SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Ian Khan, Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Harry Trott, Blue Box Blog

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LearnLaunchX, New Ed Tech Accelerator, Gives Start-ups Strategic Sector Insight and Reach, Market Development Advantages, Seed Capital

LearnLaunchX executives today announced the founding of the education technology and learning-focused accelerator. The first LearnLaunchX accelerator session will begin in June 2013 and will provide selected start-ups with early seed funding, deep domain insight, direct access to learning marketplace leaders and channels, and mentoring by experts in ed tech, learning markets and start-up investment.

LearnLaunchX will invest in an estimated 40 companies across five cohorts in the first three years of its accelerator program. The LearnLaunchX team’s expertise in education, technology, and investment provides ed tech and digital learning startups with the knowledge needed to navigate the learning industry. Experts with deep connections to the market will provide hands-on mentoring to help entrepreneurs transform startups into successful ed tech companies. Startups will receive guidance and strategic direction on a full range of issues, from product feature decisions and beta testing to the nuances of management team development and market entry in the learning industry. LearnLaunchX will open applications for its first cohort on Feb 20th.

“Social and economic realities demand that education be made more effective and accessible,” said Stephen Marcus, founder of Matchbox, Inc. “As an entrepreneur, I understand first-hand the complexities of this market, and applaud the formation of LearnLaunchX. I believe it will accelerate the growth and success of important solutions and outstanding ed tech companies.”

LearnLaunchX co-founder Mark Miller: “Boston has long been an acknowledged epicenter for technology innovation, publishing, educational content and venture capital. The founders of LearnLaunch bring vast experience and contacts in ed tech and new ventures to identify, vet and nurture high-growth market leading companies.”

The announcement was made at the “Across Boundaries: Innovation and the Future of Education” Conference co-sponsored by MIT Sloan.Ed and LearnLaunch.

About the LearnLaunchX Co-Founders: (www.learnlaunchx.com/team)

Jean Hammond founded JPH Associates, co-founded AXON Networks and Quarry Networks. Jean is an active angel investor and is a member of Hub Angels, the Launchpad Venture Group, and founded the Boston Forum of Golden Seeds. Jean was named a Mass High Tech All-Star and BBJ Advancing Women Lifetime Achievement Honoree.

Mark Miller has over 20 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur founding, managing, and capital-raising for technology-focused education and publishing companies. Miller is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of Good Harbor Partners, a learning industry-focused merchant bank.

Vinit Nijhawan has over 30 years’ experience building six startups. Vinit was at Key Venture Partners, and invested in Optasite, acquired for $430M. Vinit is currently Managing Director Office of Technology Development for Boston University, where he teaches MBA courses on Entrepreneurship.

Eileen Rudden is a member of Launchpad Venture Group, was Chief Officer of College and Career Preparation for the Chicago Public School System and a 2009 Broad Fellow. She spent 25 years leading software growth businesses as VP and General Manager of Avaya’s Unified Communications Division and SVP and GM of IBM’s Lotus Notes. She is board chair of SoundBite Communications.

Hakan Satiroglu is an entrepreneur and seasoned executive focused on the transition of business models and processes in the digital age. He founded Xplana Learning, a leading social learning network now establishing 21st Century learning and collaboration models. Hakan is founder and chairman of Xlibrio, an international virtual bookstore chain.

About LearnLaunch:

The goal of LearnLaunch is provide support for the creation and growth of education technology and learning companies in New England.

Supporting Resources:
www.learnlaunchx.com

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