AT&T ed-tech accelerator accepting apps from ventures driving social impact

This information provided by Smart Cities Council Compassionate Cities.

AT&T is calling for innovative ed-tech ventures to apply for the 2017 AT&T Aspire Accelerator.  In its third year, the Aspire Accelerator's mission is to support innovations that can help every student achieve a bright, successful future. For and non-profit organizations chosen to participate in the program receive financial investment, access to expert services and mentorship.

"We believe that education is the most important investment we can make and tech is our business. When you marry up education with technology you can start to make amazing change," said Nicole Anderson, assistant vice president, Social Innovation at AT&T. "I'm excited to work with the 2017 class to bring more game-changing solutions to scale for students and teachers across the country."

The program is open to any venture working to develop technology to support students' educational and career success. Solutions for students at-risk of dropping out of school will receive special consideration.

Past participants in the Aspire Accelerator have reached more than four million children, according to AT&T. Among the 11 organizations that have gone through the program:

  • TalkingPoints offers a multilingual texting platform that easily connects teachers and families through text messages
  • CommonLit delivers free, high-quality instructional materials to support literacy development for students in grades 5-12
  • Bitsbox is a website and subscription service where kids as young as six can learn computer programming

Bringing innovative ideas to the table
"I've loved the opportunity to work with the Aspire Accelerator startups and serve as a mentor for the founders as they continue to grow their organizations and bring new initiatives and products into the ed-tech space," commented Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls CODE. "I know this year's class will bring more innovative ideas to the table and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with AT&T to help the ventures succeed."

Applications are open through Feb. 7. Aspire Accelerator's customized 6-month program includes:

  • Aspire investment – $100,000 AT&T investment and an additional $25,000 for each venture to cover costs of the program. For nonprofit companies, the investment will be a general contribution. They receive this in exchange for participating in the Aspire Accelerator and meeting certain requirements, including submitting impact measurements.
  • Mentorship – Access to an Entrepreneur in Residence and AT&T and external mentors from education and technology.
  • Resources – UI/UX design services and opportunities to participate in education conferences.
  • National platform – Inclusion in the broader AT&T Aspire initiative, which is committed to driving innovation in education.
  • Flexible location – Organizations can participate from where they are, without relocating.

Through Aspire, AT&T says it has passed the $250 million mark on its plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017. AT&T is a Council Lead Partner

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This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.

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