Blackboard Partners with Dreamit to Speed Ed Tech Startups
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Two companies focused on education technology are partnering to help kickstart more new companies into the category. Dreamit, a business accelerator long in healthcare and more recently in ed tech, will be working with Blackboard to support its earliest cohorts.
Dreamit formally kicked off its new focus on ed tech in March 2016 with the announcement that it intended to help accelerate the efforts of both start-ups and existing firms that want to scale, through a combination of classroom training, networking, customer access and advisory board guidance.
One of Dreamit's advisors is Katie Blot, Blackboard's senior vice president of global strategy, marketing, and business line management.
Now Blackboard will be playing a larger role. In July, startups from Dreamit's first ed tech cohort will present in an innovation showcase at Blackboard's annual user conference, taking place in Las Vegas July 12-14.
The company will also be participating in Dreamit's "First Customer Network," by hosting a customer immersion session with leaders, customers and entrepreneurs. Some of those business ideas may be picked up by Blackboard for potential pilot programs. The two organizations will also work together on identifying startups that specifically address a sweet spot for Blackboard: learner-centric education models.
"Blackboard's partnership with Dreamit will not only provide support for ed tech innovators who are daring to change the trajectory of our educational system, but also encourage diverse thinking and idea generation across the industry," said Lily Ladd, vice president of corporate strategy at Blackboard, in a prepared statement. "We are focused on reimagining education technology to solve the big challenges facing educators, administrators and learners wherever they are in the learning journey. We encourage EdTech entrepreneurs with the next big idea to apply to be part of the Blackboard/Dreamit collaboration."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.