Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Launches Internal Tech Incubator

Associate Editor

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is the latest education company to launch an ed-tech incubator, but it isn’t seeking would-be entrepreneurs with their own startups.  

HMH Labs, as the initiative is called, will work on adopting a startup mentality internally, while it creates technologies for education and consumers, the Boston-based company said in its Wednesday announcement.

The in-house effort is designed to drive educational innovation through “experimentation and rapid prototyping of new technology solutions,” according to the announcement.

The company wants to create an environment where developers and other technologists can work on products that will enhance the digital user experience and increase the accessibility of Houghton Mifflin‘s content. Leading its lab will be Claudia Reuter, an entrepreneur and former CEO of SchoolChapters, a company that HMH acquired in July 2014. 

Other education companies have created incubators for different purposes. Pearson, McGraw-Hill Education, and Kaplan—among others—have their own versions of company launchers that provide direct financial or operational support or guidance to school-focused startups.

Wednesday was a demonstration day for the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, for instance, with startups like Lea(r)n and Branching Minds showcasing their tools targeting the K-12 marketplace. 

For now, it appears that the corporate strategy behind HMH Labs is that what goes on in HMH Labs, will stay in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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