Across Boundaries: From Digitizing Past Practice to Personalized Learning

January 21- 22, 2016 | Harvard Business School Boston, MA

Pitch Competition Overview

The LearnLaunch pitch competition featured ten emerging companies that are building technology to impact the education field. The diverse pool of companies, from early stage to repeatable revenue stage, showcased a variety of innovative approaches to the developing opportunities the edtech field.

The ten companies pitched to a panel of judges during Thursday afternoon’s breakout sessions. The judges, each an expert in education development, selected the top two to present to the entire conference the morning of January 22nd. The audience voted for their favorite company and name the pitch competition winner.

Pitching Companies

Cram Fighter
Cram Fighter’s mission is to create personalized study plans for every student, so they can be more efficient and better manage their time. Our initial products are web and mobile apps that let medical students create study schedules for high-stakes exams in just minutes.

Education Modified (WINNER)
Education Modified is a one-of-a-kind technology solution the recommends research-based strategies for every special need in a teacher’s classroom & provides data-analytics of what works best for each child in a comprehensive Learning Biography™. The mission of Education Modified to build innovative tools for teachers to improve the outcomes of students with diverse learning needs.

Gnowbe is the first mobile-only education app to address soft skills using action-based learning consisting of “bite-sized knowledge.” Gnowbe is designed to take micro-learning to the next level by empowering people to build signature learning journeys tailored to how they want to learn, not to how we want to teach them. Gnowbe is about learning that is relevant, scalable at low cost and actionable.

HSTRY is a digital learning tool that enables teachers, students and historians to create and explore interactive timelines. Using a platform designed to mimic social media, HSTRY presents content in a format that is easily understood, engaging, and familiar to the 21st century student. With HSTRY, teachers facilitate discovery as students explore primary sources, create timelines, and engage with history.

Junior Explorers
Junior Explorers is an edtech social enterprise that creates fun, interactive learning experiences for kids to connect them to the planet. Our mission is to inspire a new generation of environmental stewards and build a global eco-brand for kids. We launched our lead product, an award-winning subscription program for kids in Dec 2014 that send kids on monthly virtual missions to different ecosystems to solve a mystery in nature. By gamifying learning and creating a unique offline/online experience, we have reinvented the traditional subscription model combining all things kids love: collecting, sharing, and playing online games.

Kaymbu, Inc
Kaymbu is a delightful integrated communication platform for early education programs to to engage with this generation of digital-native parents.

PledgeCents is the crowdfunding platform for classrooms. Our mission is to help PreK-12 teachers not spend $1.6 billion out-of-pocket for basic classroom needs. PledgeCents allows anyone to raise funds for any PreK-12 school or classroom need while safe guarding the current systems and processes that schools are accustomed to today.

Shearwater partners with universities and secondary schools who are looking to help diverse groups of students fully engage in the school community. We develop online student and alumni programs that combine personalized mentorship and scalable reporting to improve student experience, engage young alumni, and increase retention. We partner with over 25 schools on programs focused on international, underrepresented minority, and low-income/first-generation students.

We are revolutionizing STEM app discovery by making app search itself into a STEM-based game, called STEMQuest. App searchers are frustrated trying to find the right STEM app from the clutter in app stores. Many great STEM apps never get discovered despite the fact developers are spending millions of dollars in app discovery. We’ve solved that problem by creating a fun and visually rich game that incorporates the discovery and playing of third party apps as a part of our STEMQuest game.

Zulama (RUNNER-UP)
Zulama is a game-based educational platform that teaches the skills and creativity students need to thrive in the 21st century workplace.


Brandon Avrutin, Partner, Rethink Education
Jennifer Carolan, Co-founder and General Partner, Reach Capital
Christopher Mirabile, Co-Managing Director, Launchpad Venture Group
Amit Patel, Principal, Owl Ventures
Aanand Radin, Vice President, University Ventures
David Verrill, Founder/Managing Director, Hub Angels
Lucy Yu, Senior Associate, Rethink Education