Announcing EdInno, a New Initiative to Expand Ecosystem Support for Early Stage Edtech Founders

It’s no surprise that 2020 was a difficult, unprecedented year and while you might expect that the myriad challenges that we endured would slow the rate of startup formation, what we witnessed was exactly the opposite. Across 2020 and into 2021, we experienced the largest surge in new edtech companies, ideas, and innovations that we’ve ever seen, often hearing from and meeting with more than 50 new edtech founders per week who needed assistance.

This was a problem worth solving.

So, we got to work connecting with new founders to investigate their needs and the impact we might be able to offer to this growing community. We talked with other groups in the education innovation space to better understand their work, missions, and impact goals and we connected with industry experts and advisors to get their perspective. What became clear through these conversations was that the existing edtech ecosystem was struggling to support the swath of emerging, early-stage startups.

We came to the conclusion that it is essential to improve the support for the founders of tomorrow, today.

Three things were true:

  1. While the support ecosystem is strong and fiercely dedicated, the rapid change in the market and emerging needs require new, additional supports.
  2. We need to directly and expressly support the next generation of edtech founders who are more representative of the communities they serve and are disproportionately excluded from both human and financial capital.
  3. The ecosystem needs more capacity that is open and accessible to provide a bridge between those founding brand new companies and those offering support.

One of our founders, Jean Hammond always says, “it takes multiple villages to make a successful edtech startup.” So, we’re putting our time, resources, and experience where our mouth is and creating a new village, one that is collaborative, community-driven, and founder-first. A village that complements our work at LearnLaunch Accelerator, the rest of the edtech support ecosystem, and fulfills our mission of democratizing access to information and social capital, making founding an edtech company more possible and accessible to all.

Today we’re announcing EdInno.

EdInno is a learning community designed to help the next generation of edtech innovators persist to build impactful businesses. It will focus on supporting companies as early as idea stage and feature a digital space to convene, connect, learn, and build relationships. EdInno will add capacity to the education innovation support ecosystem with community-led activities like interest groups, open discussions, and forums and provide a roadmap to success for companies using models, mentorship, curriculum, and resources.

What’s up with LearnLaunch Accelerator you ask? LearnLaunch Accelerator is starting to raise its next fund and is excited to continue providing world class accelerator programs for revenue stage edtech companies. The program offers a unique mix of milestone-based funding, venture partner & mentor support, and unique market access to help revenue-stage, impact-driven entrepreneurs scale. The accelerator will continue investing with the existing education innovation ecosystem to do its job while EdInno will work alongside to support a broader swath entrepreneurs earlier in the company journey.

With this announcement, we have two asks:

  • If you are (or know) an edtech entrepreneur, sign up on our waitlist to be first in line to get access to EdInno. It’s free, open, and founder-first.
  • If you’re an education expert, friend, or supporter who’s interested in getting involved, reach out to ben@edinno.com. We’re actively growing our mentor and partner network.

Before we sign off and get back to work building, it’s important to acknowledge the groups and programs who have been laser focused, leading the charge in supporting existing edtech startups.
Note: If we missed anyone, let us know!

Edtech Innovation Support Ecosystem: See the full graphic

Finally, thank you to our team, Aditya Vikram, Juanita Botero, Kelly Yang, Mahdi Atmani, Mansi Sharma, and Will Crane, our advisors and venture partners Richard Varn, Ann Brady, Eric Cantor, Kirby Salerno, Matt Rubins, Steve Shapiro, Bobby Babbrah, Rita Ferrandino and our friends and industry experts who have offered their time and expertise along the way: Amy Baron, Jason Gorman, James Altman, and Keeley Sorokti.

We look forward to continuing our work with the ecosystem supporting entrepreneurs innovating in education,

Tetyana Astashkina, Ben Bungert, Jean Hammond, and Colin Magee

LearnLaunch Accelerator is the leading edtech startup program.

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