Grockit is Rockin’ it

Lots of exciting news surrounding Grockit over the past few days, starting with the successful closure of a 4th round of funding ($7M series D) with New Schools Venture Fund joining as one of the new investors.

As mentioned in a previous post, Grockit’s founder, Farb Nivi, is inspiring other edupreneurs by partnering with the Gates Foundation to host several Startup Weekend EDU events across the globe. Grockit hosted their 2nd event at their SF Headquarters this past weekend and I was fortunate enough to attend and experience some of Farb’s energy and passion for edtech first hand.

Another benefit of mentoring yesterday is that I got a personal product demo of Grockit Answers that launched today and is definitely worth checking out. This smart Q&A system augments online video content by creating a connected and social way to have discussions around particular content. Designed by Grockit’s Chief Learning Architect, Ari Bader-Natal, he has considered thoughtful features for educators such as private discussion groups and moderator privileges to control the direction of the conversations. I’m definitely going to use this for my work with Khan Academy.

The evening ended with incredibly strong pitches from all teams. Congratulations to Alumn.us, the winners of the #SFEDU event and shout out to the other finalists- I’m with the Band (learning through music, and their team was made up of several Stanford LDT grad students :), DailyRead and Stacks. As a mentor, I had a chance to speak with several of the teams as they polished their pitches and am always impressed by the energy that people bring even late Sunday after a weekend of brainstorming, building and pitching.

The Grockit team did a fantastic job with the event and are taking the show on the road to DC next month followed by several other major international cities after that. If you want to get involved or help organize a Startup Weekend in SF or around the globe, contact the Startup Weekend team at events@startupweekend.org.

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Startup Weekend EDU version

I’m getting ready to attend my first Startup Weekend event tomorrow and find myself excited and nervous… really just not sure what to expect. I’m sure that intrigue is a bit of what makes the events so appealing! This mega Startup Weekend is expecting ~300 attendees passionately focused on 3 verticals: Education, Healthcare and Gaming.

I’m especially excited to hear that Startup Weekend has partnered with Grockit and the Kauffman Foundation to created a dedicated EDU vertical at their events.

I’m looking forward to meeting a bunch of people who are as excited and optimistic about EdTech as I am and will be sure to provide an update next week. If you’re attending, see you there!