Ed Tech Industry

USC Accelerator Seeks Ed Tech Innovators

Could Southern California become the Silicon Valley of education technology? That's the hope of a new initiative at the University of Southern California that brings together its Rossier School of Education and its Center for Engineering in Education to launch an incubator focused on improving the quality and equity of education. Ventures could cover the entire spectrum of learning, from pre-K through adult ed.

The new USC Rossier EdVentures will tackle multiple goals:

  • Serving as an accelerator for early-stage companies;
  • Investing funds to deploy capital in these companies;
  • Running a specialized business plan competition during the university's "Demo Day";
  • Setting up communities of practice for innovation in education;
  • Offering relevant blended courses;
  • Producing workshops and speakers and a learning innovation festival; and
  • Pursuing global partnerships to promote USC's innovation efforts.

Backing the initiative is a number of organizations focused on the same segment: the Michelson 20MM Foundation, Bisk Ventures and Blackstone LaunchPad USC.

Currently, the "Accelerator," specifically, is seeking applicants from around the world to be considered for participation in a four-month program that launches this in early November. Of particular interest are projects being run by underrepresented entrepreneurs. Those companies picked up for the program will get workspace on the Los Angeles campus and access to managing directors and mentors, both onsite and virtual. The entrepreneurs will benefit from interaction with faculty, students, alumni and community and regional organizations. They'll also automatically be included in the Feb. 8, 2019 business plan competition.

To learn more and to apply, visit the EdVentures website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.