Accelerating the process of innovation. Changing the future of learning
To realize the promise of learner-centered education, we must create pathways by which sound, innovative, technology-based products and services can evolve, mature and get to market at lower costs. Startl™ is a new social enterprise dedicated to supporting the innovation of effective, affordable, and accessible learning products. Startl’s focus is creating the conditions for success that let innovators create and capitalize products that truly help learners learn.
Startl believes technology can help people learn — all people — and that it can do so in formal educational settings and beyond. We want to see learning technologies deployed widely, not only in schools but everywhere learners spend their time. The innovative talent to build these products is out there; the infrastructure to get them to learners isn’t. What’s needed is the vision to guide these innovators and the capital to invest in them and their promising products, so they reach their intended audience and achieve their intended impact.
Three recent developments lead us to believe the moment is right for Startl. Technology that was once merely a distribution channel for content has evolved to the point where deeper
active and richer interactive experiences are possible. Empirical research has begun to show that serving individual interests and needs — which is exactly what technology can help people do — is key to creating effective learning opportunities and outcomes. Experimenting with new media and digital devices is a growing part of youth culture and practice.
Startl received seed funding from the Hewlett, MacArthur, and Gates foundations. Beginning with its three core partners — DreamIt Ventures, IDEO and Education Growth Advisors — Startl’s position in the learning technologies market is connective: to form a “network of networks” that responds quickly to the most promising technological, pedagogical, and market opportunities. This model makes business sense, since starting a big new enterprise in the current climate seems impractical, as well as common sense: it unites the leading minds, institutions, and corporations in the learning arena in a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.