As tech startups spring up around the globe on a daily basis, investors and market watchers alike can be hard pressed to find out which ones have serious backing and research behind them. Today, McGraw-Hill education announced its investment in a University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education collaboration, Education Design Studio, Inc. The $2.1 million project is a hybrid incubator and seed fund that works to “nurture, support and increase the success rate of early-stage education startups and related business ventures.”
For its part, McGraw-Hill Education will help fund between four and six startups per year, companies that were chosen as part of a competition supported by the Milken Family Foundation and the University’s graduate school.
“As a ‘125-year-old startup’ with a deep understanding of the education market, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with EDSi and the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and invest our time and resources in high-quality startup talent,” said Stephen Laster, chief digital officer of McGraw-Hill Education, in a press release today. “This partnership presents a unique opportunity to combine the experience of our extensive in-house network of digital content developers with one of the leading and most entrepreneurial education schools in the country.”
Designed to help bridge education and business, the six-year funding for the startups will further McGraw-Hill’s mission of creating both innovation and healthy competition in the digital educational marketplace.
“We are thrilled that McGraw-Hill Education – an established leader in the development of top-notch digital learning solutions – is offering its time and resources through this one-of-a-kind collaboration,” continued Dr. Bobbi Kurshan, executive director of Academic Innovation at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. “Creating an ecosystem in which startups can thrive is paramount to their short- and long-term success, and we are grateful to companies like McGraw-Hill Education for embracing this new paradigm and for bringing such seasoned professionals and expertise to this program.”