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New education technologies find a test market at ASU


The ASU Draper GSV Accelerator offers demo events, featured space at the annual ASU GSV Summit and, potentially, workspace in ASU’s SkySong innovation center pictured) in Scottsdale. Photo by Andy DeLisle/ASU

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January 18, 2017

The ASU Draper GSV Accelerator, an initiative to move education technology to the market faster by allowing new ventures to be tested by ASU students and faculty, has announced the program’s first business cohort.

The accelerator is one of ASU’s many entrepreneurship efforts, and it will source, pilot and further validate new products created by higher-education technology companies.

“Our goal is to enhance the student learning experience by identifying the most promising products and tools while also providing resources for companies to advance their offering and discover new opportunities,” said Accelerator Director Nick Stanbury. “ASU faculty and administration along with Draper and GSV provide a unique pool of expertise that can be tailored to the specific needs of our cohort companies.”

The first round of companies that will test products at ASU are:

  • Gradescope, a grading platform providing detailed analytics to faculty and faster and more detailed feedback for students.
  • Course Hero, a platform that provides faculty and students a space to share and access course-specific study resources.   
  • Quad, a platform for organizing course assignments and connecting with classmates.  
  • Affinaquest, a database management system geared toward nonprofit fundraising.
  • Muzzy Lane, a platform allowing instructors to create game-based activities and assessments.
  • Campus Logic, a tool that simplifies the financial aid process to improve the student experience.  

“Our motivation to get involved in the accelerator program was to have access to expertise at ASU,” said Jeff Shy, CEO of Affinaquest. “ASU has a great reputation for innovation. We are hoping to not only get some expertise, but a different viewpoint on our technology. We believe the people at ASU have just the right level of experience and knowledge to be able to provide effective comments and suggestions.”

Participating companies will receive feedback from students and researchers in collaboration with Arizona Technology Enterprises, ASU’s intellectual property management and technology transfer organization. Additionally, companies that complete the program will receive data-driven feedback that provides an objective measure of their impact on ASU student success.

“Having the opportunity to test and validate emerging technologies in ASU’s real-world learning environment is invaluable to ed-tech investors,” said Andy Tang, CEO of Draper University and partner in Draper Associates. “This accelerator concept allows us to find, invest in and groom promising young companies that have the potential to transform higher education.”

The ASU Draper GSV Accelerator is a joint venture among ASU; the Draper Associates, led by Tim Draper, one of the world’s leading venture capitalists; and GSV, a leading name in educational technology investment. It is ideal for companies whose product is nearing commercialization, but any venture that has received seed funding or beyond is qualified to apply.

The program offers demo events, featured space at the annual ASU GSV Summit and, potentially, workspace in ASU’s SkySong innovation center in Scottsdale. There is no geographic restriction, and relocation is not required. To learn more, visit http://edtechaccel.com

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