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Press Release
AT&T Aspire Kicks Off Accelerator With Five Leading ed-tech Startups

First Class, Chosen from Hundreds, Meets in San Francisco

First Class, Chosen from Hundreds, Meets in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 4, 2015 — AT&T has kicked off the AT&T Aspire Accelerator for ed-tech ventures with an inaugural class of five innovative startups. Following a nationwide open call for applications, these for- and non-profit organizations were selected from hundreds to participate. AT&T Aspire kicks off the Accelerator program at Runway in downtown San Francisco. The program includes financial investment, counseling, access to technology expertise and mentorship.

Each startup uses technology to help students succeed in school and future careers. The primary goal – unlike most other accelerators -- is making an impact on society rather than monetary return.

The participating startups are:

  • eduCanon – Washington, DC – a platform (web & iOS) that lets teachers create and share interactive video lessons;
  • GradGuru – San Francisco, CA – a nonprofit software service and mobile iOS and Android app that guides and motivates community college students by using customized nudges to take actions and engage in behaviors proven to help them graduate faster;
  • Lea(R)n – Raleigh, NC – an education innovation firm providing a research-backed, online platform & services for educators and their organizations to know and manage the technologies that are best for their classrooms;
  • MindBlown Labs – Oakland, CA – an ed-tech social enterprise that creates highly-engaging mobile games to empower teens and young adults with financial capability skills; and,
  • Quill – Brooklyn, NY – A nonprofit literacy tool that builds students’ grammar skills through personalized writing and proofreading activities.

“These organizations are on the cutting-edge of education technology. Their innovations are helping students succeed in the classroom and beyond,” said Charlene Lake, chief sustainability officer, AT&T. “Through the AT&T Aspire Accelerator, we want to help grow these solutions to reach even more educators and students."

The Aspire Accelerator’s six-month program includes:

  • Aspire’s Investment – A $50,000 investment in each for profit entity or a $50,000 donation to each nonprofit, and another $25,000 to cover costs associated with the program for each organization.
  • Mentorship – Access to AT&T and external mentors, including education and technology leaders on the program’s Board of Advisors.
  • National Platform – Opportunity to be part of the broader AT&T Aspire initiative, which is driving innovation in education on a national scale.
  • Flexible Location – Ability to participate without relocating.

This is part of AT&T’s signature education program, AT&T Aspire, through which the company has committed to investing $350 million in education. AT&T Aspire includes various initiatives such as tapping AT&T’s technology expertise to transform learning, launching the Nanodegree program with online education leader Udacity, and committing to provide free mobile Internet access to 50,000 middle and high school students in Title 1 schools across the U.S. as part of the White House ConnectED program.


About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.

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About AT&T

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