Edtech Business

Unintended Consequences: How Gates Foundation Money Steered Uversity Into Trouble

This article, “Unintended Consequences,” was first published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives 4.0 International License.

Jamie Glenn, chief executive of a once-hot social media startup, was between a rock and a hard place. Or rather, between a binding legal agreement and a faltering business model.

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Why We Don't Need a 'Netflix for Education'

If the views expressed by leading edtech companies are any indication, the race to become the first 'Netflix of Education' is gathering steam.

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Quizlet's New CEO: Inside His First 100 Days in Office

Matthew Glotzbach spent more than 10 years at Google, a Fortune 500 company with tens of thousands of employees. Now he’s checked off 100 days running Quizlet, a company of 50—mostly new hires—that recently received its first round of venture funding.

Building Effective Edtech Business Models to Reach the Global Poor

Battushig Myanganbayar grew up in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. As a senior in high school he persuaded his parents to upgrade their internet speed so that he could stream online course videos from MIT. He managed to earn a perfect score in the edX Circuits and Electronics course and gain admittance to MIT. In 2013, he was heralded as “the boy genius of Ulan Bator” by the New York Times.

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With $3.2M Series A, Viridis Aims to Connect Community College Students and Employers

“Community colleges are one of America’s best-kept secrets,” Jill Biden, who teaches English at a Northern Virginia Community College,
once remarked. These schools, she notes, are increasingly “forming partnerships with businesses in their communities, ensuring that students are trained for jobs that need to be filled.”

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Facebook Donates $15M to Code.org to Diversify Computer Science Education

Looking to diversify its portfolio of charities and its workforce at the same time, Facebook has pledged $15 million over the next five years to Code.org, a nonprofit working to expand the availability of computer science (CS) education. The social network has also released a report on the diversity of its own employees.

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Beyond Build or Buy: The Case for Co-Designing Edtech

All too often, the connection between teachers and technology tools falls flat. Pioneering schools and educators search for technology to support teacher-led instruction, only to find that existing technologies do not meet teachers’ needs. The alternative to off-the-shelf technology is build-it-yourself, but most schools find they lack the scale, revenue sources or expertise to support a software development department.There is a third alternative, however: partner with a company to co-design new technology.

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Codecademy Raises $30 Million to Expand Coding Education Across the Globe

Those who can code may land well-paying jobs. Those who build the tools to teach coding can win even more dollars in the form of venture capital.
That’s the case for
Codecademy, which has raised $30 million in a Series C round led by Naspers, a South Africa-based media conglomerate. Existing investors that include Union Square Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, Index Ventures and Sir Richard Branson also chipped in.

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Looking to Grow in China? 3 Lessons for U.S. Edtech Companies

As the world’s biggest Internet market, China is an alluring prospect for U.S. tech firms, including edtech players. China-based edtech companies raked in more than $1 billion in investment in 2015, or 37 percent of global funding for the year.

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