Next Ed Research was invited to attend and pitch our teacher selection tool at America Succeed’s EdVenture NonProfit Shark Tank. The tank featured sharks from foundations, nonprofits and private donors interested in learning about (and donating to) new approaches to education.
EdVenture Conference is relatively new, developed only a couple years ago by the America Succeeds team in partnership with the Albertsons Family Foundation. The foundation’s executive director, Jaime Scott, told the crowd a story of how she an Tony Lewis first decided to start this conference. Surely, a story that many educators can relate to. She was at another “uninspiring” education conference not feeling like she was moving the needle forward in education. She went to the back of the room to escape the uninspiring conference to get a “bad cup of coffee” and there she met Tony Lewis who shared her same feelings. The two of them decided to do something about it. They met a week later to discuss the plan and American Succeeds was born. The theme of the conference this year was “the Age of Agility” bearing the name of a their recent report – downloadable here – on bridging the workforce and education skills gap.
Panelist spoke from universities, nonprofits and corporations discussing the need for students to be agile in their ability to learn in the the near future and beyond. The theme among the conference goers is that the current educational system does not do enough to provide the tools needed for our students to succeed.
The organization works to bring the most innovative education leaders and the foundations that push the needle forward. As a part of this goal, the nonprofit shark tank serves that purpose. An exciting part of the event culminated in a non profit pitch tank where nine non profits pitched their ideas for the chance for funding. We were glad to be selected as one of the participants! Check out our entry video here.
It was a great opportunity for Next Ed to learn about innovative products, ideas and research making waves in the education space. These are groups of talented and passionate people working to do exactly what the Albertsons foundation set out to do: move the needle in education.
A few major takeaways from the conference. There are multiple pathways to success in education, student individualization is an important success factor, STEM education could help bridge the skills gap and in order to move the needle, we need to share more. Open source systems are preferable.