(Out)Source Code: Kaplan’s EdTech Accelerator To Success

On a previous eltjam post we talked about Pearson’s ingenius scheme designed to attract the best and brightest the edtech-osphere had to offer. Pearson – the educational publisher of Biblical proportions – is inviting submissions/product concepts/pitches from whomever has the wherewithal to realise that creating effective and lucrative digital propositions is no longer the exclusive territory of publishing’s Old Boy set. The company will fund the successful candidates’ travel to and from Planet Pearson and in doing so bestow upon them their expertise, contacts and blessings.

It appears Kaplan is stepping into the philanthropic fight to get itself a slice of the action. The three-month accelerator programme to be held in New York this September will put startups in direct contact with the company’s contact list of mentors as well as their resources (including digs in their NY offices) and support. Oh, and a $20,000 equity investment from Techstars themselves so, if you’ve made it through the stringent application process, make sure you read the small print.

The end-game of the programme is the classic ‘Demo Day’ where the startups get to pitch the fruits of their labours to a selection of angel investors and edu-stake holders with a view of securing some funding. We wonder how long it will be until these DDs are televised, with deliberately edited pauses intended to amplify the nervousness/outrage/disappointment in the room. eltjam may just have stumbled across something there.

Kaplan’s programme is the product of a partnership with Techstars, a world leader in incubator programmes. It is interesting to note that Kaplan have had to outsource that part of the deal as well; it seems that the only thing they need to do is wait three months and then secure a bargain at the DD (assuming they don’t outsource the actual sitting and listening bit to someone else, too).



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