Transformational is how some describe edX, an online education platform that will make Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) courses available to everyone. Inevitable is probably a better term. As textbooks go digital, more testing is conducted on-line and mobile applications democratize education tools, education start-ups are on the rise.
With billions at stake, venture capitalists will tell you, that’s no surprise. “Education is definitely a space we’re actively looking at,” says RTP Ventures managing director Jalak Jobanputra.
That’s good news for Slader, a New York-based education start-up that is focused on helping teens with math and science homework. The site provides answers and explanations to problems in over 285 textbooks used in American classrooms. Interestingly, other students supply all answers and explanations. It’s “study hall on-line,” says Slader Co-Founder Kyle Gerrity.
He and pal Scott Kolb conceived of Slader in 2010, after reminiscing about their high school days in San Diego when they struggled with math homework. They recalled how a favorite teacher felt frustrated when a student struggled with homework. “There had to be a way where students could access the problems and solutions at home,” Gerrity says.