A Very Good Year
As we move into the new year, I thought it might be worthwhile to reflect on the major milestones from the past year and to highlight some important news and events for what’s upcoming. To quote Shakespeare, “What’s past is prologue.” 2012 came and went faster than any of us could have imagined and set the stage for what is to be a defining year for LearnSprout. To review:
- Launched in January
- First hire in March
- Launched from the Imagine K12 incubator program
- Entered a partnership with Rocketship Education, our first customer!
- Funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Formation 8, Frank Bonsal III, Jeff Fagnan, and other great investors.
- Relocated into a roomy, three-story office in the heart of the SOMA startup scene
- Launched from the Code for America accelerator program
- Three new hires, including a 12-year veteran from Pearson
- Invited to the White House to participate in the first Datapalooza event
- Invited to participate in the Reboot America competition in Washington DC
- Invited to participate in the SIIA Innovation Incubator contest
- Issued our first press release announcing two new products
- Co-hosted the Data Deathmatch hackathon
- Coverage in TechCrunch, Gigaom, BetaKit, Huffington Post, Hack Education and EdSurge
- Inked partnerships with some of the leading K-12 edtech companies
Looking at this list now, it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since Joe, Anthony and I launched the company. It’s an extraordinary list of successes and far more than I could have imagined or hoped for when we first set out, but our success is owed in large part to an absolutely incredible group of supporters who have helped guide our young company through that critical first year. There are more names than we could possibly list here, but special thanks goes to the folks at Imagine K12, Code for America, Andreesen Horowitz, Formation 8 and all our angels who helped inspire and guide us through those first few uncertain months.
As amazing as 2012 was, we’re even more excited for what the new year holds. The way the stars are aligning right now, I believe 2013 will end up being the year LearnSprout moves its way into mainstream adoption. We’ve got a lot going for us:
First off, we are thrilled to announce that LearnSprout has been selected to participate in the LAUNCHedu competition being held at this year’s SXSWedu conference in Austin. This is a huge honor for the team that places LearnSprout in the company of some of the hottest new edtech startups. Twelve companies were selected to participate in the K-12 category including three other former Imagine K12 companies: NoRedInk, DigitWhiz and InstaGrok.
Beyond the startup competition, we will also be hosting a panel discussion with guest speakers Tony Wan from Edsurge, Charlie Bufalino from Rocketship Education and Tim Brady from Imagine K12. There’s a couple other ideas still in the works for SXSW, but no matter how you slice it, LearnSprout is going to have a big presence.
In April we’re headed down to Arizona State University to participate in the 2013 GSV Advisors Education Innovation Summit. Nicknamed “Davos in the Desert”, the event attracts industry leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, investors, and will feature more than 150 of the hottest, new education companies.
We have two awesome new hires who recently joined the LearnSprout team:
Anna Hon - A seasoned strategy and finance manager from Microsoft, Anna has gained broad business experience in growth strategy, mergers & acquisitions, monetization, and financial planning & analysis for both consumer and enterprise products across the Windows and Office divisions. Anna studied Finance, International Business, and Chinese at the University of Washington, and has worked abroad in Taiwan, India, and China. She loves yummy food, great wines, bikram yoga, and fashion blogs.
Alex Odle - Alex is a software engineer hailing from Microsoft, where he worked as a developer on client apps for Windows and Windows Live. Prior to Microsoft, Alex studied Computer Engineering at the University of Washington. Alex loves to play soccer, snowboard fresh pow, and travel.
Now eight strong, team LearnSprout is hitting the new year in full stride.
Perhaps the most exciting news I have to share is the reaction we’ve seen to LearnSprout Dashboard since we announced it back in November at the SIIA Edtech Business Forum. In less than two months, nearly 1000 schools have registered to use LearnSprout Dashboard. Considering that we made the announcement in the middle of the holiday season, we believe this is just a hint of what’s to come. Feedback from educators has been overwhelmingly positive. We knew that getting at data inside the SIS was a problem for schools and as it turns out, integration is not the only manifestation of that problem. Educators would like to see that data and make sense of it, but as it stands today, most have to make do with manual exports of raw data living inside exotic spreadsheets. So, it’s clear we’ve hit the nail on the head with Dashboard and we’re excited to get it out and into the hands of more schools.
More to Come!
We’re only a couple weeks into the new year and we’ve already got a bunch of exciting updates in the works that we’re just itching to share, so stay tuned!