Tag Archives: higher education

Minerva Project funding

HEDLINE: Minerva Project raises $70 million Series B

The Minerva Project, an edtech startup that aims to create a new breed of elite university, announced that it is in the process of raising a $70 million Series B from a Chinese investment consortium led by tutoring service provider TAL Education Group with participation of Yongjin Group and ZhenFund and its existing investor Benchmark Capital.

This round brings the total funding raised to $95 million. Benchmark Capital was the sole investor in Minerva’s $25 million round in April 2012.

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Nas Scholarship Fund

Koru receives $100k to set up Nas Scholarship Fund

When it comes to opportunities in technology, hip-hop and rap artists seem to be ahead of the curve compared to fellow musicians. MC Hammer is well known for his appearances at tech conferences, may it be as a panelist, speaker and often main act at the afterparty. All of the major players in the rap business have some kind of commercial relationship with one or several tech brands. And then there is Dr Dre who just sold his headphone business to Apple and who will take on an executive role at the tech giant as the most recent and arguably most prominent example.

Therefore it makes sense that we are now seeing the first moves into education though, for now, most investments are not for profit oriented. Nas already is involved in the space through his commitment in General Assembly’s Opportunity Fund, he now invested a six-figure sum in a scholarship fund for higher education that also carries his name.

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Top Hat

HEDLINE: Top Hat raises $10 million Series B

Top Hat which creates a mobile real time feedback platform for educators in higher education raised a $10 million Series B led by Georgian Partners with participation from existing investors Emergence Capital Partners, iNovia Capital, SoftTech VC, Version One Ventures and Golden Venture Partners.

The new round brings the total funding raised to $22.6 million.

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Campus of the Future

The Campus of the Future: Hybrid and Lean

Editor’s Note: This post has first been published on edcetera – straight talk on edtech.


When people imagine the campus of the future two main aspects seem to come up. On the one hand the campus experience will be blended or hybrid, meaning that even with the majority of learning taking place online there will still be demand for activities in a classic brick-and-mortar setting. On the other hand the campus of the future will be more like a technology startup, focused on cutting expenses and running a lean operation.

Three recent articles in Education DIVE, The Times Higher Education, Slate and Inc. underline this trend.

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review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed #26 Interview with Daphne Koller & Andrew Ng of Coursera (Audio)

review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed Episode #26

Interview with Daphne Koller & Andrew Ng of Coursera

  • recorded: April 27th 2012
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imagine K12 This Interview is sponsored by imagine K12
imagine K12, the silicon valley incubator for ed tech companies, will start its summer 2012 program in July. The online application is currently open and is due on May 4.
Visit imaginek12.com/apply for more information.

On Friday, Christopher Dawson and myself had the pleasure for a short talk with the two co-founders of Coursera, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng.

As the startup is backed with $16 million dollars in venture funding and thus also got some coverage outside of the education vertical, we were of course very interested in hearing a bit more online education centered and beyond the usual articles on some of the big tech-blogs.

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review:ed #26 Interview Coursera

review:ed #26 Interview with Daphne Koller & Andrew Ng of Coursera

review:ed #26 Interview Coursera

On Friday, Christopher Dawson and myself had the pleasure for a short talk with the two co-founders of Coursera, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng.

As the startup is backed with $16 million dollars in venture funding and thus also got some coverage outside of the education vertical, we were of course very interested in hearing a bit more online education centered and beyond the usual articles on some of the big tech-blogs.

Subscribe to review:ed Subscribe to review:ed Video via RSS Subscribe to review:ed Audio via RSS
Subscribe to review:ed Audio via iTunes
Download Episode Download Episode Video Download Episode Audio
imagine K12 This Interview is sponsored by imagine K12
imagine K12, the silicon valley incubator for ed tech companies, will start its summer 2012 program in July. The online application is currently open and is due on May 4.
Visit imaginek12.com/apply for more information.

The interview starts with the founders’ motivation to launch their startup right now, I was particularly interested in hearing whether this was financially motivated as it seems to be a great moment for Silicon Valley based education startups or rather based on the technology.

Coursera is currently already working together with three universities, Princeton, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania besides Stanford, their alma mater. As a side-note, unlike other initiatives in Higher Education that are led by professors, for instance Sebastian Thun’s Udacity, Koller and Ng are staying at Stanford and will continue teaching there.

All courses available on the platform are offered completely for free and the Coursera team are building relationships with other top institutions to offer a wider variety of courses in the near future.

With such a big vision of changing Higher Education they must, of course, have an idea on the potential impact Coursera might have on the landscape.

We wrap up the talk by discussing the (currently non-existing) business-model of Coursera. Following right in the tradition of recent movements in Silicon Valley, there will certainly be a business at some point in the future, but Coursera currently focuses on building the platform, adding more courses and getting more students.

Additional Links:

Homepage: http://coursera.com
Coursera on Twitter: @coursera
Coursera on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/coursera
Daphne on LinkedIn: Daphne Koller
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EDUKWEST Audio Podcast

EDUKWEST Update #3 with Chip Paucek of 2tor (Audio)

EDUKWEST Audio Podcast

EDUKWEST Update Episode #3

  • published: April 7th 2012
  • Guest: Chip Paucek, Co-Founder & CEO 2tor
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AcademicPub - Your Book Your Way This Interview is sponsored by AcademicPub – Your Book Your Way
AcademicPub allows you to take content from their copyright cleared library of over 125 publishers, your files or anything on the web, and create custom course packs that are perfect, for you.
Visit them today at academicpub.com and follow @AcademicPub on Twitter.

