Edtech advocate and entrepreneur Jess Gartner is heading to New York City. But she says we won’t lose the new entrepreneur.
Allovue LLC, the edtech startup she founded that participated in the 2013 cohort of AccelerateBaltimore, has been accepted into the second class of startups at Socratic Labs, a NYC-based edtech incubator that launched in January. In a blog post announcing the news, Gartner says she’ll split time between Baltimore and New York City for the incubator’s duration, which lasts from December 2013 through the end of February 2014. She owns a home in West Baltimore.
Gartner’s startup creates budget-tracking software for public school administrators and principals so they can better allocate funding for programming and supplies.
According to Garnter’s blog post, “Allovue will receive investment capital, workspace, sponsored consulting and other professional services, access to a broad network of mentors and strategic partners, and both structured and unstructured access to collaborating schools.”
In an e-mail to Technical.ly Baltimore, Gartner said Allovue has so far launched “five alpha pilots at the school level” and is “currently working closely with education finance leaders to develop a central office dashboard for district CFOs to provide insight about spending trends across the district.”
This makes two AccelerateBaltimore edtech startups that have gone on to the Socratic Labs incubator. Unbound Concepts, member of AccelerateBaltimore’s inaugural 2012 class and creator of an app that lets teachers assign age-appropriate reading levels to a digital catalog of books, joined Socratic Labs’ first roster in the spring. And there’s another Baltimore connection: venture capitalist Frank Bonsal III was one of several mentors Socratic Labs founder and managing director Heather Gilchrist invited on short notice to speak to startups in the incubator’s first class.
“I’ve known Heather since the day I started Allovue and she has been incredibly helpful to me every step of the way,” said Gartner by e-mail. “I have no doubts that our participation in the program will continue to drive our company’s growth.”
It’s worth noting that in the last month Socratic Labs and Gilchrist have taken a few hits about follow-through on promises given to their first class. That said, it’s important to remember the criticisms come someone who himself has proven less than reliable in some promises delivered. Gilchrist didn’t address any of the back-and-forth around her accelerator head on, but did post a list of “lessons learned” on EdSurge.
As for Gilchrist’s decision to pick Allovue for Socratic Labs’ second cohort? In Gartner’s blog post, she quotes Gilchrist as saying, “With her experience as a teacher, education-related venture capital, and entrepreneurship, founder Jess Gartner represents everything Socratic Labs values.”
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