For its second class, edtech incubator EDSi triples in size - Technical.ly Philly

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Jul. 3, 2014 12:52 pm

For its second class, edtech incubator EDSi triples in size

EDSi is hosting nine companies for the six-month program, up from three in its inaugural class. Four of the nine are Philadelphia-based.

Oxford Mills developers Greg Hill and Gabe Canuso, shown here between two Oxford Mills buildings.

(Photo by Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Education Design Studio, Inc., the early-stage edtech incubator associated with Penn’s Graduate School of Education, announced its second class this week. The incubator has tripled in size, accepting nine companies for the six-month program, up from three in its inaugural class.

Four of the nine companies are based in Philadelphia, and they’ll be headquartered at Oxford Mills, the recently-launched affordable housing development for teachers. The other five companies will travel to Philadelphia five times during the program to participate in “intensive weekends,” one of which includes the final pitch day, said EDSi Board Chair Bobbi Kurshan. The startups will also have the option to travel to other cities to pitch investors and find customers, Kurshan said.

Like the inaugural class, each company will receive $10,000, plus all expenses paid for travel, material and other costs. EDSi also budgeted $600,000 for follow-on investments in the companies (that was the same amount as last year when the incubator was smaller, meaning that either the companies will get smaller investments or it will be stiffer competition). In exchange, EDSi will take an equity stake in the company. We’re waiting to hear details on the agreements made with this incoming class of startups. Kurshan declined to share how much equity EDSi would take in each company. For reference, the DreamIt Health accelerator takes eight percent of equity and gives up to $50,000 to each participating company.

The incubator sources its companies from finalists and semi-finalists in the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition. Last year, all three participants were finalists in the competition, while this year, only two of the 12 finalists (Ubongo and Open Assembly) opted to join the incubator. The rest of the incubator participants were semi-finalists in the edtech competition.

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These are the participating companies:

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes became Technical.ly's associate editor after reporting on the Philadelphia tech scene for four years. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.

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