The Lean Lab has selected five companies, including two from Kansas City, to participate in its 2017 Incubator Fellowship program.
The program, which runs from July to November, offers entrepreneurs who are building education innovation companies an opportunity to scale their companies through a series of in-person workshops, mentoring, access to community resources, seed funding, office space and other tools. The fellowship is divided into three modules that address product functionality, beta testing and iteration. The program culminates in a Launch[ED] Day pitch event.
Entrepreneurs who are selected to participate in the program have early-stage innovative ideas that address achievement gaps and inequities in public education, and they have demonstrated an ability to execute on their ideas.
The companies selected for the 2017 cohort are:
- Transportant, Kansas City, Mo. // a transportation solution that offers Uber-like visibility and route optimization to school buses in Kansas City’s inner city
- H3TV, Kansas City, Mo. // a platform that leverages hip hop music and dance to engage students and encourage healthy lifestyles
- ViTal, St. Louis, Mo. // software that allows visually-impaired children to decode images on a screen through motion and audio technology
- Explorable Places, New York, N.Y. // platform and app that allows teachers to find and book field trips through an integrated system
- Diversity Talks, Providence, R.I. // professional development program that engages teachers and administrators in diversity, equity and inclusion training
Since its launch in 2013 by Katie Boody and Carrie Markel, The Lean Lab has helped to launch 17 new education ventures that have impacted 8,000 kids in Kansas City and 400,000 nationwide. The Lean Lab has invested $100,000 in these companies, and program alumni have raised nearly $1 million for their ventures.
In addition to the Incubator Fellowship, The Lean Lab hosts monthly meet-ups and innovation workshops. The meet-ups are intended to foster connections among educators, entrepreneurs and community leaders. The workshops, held three times a year, are designed for idea stage education innovators who are looking for assistance with developing a prototype.