Edtech Business

Dude, Where’s My Purpose? Ashton Kutcher on Today’s ‘Abysmal’ Schools

Ashton Kutcher is not one of those celebrities who has his own name-brand school, or who used to be a teacher. But he is one who lobs plenty of critiques about education, and thinks he can do it better.For one, he thinks “schools are doing an abysmal job at raising capital.” If he ran one himself, he’d call up Elon Musk asking for a free Tesla X, and maybe some starter cash to see if his students could create something of value for the car company. He’d also buzz his buddy Brian Chesky, who runs Airbnb, a company Kutcher has invested in, and try to strike a similar deal.

School Leaders Share the Best Ways to Get Your Product into Their Districts

The best outcomes for businesses and school districts are deeply intertwined and require balancing philosophies and approaches at exactly the right time. Dr. Kecia Ray, who once turned around a failing Tennessee school with a handshake, believes that companies should act as thought partners with the school districts they’re selling to.

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What Every Edtech Company Needs to Know About Schools and Data Privacy

The data privacy landscape looks a lot different than it did even a few years ago. New federal and state laws—and a greater focus on the issue by districts—are giving edtech companies a lot to consider.

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How to Get VC Funding by Being a ‘Missionary, Not a Mercenary’

Evaluating the team running an edtech startup is the most critical step when considering investments, say two venture capitalists who will be coaches at the EdSurge Immersion Conference.Esteban Sosnik, a General Partner at Reach Capital, looks for early employees who are unified.“The most important thing about any company is the team: their talent, their passion, their mission alignment, their ability to hire and to become leaders of the organization. It takes a village to build these companies.”

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This Father Built an App to Level the Playing Field for Struggling Readers

Venkat Ratnam developed WhizRead, a multisensory reading support program, out of pure fatherly love.In 2013, a realization washed over Ratnam and his wife. While they both had successful careers, they were paying a cost. Ratnam wanted to spend more time with their two children, then ages nine and five years old—particularly with his son, who was struggling with learning difficulties. “How could we let our children grow without much support?” asks Ratnam.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Playing Video Games

From high school valedictorian to game company CEO to computer science instructor, all I really needed to know, I’ve learned from video games. With lessons ranging from time management to algorithmic graph search, here are three of the games that have influenced me the most, and what I’ve learned from playing each of them.Final FantasyMin-maxing is a resource-management term used often in terms of gaming strategy. It is the process of maximizing results while minimizing resources spent.

Year in Review: Our Top Edtech Business Stories of 2018

At this time of the year, some businesses are busy filing expenses and reports. Many adults are frantically filling stockings. And we’re filing stories that capture the essence of the edtech industry in 2018.As another year closes, here’s a look at the biggest stories of the year—the ones that captured the most attention, and the ones that should have your attention. Over the following days, we’ll be sharing the top stories of the year for our business, K-12 and higher education readers.

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Seven Questions for Sandra Liu Huang, Chan Zuckerberg's New Head of Education

Earlier this week, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative named Sandra Liu Huang as its head of education, filling a vacancy created when Jim Sheldon, the former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, left the organization this summer.

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Kahoot Earns a $376M Valuation After Disney Investment—and Is Looking to Acquire

Kahoot, an Oslo-based developer of a digital quiz tool popular with teachers, just started making money this year. But a recent investment from one of the biggest names in the entertainment business is valuing the company in the hundreds of millions.

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TITAN Raises $5.2M in Series A to Scale Its School Nutrition Solution

Brad Blankenship had been working in edtech for nearly 10 years when he noticed that food services—an essential division in any school district—was being neglected.“There just wasn’t a whole lot of innovation happening” around children’s nutrition services, Blankenship tells EdSurge, especially compared to how rapidly the rest of the education sector was adapting. “I wanted to change that.”

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