Entrepreneurs in educational technology, or “ed-tech,” who want guidance in building their education start-ups are turning to Penn GSE, where they hope to prove their product feasibility as well as tap into the rich and growing East Coast education market. Penn GSE consults with start-ups as part of the team at Education Design Studio, Inc. (EDSi), a hybrid incubator and seed fund designed to tackle some of education’s most difficult problems.
Bobbi Kurshan, the executive director of academic innovation at Penn GSE, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that entrepreneurs and teachers share similarities that allow for a fruitful collaboration between Penn GSE and the education start-ups. “Many of the same skills that you find in great teachers are the same skills you find in entrepreneurs,” she told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Keith Mthunzi, co-founder of an Irish company that created an artificial-intelligence tutoring app for math students, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the “EDSi program gave [our company] invaluable insight on how to progress. They’ve helped and continue to help us lay out a clear, step-by-step plan to not only deliver an outstanding product for our users but to create the best possible business around it.”
Kurshan and the EDSi team are interested in ed-tech start-ups that are keenly attuned to changing trends in education, offer innovative learning strategies, and value data analysis to inform decision-making. “Everyone wants to make decisions based on data,” Kurshan said. “I’m very interested in companies that help parents, teachers, and students look at educational data to make good decisions."