The work doesn’t end with LEANLAB Education’s Launch[ED] Day celebration, said Katie Boody. Four of the accelerator’s fellows will continue their startups’ research thanks to $60,000 in grant investments.
The entrepreneur-led education ventures took the stage Thursday to pitch their companies to the Launch[ED] crowd at Plexpod Westport Commons, as well as to describe the research they conducted this fall at Kansas City school sites.
In a change from LEANLAB’s previous, annual fellowship-culminating events, Launch[ED] wasn’t a competition, but an opportunity to showcase the startups and their innovative ideas for reshaping K-12 education, said Boody, founder and CEO of LEANLAB.
Grant funding was awarded by a committee of representatives from local public schools, Lee A. Tolbert, Crossroads Preparatory Academy, and Pitcher Elementary. Awards included:
- $22,000 to inquirED for a two-year study of the Davenport, Iowa, company’s impact on 150 elementary students.
- $16,000 to Kansas City-based Base Academy of Music to give 32 students access to one-on-one music lessons through the 2018-2019 school year.
- $12,000 to Doors to Explore for the continued product development of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut-based startup’s career exposure software in partnership with Crossroads Preparatory Academy.
- $10,000 to Innovare for the Chicago company’s continued implementation of its strategic planning and leadership development platform with Lee A. Tolbert’s leadership team through the duration of the 2018-2019 school year.
Fellows K12 Perform and Words Liive did not apply for grant funding.
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“LEANLAB has iterated on its grant making process over the years, working to both empower the education community in its funding decisions and increase the ventures’ impact on local schools,” the program said in a press release. “In prior years, LEANLAB has disbursed two $25,000 awards to teams demonstrating business viability. This year’s grant making process departed from that tradition, focusing instead on both the research findings gathered throughout the fellowship process and opportunities for ventures to continue their work in local schools beyond the three-month fellowship period.
The $60,000 in grant investments will impact more than 700 Kansas City area students through the 2018-2019 school year, LEANLAB said.
“At the end of the day, our work is about transforming learning outcomes for the young people of Kansas City. We wanted our funding decisions to reflect that commitment, and to empower our local schools in the process,” said Boody. “All funding decisions were determined by our school partners as we continually work to elevate the voices and power of those most impacted by public education — parents, students and teachers.”