The Lean Lab has announced a rebranding effort to better reflect and differentiate it from other groups in education innovation, said co-founder Katie Boody.
Unveiling a new look in late April, the Kansas City-based organization is now LEANLAB Education, which Boody hopes will better communicate its mission, she said.
“We know the nature of our work can be complex and difficult to explain. We wanted to both differentiate ourselves in the worlds of education innovation and entrepreneurship, and more powerfully and succinctly communicate what we do, while also bringing sophistication and confidence to the brand,” she said.
Founded in 2013, The Lean Lab began as an education tech incubator. The name was conceived to convey the importance of leaning on community, relying on their expertise and acting efficiently to create change in education, Boody said. During the past four years, however, LEANLAB has grown as an organization and increased its ability to make an impact, she added.
For instance, LEANLAB expanded its fellowship program from a four-week program to a four-month-long program, which allowed it to welcome later-stage entrepreneurs, Boody said.
“We’re simply getting better at what we do,” Boody said. “We’ve learned so much over the last four years and have significantly increased the rigor and sophistication of our programming.
… This year, we’re looking to deepen our presence at school sites, working to study the effectiveness and impact of our fellows’ innovations in real time. We hope these deepened school partnerships will help elevate the voice of parents, students and teachers throughout the innovation process, allowing them to influence how these education innovations come to life.”
LEANLAB worked with the design firm Sandbox on the branding and with Netchemia co-founder Eric Diebold on its strategy, Boody said. The final product conveys organizational values and its maturation over the years, as well as its creative spirit, she added.
“We wanted a bold font that inspired confidence, a simple and elegant graphic element that communicated uplifting movement — the graphic A in lab we feel does this, and a color scheme that still felt warm and connected to our community,” Boody said. “It was really important to us for our new brand to communicate that we’ve evolved into a more sophisticated organization, but at the same time reflect that we’re still committed to our roots and our community. This rebrand is part of our evolution and commitment to go deeper and get closer to the community we serve.”
In 2018, LEANLAB expects to hire for new positions and expand its board of directors, Boody said. The growth should help engage more stakeholders in education, she added.
“At the end of the day, we believe the future of education should be built by and with those at the center of education: parents, students and teachers,” Boody said. “In 2018, we will be doubling down on this commitment by seeking new ways to engage community and systemize approaches that are working to elevate community voice.”
Community members interested in learning more about LEANLAB are invited to attend an event Thursday at which the team will reveal their innovation priorities for 2018 and launch their fellowship applications.
For more information on the event, the fellowship program or the organization, click here.