LearnLaunch Conference to Share Intel and Insights; Accelerator Accepting Ed-Tech Startup Applicants

Staff Writer

A two-day conference for ed-tech startups will feature information on preparing students for the future of work, artificial intelligence, student data privacy, and offer a chance for company founders to pitch investors. EdWeek Market Brief experts will share data and insights at the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries conference to be held Jan. 30 and 31 in Boston.

At the same time, LearnLaunch is accepting applications through Feb. 3 for its accelerator program, dubbed Boost PLUS, the organization announced Wednesday. The program is for early-revenue-stage ed-tech companies with a product in the market, paying customers, and “diverse, industry-relevant founding” teams, the organization said in a press release.

LearnLaunch says Boost PLUS is an “advanced spin” on its traditional Boost Accelerator, and features a 12-week program to develop early-revenue stage companies into mature ed-tech companies.

Reaching Across Boundaries in Boston

Startups and more established companies can access information about funding and growth at the Across Boundaries conference. The agenda for the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries conference includes experts from Education Week and Ed Week Market Brief:

EdWeek Research: Navigating the District Buyer Journey

10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 30

Presented by Ben Delaney-Winn, general manager, global sales & advertising product management, Education Week.

Student Data Privacy: What You Need to Ensure Now

3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30

Panel moderated by Kevin Bushweller, assistant managing editor, Education Week. Panelists are Kerry Gallagher, assistant principal for teaching & learning at St. John’s Prep and Elizabeth McGonagle, executive director of The Education Cooperative.

What Does the Election Hold for Education Innovation, Ed Tech, and the Business of Education?

11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31

Panel featuring Sean Cavanagh, managing editor, EdWeek Market Brief, and Wayne Lewis, dean of the college of education, Belmont University and former Kentucky Education Commissioner. Moderated by Anna Edwards, co-founder and chief advocacy officer, Whiteboard Advisors.

LearnLaunch Accelerator

Companies chosen for the accelerator will receive a personalized program tailored to each firm’s needs. In the past, LearnLaunch has invested in early education, K-12, and workforce ed-tech companies.

Many startup education companies seek investments from accelerator programs, which offer financial support and mentoring, sometimes in exchange for equity.

Companies accepted to Boost PLUS receive up to $100,000 in investment, LearnLaunch spokesperson Ben Bungert said in an email.

LearnLaunch initially provides $20,000 to every accepted company in return for up to 6 percent of common stock, with the exact equity stake depending on the company’s traction and investment history, he said.

LearnLaunch then provides up to $80,000 in follow-on funding six months after the program, based on the startup’s success in hitting strategic milestones set up during the program. The follow-on investment usually takes the form of a convertible note or a simple agreement for future equity.

“We continue to push the boundaries of what it means to support education innovation,” said Jean Hammond, general partner at LearnLaunch, in a statement.

The accelerator provides startups with $120,000 in seed funding, a personalized development plan, sector-specific curriculum, a network of industry-focused mentors, intensive coaching, and “all the tools necessary to grow a successful ed-tech startup,” according to the press release.

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