Education


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The human-focused startups of the hellfire

Disasters may not always be man-made, but they are always responded to by humans. There’s a whole panoply of skills and professions required today to respond to even the tiniest emergency, and that doesn’t even include the needs during pre-disaster planning and post-disaster recovery. It’s not a very remunerative industry for most and the mental health effects from stress can linger for decades, but the mission at the core of this work — to help people in the time of their greatest need — is wha...
Tags: Health, Texas, Enterprise, Education, Stanford, Government, Disaster, Tech, Earth, Policy, Commission, Nebraska, Silicon Valley, Columbia University, EC, Duolingo


Extra Crunch roundup: How Duolingo became an edtech leader

The pandemic has just pushed edtech mainstream, but language-learning startup Duolingo had already spent the past decade figuring out how to build a successful edtech app. In our latest installment of the EC-1 series, Natasha Mascarenhas goes deep with the company to understand how it found product-market fit, then figured out how to grow like a consumer tech startup and monetize like a SaaS startup. After a record 2020, the Pittsburgh-based company also opened up about its plans for the future,...
Tags: Startups, TC, Apps, Utah, Education, Ipo, Boston, Tech, CMO, Bloomberg, Paypal, United States, Nba, Square, Holland, SEC


The product-led growth behind edtech’s most downloaded app

Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn was tired of the gray and dreary design aesthetic edtech companies used to emulate universities. Instead, he and the company’s early team sought inspiration from games like Angry Birds and Clash Royale, looking to build a class that screamed more cartoon anarchy than lecture hall. From that frenetic creativity came the company’s distinctive mascot: a childish and rebellious evergreen-colored owl named Duo. Duolingo didn’t just throw out the old colors tho...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Tech, EC, Edtech, Duolingo, Angry Birds, Pittsburgh, Luis Von Ahn, Tyler Murphy, Super Mario Brothers, Ahn, EC-1, EC Edtech, Duo Duolingo


How Duolingo became fluent in monetization

As its meandering route to monetization will demonstrate, Duolingo isn’t mission-oriented, it’s mission-obsessed. Co-founders Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker never wanted to charge consumers for access to Duolingo content, a purpose imbued throughout the company’s culture. For years in order to work at Duolingo, you had to be comfortable with joining a company in Pittsburgh that was in no rush to make money. The startup, filled with education enthusiasts and mission-driven employees, became “ver...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Education, Tech, Brazil, Silicon Valley, EC, Edtech, Duolingo, Sand Hill Road, Pittsburgh, Gordon, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers KPCB, Luis, Luis Von Ahn


The Duolingo EC-1

Education may well be the most important activity we conduct as a society — and it may also be the hardest space to build a startup in. Selling to school districts and universities is notoriously difficult, but enticing consumers is even harder. Learning takes focus, patience, tenacity and resources, and most consumers would prefer to watch some lip-sync videos on TikTok than stare at math equations (not to mention that such entertainment is free). Engagement and education feel aggressively at o...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Tech, EC, Edtech, Duolingo, Pittsburgh, Mascarenhas, Luis Von Ahn, Danny Crichton, EC-1, Richard Dal Porto, EC Edtech, Natasha Mascarenhas Mascarenhas, Nigel Sussman Duolingo


Nonobvious acquisitions are on my 2021 bingo board

At the end of 2020, I argued that edtech needs to think bigger in order to stay relevant after the pandemic. I urged founders to think less about how to bundle and unbundle lecture experience, and more about how to replace outdated systems and methods with new, tech-powered solutions. In other words, don’t simply put engaging content on a screen, but innovate on what that screen looks like, tracks and offers. A few months into 2021, the exit environment in edtech…feels like it’s doing exactly th...
Tags: Startups, TC, Spotify, Education, China, Ipo, US, Linkedin, Tech, Compass, EC, Edtech, Coursera, Clubhouse, Deliveroo, NFT


Science of Sex: BMI And Birth Control Efficacy

This month’s very late Science of Sex post was motivated by the new Hulu show Shrill, which reminded the world that emergency contraception may not be as effective for overweight people. Specifically, the brand Plan B (also known as the morning after pill) EC is rated up to 175 pounds, which is just over the average weight of an American woman. The results of a large European study show that the popular form of EC, levonorgestrel 1.5 mg, (Plan B pill) loses its potency in women weighing about 1...
Tags: College, Effectiveness, Reddit, Plan B, Morning After Pill, EC, Hulu, Birth Control, Weight, Ella, Ella Ella, Science of Sex, Shrill, Fscien, EC Cochrane, European Medicines Association


Museums and Personalized Learning

Technology is fueling personalization of products, services, communications and experiences. We explored some of the implications of this trend in TrendsWatch 2015, but the impact and potential of "personal" continues to grow, nowhere more so than in the realm of education. Personalized learning has been hailed as a solution to the "one size fits all" approach that predominates in today's classrooms, and demonized as an excuse to park children in front of computers and minimize the role of skill...
Tags: Education, Harvard University, Personalization, EC, Durham North Carolina, Rose, Ashley, UDL, The Alliance's Center for the Future of Museums, Todd Rose, Ashley Weinard, The Hill Center, Hill Center on Twitter Museums, Mind Brain and Education Program, Center for Individual Opportunity


Museums and personalized learning

Technology is fueling personalization of products, services, communications and experiences. We explored some of the implications of this trend in TrendsWatch 2015, but the impact and potential of "personal" continues to grow, nowhere more so than in the realm of education. Personalized learning has been hailed as a solution to the "one size fits all" approach that predominates in today's classrooms, and demonized as an excuse to park children in front of computers and minimize the role of skill...
Tags: Education, Harvard University, Personalization, EC, Durham North Carolina, Rose, Ashley, UDL, The Alliance's Center for the Future of Museums, Todd Rose, Ashley Weinard, The Hill Center, Hill Center on Twitter Museums, Mind Brain and Education Program, Center for Individual Opportunity



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