LAUNCH Education & Kids 2012

LAUNCH Education & Kids Conference Day 2 – Part 2

LAUNCH Education & Kids 2012

The second half of the day started with a keynote of Nolan Bushnell, co-founder of Atari and now working on a new startup in education, Brainrush. His keynote stirred up some discussion on Twitter as he anticipated. At the beginning he noted that “If I don’t piss of half of the audience, I am not pushing hard enough”. Below you can find a collection of quotes from the keynote we shared via Twitter.

The keynote and product demo of Brainrush was then followed by a Q&A with Jason and the audience.

Brainrush | @NolanBushnell |

Brainrush takes the approach of spaced repetition in combination with playing little games to quickly learn information. The website showcases different sample lessons ranging from geography to learning animal names in Spanish. According to the founder, Nolan Bushnell, kids learn 10 times faster with Brainrush.

GradeCam | @GradeCam |

GradeCam was very well-received from both judges and audience. The startup allows teachers to grade assignments with any document camera or webcam, no special tools needed. GradeCam then also lets users import the data easily into the LMS they use. An iPad app is in the making. GradeCam currently offer a version for free to try it out! Gave them some probs for the simplicity of their product in my post for Edcetera this week.

Testive | @testive |

Testive does preparation for the SAT. The startup claims to be able to predict your SAT test score in about 15 questions. The other part of the product is to improve scores. Testive predicts outcomes 3x faster and automatically generates strengths and weaknesses assessments.

TestMax | @BarMax | | iTunes

The team have built an app to pass the Bar exam. The startup claims that their CA pass rate is 20 higher than the state’s average pass rate. Students’ pass rate with BarMax is 7/10. Their iPad app costs $1 K which is four times cheaper than traditional preparation for the Bar exam.

Educreations | @educreations | | iTunes

Another startup out of the imagine K12 incubator. Educreations is a whiteboard app that lets you record short video lessons Khan Academy style. We covered the startup about six months ago if you’re interested to learn more.

Motion Math | @motionmath | | iTunes

Motion Math might be a familiar name already as the startup is, compared with some of the other gamification apps we saw at Launch, already an established player. They build different fun math games for kids and are a popular choice in the App Store.

instaEDU | @instaEDU |

This startup provides students with instant and personal help from top-tier students live in a video chat. That’s a concept which already works offline, so why not online. The judges were quite positive on the prospects. Twitter feedback was a mixed bag. Main points: 1) university rankings not objective, so only accepting tutors from top 25 leaves out too many good tutors. 2) being a top 25 student doesn’t automatically make you a good tutor.

ManyLabs |

ManyLabs is a learning platform that incorporates games, simulations, and sensors. These lessons have a foundation in math and data, and they will span a range of topics: biology, physics, energy, ecology, urban planning, economics, health, and statistics.

ManyLabs presented its phone-based data entry and acquisition tools that can be used for education and citizen science projects like measuring the quality of water in your region. ManyLabs also provide a public API for anyone who wants to create their own data entry or acquisition applications.

Voxy | @voxy | | iTunes

Voxy is another startup that has been around for a while. The startup teaches Spanish speakers how to speak English based on things they are interested in. The Voxy experience is mobile.

At LAUNCH Education & Kids Paul Gollash introduced two new features to the Voxy platform. One lets learners study English through music, a very popular and effective way of learning a new language. The second feature are live talks via Skype.

At EDUKWEST we first covered them in Oct. 2010 (interview with Paul Gollash) Voxy has since raised $8 million and launched the Voxy Academy.

Bloomboard | @bloomboard |

Bloomboard is a set of free observation and evaluation tools for districts that enables administrators to deliver individualized learning plans & personalized support recommendations for teachers. It also features an open marketplace of workshops and resources for further professional development.

Bloomboard is a winner of this year’s SXSWedu.

LearningJar | @learningjar |

LearningJar wants to create a platform that collects all informal learning done by life long learners. At LAUNCH Education & Kids they announced partnerships with leading platforms like, Adobe TV or Codeschool.

LearningJar is also a winner of SXSWedu 2012.

Welcome to College | @welcome2college |

Welcome to College was invited on stage from the Demo Pit. The platform offers students who are comparing different colleges a central place to rate their experiences on campus in order to make the selection process more personal. Welcome to College not only takes the usual data points into consideration but also things like your favorite pizza place and other more social venues. Students can also upload photos, watch peer reviews and more.

LAUNCH Education & Kids Conference Winners

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at