The education industry has been rapidly changing over the last few years, with students now able to take thousands of courses, message their teachers, and learn languages, all on a digital device. In recent years, disruption of the education industry has become the topic of frequent conversation, with Ed Tech startups seeing increased deal activity and funding.
On a high level, Boston is a cross between a college town and an innovation hub – with a lot of history mixed in. So it doesn’t take much thinking to understand why edtech is a growing subsector here. While prominent companies in the space, like Cengage and Valore Books, have upped their game the past couple of years, we’re also seeing a slew of young startups, run by young entrepreneurs, coming out of our city’s universities.
Many of these Ed Tech startups are spinning out of incubators at universities in Boston and Cambridge. Harvard University’s Innovation Lab has spun out Ed Tech startups like ACEA, while both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University also have their own incubators. One of the best parts about starting an Ed Tech start up in the Boston area is that you will not only have the great talent from Boston area students, but great leadership and potential partners from institutions like Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, which is the number 1 ranked graduate education program in the country, according to U.S. News.
The education technology industry has seen a 212 percent increase in venture capital over the last five years, and Massachusetts is a primary reason as to why. The state is the third most active deal-wise, only trailing behind California and New York, which Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in early 2014 he plans to change. Roughly 300 Ed Tech and learning-oriented startups are based in the Boston area alone, according to the LearnLaunch Institute, an area nonprofit founded in 2012 to help foster the city’s ed-tech activity. Boston’s New Schools Venture Fund, is the second most active VC group in Ed Tech.