Oakland, CA-based thematic vc fund NewSchools has launched an education technology accelerator.
NewSchools Ignite will support entrepreneurs tackling the most pressing gaps in K-12 education technology. Its first initiative, the Science Learning Challenge, is now open to companies and nonprofits building technologies that support students’ development of science and engineering skills.
Science Learning Challenge is structured as a philanthropic initiative with up to $1.5m in grants to be distributed among a cohort of up to 15 challenge winners developing technologies to improve science learning.
Challenge winners will be supported with a customized virtual accelerator program and individual grants will range from $50k to $150k, depending on each product’s stage of development.
NewSchool will partner with science education and research experts at WestEd. Steve Schneider, Senior Program Director of WestEd’s STEM program, will act as an extended part of the team, provide feedback from a research perspective, and collaborate with grant recipients to design small scale studies on product usability and feasibility.
Applications will remain open until September 4, 2015.