Intel Education Accelerator earmarks $800,000 for ed tech

4 Aug 2015

The Intel Education Accelerator opened its doors on Monday. Each of the eight innovative ed tech start-ups participating will be eligible to receive an investment of up to US$100,000.

The Intel Education Accelerator, a specialised programme to help ed tech start-ups transform education, was first announced in April. It was open to applications from all over the world.

Since then, more than 200 applications have been whittled down to a final eight. These eight yesterday began a rigorous, intensive, four-month programme that will provide them with capital, mentorship and a dedicated workspace in the heart of Silicon Valley.

“We had a really strong global response during the application process and we are extremely happy with the eight diverse companies that will be a part of our inaugural cohort,” said Intel vice president John Galvin. “These companies are eager to grow and make an impact on education, just as Intel has been committed to throughout our history.”

The products are indeed diverse, although the companies themselves certainly have a strong US bias.

ToneTree (Troy, New York) utilises hardware and intelligent software to transform nearly any surface into an interactive musical instrument.

Echelon Creative (New York city) is an intelligent thesaurus, replacing normal words in text messages with advanced synonyms, theoretically teaching users new vocabulary.

Vidcode (New York city), the only women-led company on the list, aims to teach computer programming to teen girls by allowing them to customise Instagram videos using code.

While half of the applications made to the accelerator programme came from outside the US, only one of these made the cut – the Danish WriteReader, which enables children to create and share their own storybooks.

The rest of the participants are from cities in California.

The eight participant companies – to be housed at GSVlabs in Redwood, California – will receive access to weekly classes and coaching, and will have opportunities to pilot their products in schools.

The programme will culminate with a ‘pitch day’ on 2 December, during which participating entrepreneurs will be able to pitch their products to prospective funders.

Main image, via Shutterstock

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic