for comment.

A job announcement posted online for the company describes it as an early-stage technology company “developing a game-based social learning platform that offers the planet as living laboratory for K-12 STEM education.”

The job description would seem to offer other hints of the new company’s focus. The posting is for a research and development program coordinator who can focus on citizen science, human-computer interfaces for learning, earth-science data visualizations, and current science topics of interest to a K-12 audience. 

The posting says the company will have offices in Washington and San Diego. Vijay Lakshman, a former Universal Studios executive, and Albert Yu-Min Lin, described in the posting as a scientist and entrepreneur, are also listed as company founders in the announcement.  

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