Where do the latest and greatest edtech ideas go to grow? Inside an edtech incubator!
Recently, we’ve been talking with edtech insiders to show you what it’s like in the sector, including some recent grads of edtech incubators. Take a peak at the past conversations.
This time we’re chatting with Franklyn Chien, co-founder of LearnSprout, a graduate of the edtech startup accelerator Imagine K12. LearnSprout is “driving innovation in education through data transparency.”
What is LearnSprout? What inspired you to start the project?
At LearnSprout our mission is to make education data universally accessible yet secure. Open, transparent, and accessible data increases the pace of innovation and brings accountability to any industry. Having witnessed the revolution that data transparency has brought and continues to bring to the consumer software industry, we are driven to do the same for education.
We came across this particular problem when we started building out a syllabus management tool for a few teachers. We wanted to hook it up to their student information system (SIS) and we came across the problem of onboarding data. We thought, “This can’t be the only way, can it?” and soon realized that getting information from a student information system was difficult—LearnSprout was born.
What led you to apply to ImagineK12?
We applied to ImagineK12 since we wanted to build useful products in the education space and ImagineK12 had the perfect structure for us to learn how to do it quickly. They provided a ton of contacts and guidance while we were in the program which was tremendously valuable.
How did LearnSprout evolve during your time in the incubator?
LearnSprout at first was going to be building an SIS. It evolved to become the solutions company we are today focusing on making education data universally accessible since we didn’t want to go through the long sales cycle of selling into school districts.
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If you had to give one piece of advice to entrepreneurs thinking of applying to an EdTech incubator, what would it be?
My main advice would be to utilize the program as much as you can as well as cranking away. The accelerator is only for three months and you need to iterate as fast as possible but at the same time utilize as much of its benefit.
What was the most important lesson you learned during your time at ImagineK12?
Demo day isn’t the end. It’s only the beginning, a small blip in your company’s history. It’s a marathon and not a sprint and you need to work smart not to get burnt out but at the same time you need to execute.
What new technology or trend in education are you most excited about?
Are you an edtech insider who would like to be featured in our series? Email support [at] boundless [dot] com.