The Curse of Gates - ENT #24 05-02-2014

The Curse of Gates – ENT #24 05-02-2014

In episode 24 of the Ed News Ticker, titled “The Curse of Gates”, Chris and Kirsten talk more about edtech in the UK, India and Brazil and also cover a variety of US domestic education technology stories.

Our international stories cover funding for Indian startup Foradian Technologies, the strategic partnership of Blackboard with Grupo Positivo in Brazil and Virgin Media’s efforts to save schools in the UK some money.

After inBloom’s untimely demise ConnectEDU also joined the deadpool; let’s hope that BloomBoard will not be affected by the curse of Gates after having raised a $5 million Series A in which the foundation participated.

Companies InsideTrack and EdStart went on a shopping spree.

Furthermore, we also have news for you from some of the big players including Bing for the Classroom, Pearson’s free math app “Virtual Nerd”, Barnes & Noble’s Yuzu is in beta and now has a programming course for kids.

Last but not least, we know a bit more about Osman Rashid’s new edtech venture “Galxyz”, Collegefeed launched a career center platform and we might all soon be able to boost our learning by wearing the Halo Neuroscience Headband.


Foradian raises $2 million Angel Round

ForadianBangalore-based edtech startup Foradian Technologies has raised a $2 million angel round from William Bissell, MD of FabIndia.

The funding will be used to further develop the product and to spread into new markets in the US, Asia and Europe.

Halo Neuroscience raises $1.5 million Seed Round

Halo NeuroscienceHalo Neuroscience, a startup that works on wearable technology to enhance brain functions through electric impulses, raised a $1.5 million Seed Round led by Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz and Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC.

The technology stimulates brain functions that potentially lead to effects like accelerated learning or improved body movement control.

BloomBoard raises $5 million Series A

BloomBoardEdSurge reports that BloomBoard closed a $5 million Series A Round late last year from Birchmere Ventures and the Gates Foundation. Previous investors include Learn Capital and imagine K12.

BloomBoard is a platform in the professional development space, collecting and tracking all data related to teacher training as well as offering analytics to administrators.

Mergers & Acquisitions

InsideTrack acquires Logrado

InsideTrackInsideTrack, a provider of one-on-one student coaching, process expertise, analytics and technology has acquired Logrado, a social-mobile student engagement platform used by professional college student coaching programs. Logrado founder and CEO, Brian Co will join the InsideTrack team.

EdStart acquires ClassBadges and ExitTicket

EdStartClassBadges, an online tool that lets teachers reward their students with virtual badges, has been acquired by EdStart reports EdSurge. Co-founder and CEO Esther Wojcicki will join EdStart’s board of directors.

Founded in 2012, EdStart describes itself as a hybrid team of educators and technologists. The startup just recently acquired ExitTicket, a student response system from Leadership Public Schools (LPS), a charter network of four urban high schools in the San Francisco Bay area.

Other News

Collegefeed for Career Centers

Mountain View-based startup Collegefeed, an online social network for higher students with a focus on career prospects has launched a new platform called Collegefeed for Career Centers.

The platform allows colleges and universities to showcase their institution and students to employers and aims to help students find employment quickly and efficiently. launches Programming for Kids Programming for’s introduced a new course that is targeting parents and educators who want to teach children how to code.

The course is hosted by David Gassner and takes parents and educators through the different tools, software and applications that are available.

Pearson (re)launches Virtual Nerd

Virtual NerdBased on the assets of Virtual Nerd, a startup that had to shut down about a year ago, Pearson launched a free math tutoring app that gives learners access to over 1500 video lessons and tutorials aligned with Common Core.

Bing in the Classroom available to all US schools

Bing in the ClassroomBing in the Classroom (formerly Bing for Schools) is now available for all schools in the US. Bing in the Classroom removes all ads from the search results and also prevents that search queries from within the school network can be used for personalized advertisements.

Barnes & Noble launches Yuzu

YuzuFirst spotted by the Digital Reader, B&N quietly launched a replacement for NookStudy, it’s former digital textbook platform on Nook devices which seems to be retired, already. Apparently Yuzu is an entirely new platform that is also not compatible with the Nook Store and NookStudy formats.

Osman Rashid announces Galxyz

GalxyzSerial edtech founder Osman Rashid announced his next venture called Galxyz at an event in New York today. The startup aims to blur the lines between learning and gaming to get children interested in science.

Galxyz is developed in partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences and is expected to launch in early fall 2014 with Physical Sciences as first topic.

Blackboard partners with Grupo Positivo

Grupo PositivoBlackboard and the Brazilian education company Grupo Positivo announced their strategic partnership.

Under the partnership Blackboard’s technology will be implemented in the offers of the different subsidiaries of Grupo Positivo.

Virgin Media Business launched edtech initiatives in UK

Virgin Media BusinessVirgin Media Business launched two education technology related initiatives in the UK, Generation Tech and TRUSTnet. Generation Tech invites students and teachers in 20.000 schools across the UK to share how technology has helped them learn, teach and be prepared for the future.

The launch of Generation Tech comes shortly after the announcement of TRUSTnet, a scheme in collaboration with the London Grid for Learning Trust that aims to save UK schools £840 million in IT related costs.

TRUSTnet bundles ICT infrastructure, services and content into one simple and cost-effective package and has already saved the 2500 schools of the London Grid an estimated £100 million over the past three years.

Death Pool

ConnectEDU files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

ConnectEDUConnectEDU, a college and career planning platform filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday night.

According to the filing the company is unable to pay debt owed to over 200 creditors, estimating assets of $1 million to $10 million and liabilities between $10 million to $50 million.

Picture “Boston: Storrow Drive – Reverse the Curse” by Wally Gobetz, Some Rights Reserved

Kay Alexander is the co-founder and creative director of EDUKWEST. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+