This interview is an update to EDUKWEST #87 with 2tor’s co-founder and CMO Jeremy Johnson.

I had the chance for a quick talk with Chip Paucek, the company’s CEO and also one of the co-founders.

2tor made two big announcements recently. One of which is a new collaboration with UNC Chapel Hill bringing their Master of Public Administration online. This partnership makes it the 5th graduate program for the education startup,the program is named MPA@UNC.

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EDUKWEST Update #3 Chip Paucek 2tor

EDUKWEST Update #3 with Chip Paucek of 2tor

EDUKWEST Update #3 Chip Paucek 2torThis interview is an update to EDUKWEST #87 with 2tor’s co-founder and CMO Jeremy Johnson.

I had the chance for a quick talk with Chip Paucek, the company’s CEO and also one of the co-founders.

2tor made two big announcements recently. One of which is a new collaboration with UNC Chapel Hill bringing their Master of Public Administration online. This partnership makes it the 5th graduate program for the education startup,the program is named MPA@UNC.

The other subject of our talk is 2tor’s recently announced series D funding round of a whopping $26 million. Chip tells me that all former investors are on board for this round as well and explains why it costs a lot of money to bring these top-tier graduate programs online.

Finally, we get a clue that a 6th program will soon be announced from 2tor and of course, I had to ask about his opinion on the Minerva University project that people rave about for a few days now.

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AcademicPub - Your Book Your Way This Interview is sponsored by AcademicPub – Your Book Your Way
AcademicPub allows you to take content from their copyright cleared library of over 125 publishers, your files or anything on the web, and create custom course packs that are perfect, for you.
Visit them today at academicpub.com and follow @AcademicPub on Twitter.

Additional Links:

Homepage: http://2tor.com
2tor on Twitter: @2tor
2tor on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/2torInc
Chip on Twitter: Chip Paucek
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EDUKWEST Audio Podcast

EDUKWEST #90 with Jay Chakrapani of McGraw-Hill Higher Education Digital Group (Audio)

EDUKWEST Audio Podcast

EDUKWEST Episode #90

  • published: April 3rd 2012
  • Guest: Jay Chakrapani, GM Digital McGraw-Hill Education
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AcademicPub - Your Book Your Way This Interview is sponsored by AcademicPub – Your Book Your Way
AcademicPub allows you to take content from their copyright cleared library of over 125 publishers, your files or anything on the web, and create custom course packs that are perfect, for you.
Visit them today at academicpub.com and follow @AcademicPub on Twitter.

EDUKWEST has made it to 90 episodes! Not that I give those numbers too much importance, but I have been interviewing companies and people in the education start-up space for two and a half year now and episode 90 is therefore a little milestone on my way.

I sat down (virtually as most of the time) with Jay Chakrapani, the VP and general manager of McGraw-Hill Higher Education’s digital group.

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edukwest 90 jay chakrapani mcgraw-hill pic

EDUKWEST #90 with Jay Chakrapani of McGraw-Hill Higher Education Digital Group

EDUKWEST #90 Jay Chakrapani McGraw-HillEDUKWEST has made it to 90 episodes! Not that I give those numbers too much importance, but I have been interviewing companies and people in the education start-up space for two and a half year now and episode 90 is therefore a little milestone on my way.

I sat down (virtually as most of the time) with Jay Chakrapani, the VP and general manager of McGraw-Hill Higher Education’s digital group.

It may be a little surprising as I mostly interview start-up people and what probably first comes to mind when thinking of McGraw-Hill is that they are one of the biggest education publishers – not really a start-up.

That’s what makes it even more interesting to me! Finding out in a talk how a traditional and established company makes the transition into a digital education company.

The first thing I ask Jay is to define adaptive learning and what it means to McGraw-Hill – beyond all the buzz it’s getting right now. I then ask about the work and importance of his digital division within the company’s overall strategy as currently they not very prominent when one visits their website.

The second part of our talk is dedicated to e-textbooks, still relatively high prices and the future. Does Jay see the future of McGraw-Hill’s e-textbooks on (other people’s) platforms or is it likely that at one point they’ll go for their own solution as I suggested for Pearson in an article on Big Think? Well, listen to his insightful answers and you might know a little more about McGraw-Hill beyond being the big publisher by the end of the EDUKWEST interview.

As always thanks for listening and for your valuable feedback. “Likes” and “shares” will help us spread the word about EDUKWEST if you find our content valuable, of course.

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Download Episode Download Episode Video Download Episode Audio
AcademicPub - Your Book Your Way This Interview is sponsored by AcademicPub – Your Book Your Way
AcademicPub allows you to take content from their copyright cleared library of over 125 publishers, your files or anything on the web, and create custom course packs that are perfect, for you.
Visit them today at academicpub.com and follow @AcademicPub on Twitter.

Additional Links:

Homepage: http://mheonline.com
Jay on Twitter: @jchakra
McGraw-Hill on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mcgrawhill
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