Fresh off its selection to Pipeline’s latest fellowship, a Kansas City edtech startup is now set to compete at The Elite 200 as a semifinalist in The GSV Cup — representing top pre-seed and seed stage startups in digital learning across the “Pre-K to Gray” space.
KC-based PlaBook is set to vie for $1 million in cash and prizes in April at the ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego, the annual education technology event hosted by Arizona State University and GSV Ventures, a female-led, multi-stage venture capital firm. The event is the world’s largest pitch competition for edtech startups, said Dr. Philip Hickman, founder and CEO of PlaBook.
“This is an exciting opportunity for PlaBook to help realize our vision of improving learning and reading for all students,” Hickman said.
PlaBook is the innovative reading technology that uses artificial intelligence, natural language processing, gamification, and speech recognition to help children learn to read.
PlaBook — a veteran of Techstars Kansas City, Digital Sandbox KC, and LaunchKC, as well as a newly announced member of the Pipeline Entrepreneurs fellowship — was selected from a global applicant pool of more than 750 companies, the largest application pool for the GSV Cup yet. More than 175 judges from leading venture capital firms and strategic partners in digital learning like Accel, General Atlantic, Reach Capital, and Owl Ventures, narrowed contenders to the 200 most promising companies, organizers said.
“We’re at a critical and exciting time for the future of society,” said Deborah Quazzo, managing partner of GSV Ventures. “The pandemic has made it increasingly clear that ed is on the edge — on the edge of innovation, transformation, globalization. We’ve always imagined a new era in which all people have equal access to the future, and this year’s Elite 200 companies are emblematic of that vision. We’re proud to name the 200 semifinalists in the GSV Cup competition and look forward to having them pitch live at the ASU+GSV Summit.”
The Elite 200 companies serve learners from Pre-K to Gray, with companies well-distributed across the following categories: early childhood, K-12, higher education, adult consumer learning, and adult enterprise learning.
The 2022 Elite 200 continue to break barriers, comprised of an increasingly diverse and global group, according to GSV Ventures:
- 58 percent of companies have female founders
- 51 percent of companies have founders that identify as people of color
- 44 percent of companies are based outside the United States
Click here to see a full list of companies selected for the GSV Cup Elite 200.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.