Dealflow | May 25, 2017

NewSchools Venture Fund backs 15 special-edtech ventures

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NewSchools Venture Fund has backed 15 special-edtech ventures through its latest challenge.

The nonprofit venture philanthropy put out a call in March for edtech ventures targeting the needs of special education students.

The winners include Timocco, which focuses on improving students’ motor skills; BeeLine Reader, a web plug-in designed to make online research more accessible to dyslexic students; and PhET Interactive Simulations, which develops math and science content for students with audio or visual impairments.

Individual investments range from $50,000 to $150,000. NewSchools’ Ignite Special Education Challenge was developed to fill a gap in the edtech market.

“While it may sound obvious that students with disabilities need additional support, few edtech tools exist to support this diverse group of students,” says NewSchool’s Tonika Cheek Clayton.

Half of U.S. states’ public education systems are under-resourced in special education. Two in five special-ed students don’t finish high school.