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Six education startups named to LEANLAB Education’s K12 Fellowship

Six education entrepreneurs developing new technologies, tools and services to enhance teaching and learning will participate in LEANLAB Education’s K12 Fellowship this year. The LEANLAB Education K12 Fellowship is an accelerator program for startup ventures focused on solving real problems within education. This year’s Cohort 5 Fellows will work with coaches and mentors from Kansas…

Haus in einem kenianischem Buschdorf

The LEANLAB Education’s K12 Fellows, photo courtesy of LEANLAB

Six education entrepreneurs developing new technologies, tools and services to enhance teaching and learning will participate in LEANLAB Education’s K12 Fellowship this year.

The LEANLAB Education K12 Fellowship is an accelerator program for startup ventures focused on solving real problems within education. This year’s Cohort 5 Fellows will work with coaches and mentors from Kansas City, connect with school partners, and work alongside the Kansas City community to further their initiatives and bring their services to local students.

LEANLAB will offer $10,000 in seed funding for each team in the cohort and grants to fund subsequent work from the most promising innovations will be awarded to selected ventures at the summation of the program.

The most recent cohort comes from across the country and will pilot their innovations in partnership with Kansas City schools this fall, including Crossroads Preparatory Academy, Lee A. Tolbert and Pitcher Elementary.

“We’ve always had a strong belief in the power of the people closest to education in Kansas City—parents, students and teachers,” said Katie Boody, LEANLAB CEO and cofounder. “By partnering directly with local schools, and allowing our fellows immediate access to authentic learning environments, we are able to begin a truly collaborative process. Our goal is to elevate the voice of parents, students and teachers throughout the innovation process and together design the future of Kansas City education.”   

The fellows joining LEANLAB’s fifth annual K12 Fellowship this August are:

  • InquirED, Shanti Elangovan – Davenport, IA
    Online platform and professional development tool, which helps teachers incorporate Inquiry Based Learning into their lessons.
  • K12 Perform, Brad Maclaughlin & Brett Simpson – Kansas City MO
    Ed-tech hybrid software & service that strengthens school district performance; an APR calculator and modeling tool.
  • Base Academy of Music, Clint Velazquez – Kansas City, MO
    One-on-one music lessons with a focus on social and emotional development.
  • Innovare, AJ DeLeon & Nick Freeman – Chicago, IL
    Professional development, consulting & software solution  that guides school leaders through strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation to accelerate school improvement.
  • Doors to Explore, Kelley Johnson – Sandy Hook, CT
    Quickly connects students to workforce pathways and career options within their region.
  • Words Liive, Sage Salvo – Washington D.C.
    English Language Arts lesson plans that use contemporary music to teach literary concepts.

LEANLAB identified three innovation priorities for 2018, sourced from a series of interviews, focus groups, and surveys conducted with local Kansas City schools:

  • Social and emotional learning
  • Critical thinking
  • Literacy

The three priority areas were used to recruit and select high potential entrepreneurs who were developing innovations from more than 100 applicants.

“The application pool this year was more competitive than ever,” said Stephanie Campbell, Director of Innovation programs. “We saw a 94 percent increase in quantity over last year, but it was the overall quality of those applications that was truly remarkable. It’s a testament to the healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem we’re cultivating here that we saw such an interest on the part of entrepreneurs in coming to Kansas City to establish a proof point for their innovations.”

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