Last night, we attended a RocketSpace event where Duncan Logan interviewed investor Rob Hayes from First Round Capital. Rob talked about companies First Round has invested in, including Mint.com, UberCab, UrbanSitter and Fab.com. When the conversation was opened up the audience, we asked Rob what he thinks about the education tech space.
Rob explained that the education system is broken and many entrepreneurs are getting into the space to try to improve the way students learn. He noted that it is difficult to make real change as there are a lot of players involved, but seems enthusiastic about what lies ahead. He suggests meeting with administrators who entered the industry with optimism and real hope for change, as they can give great insight on the hurdles they have faced and the obstacles that still lie ahead. Rob confirmed that First Round is investing in a handful of education tech startups, although did not name specifics. Duncan from RocketSpace chimed in, nothing that he believes the combination of gamification with education can be a real game changer.
The crowd also included a few entrepreneurs in the education tech space. Bhargov Prakash from FriendsLearn aims to make “wickedly educational social games.” Their first project is geared to help international students. We also spoke with Cassia and Duc from SwiftBot, the mobile publication company, that is working closely with LeVar Burton to bring Reading Rainbow back in app format. They even had an autographed headshot of LeVar on hand and apparently he swings by their RocketSpace office often!