The Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) has named six EdTech startups the winners of the third “Learning Innovation Hub (iHub) Pitch Games” held at Adobe Systems.
Eleven EdTech entrepreneurs participated in the games. Each startup was required to pitch its product to a panel of educators and top Silicon Valley business leaders in the vein of the TV show “Shark Tank.” During the nearly three-hour event, the entrepreneurs answered a barrage of questions about their products and business models. The competition is supported by grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"Strengthening the connection between the startups and teachers is the optimum way to be able to test products more quickly and develop more relevant instructional technology tools for students,” SVEF CEO Muhammed Chaudhry said in a press release. "This moves us toward transforming classroom learning and improving student ach
As part of the prize, the winning startups will test their science, English and math-friendly software in 40 Silicon Valley schools.
Here’s a brief rundown of what they’re working on.
Based in Athens, Greece, the startup teaches elementary school-aged children math and biology through an adventure game featuring a young boy who travels the world.
The Boston-based startup uses programs that guide elementary school teachers with no engineering background to teach young students the engineering design process.
The San Francisco company teaches young students to document and organize what they learn in school and to chart their academic growth.
The second winner out of San Francisco is a tablet app that turns class assignments into creative learning by using enhanced drawing, painting and text, and includes a built-in sharing platform.
The Ontario, Canada-based startup offers products for teachers to capture and assess learning with quick feedback and is particularly helpful to English Language Learners.
The Pasadena, Calif. company introduces students as young as 5 to 8 years old to coding with the help of friendly animated creatures.
Panelists, or “sharks,” at the competition included Dave House, chairman of Brocade Communications Systems; Ron Sege, chairman and CEO of Echelon; Emily Dalton Smith, product manager at Facebook; Kathy Gomez, superintendent of Evergreen School District; and Peter DeMarzo, Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business.