EdTech Startup MatchBox Lets Colleges Manage Applications On An iPad, SXSWedu Pitch Video

Matchbox.net,Startup,Boston startup,EdTech startup,SXSW,SXSW13,SXSWeduStephen Marcus, the founder and CEO of Matchbox has created a product that colleges and universities are quickly adopting and loving. Matchbox is a complete solution that allows admissions staff to manage the applications process via an ipad app.

“For us, using Matchbox was a no brainer,” said Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management and marketing at the University of Dayton, in a prepared statement released by the company. “Matchbox provides us with an intuitive solution that empowers our readers to give each applicant the critical attention they deserve while saving us countless hours in the process.” EdTech times reported last July.

Matchbox and their new and innovative way to handle admissions, made it to the finals in the higher ed category at the LAUNCHedu startup showdown as part of SXSWedu earlier this week.

Although SpeakingPal was the ultimate winner in the HigherEd category, Mathbox still beat out 10 other high caliber startups targeting college students and educators.

Check out their pitch video from the finals on Wednesday afternoon. For more info on Matchbox and how it can help your admissions process, visit matchbox.net.

Check out more of our SXSW 2013 coverage here

Baltimore Startup Common Curriculum Has Disrupted Curriculum Writing [SXSW]

Common Curriculum,EdTech startup,Baltimore startup,LAUNCHedu,SXSWedu,sxsw,sxsw13Teachers write between 200-800 lesson plans per year based on how many unique courses they teach. This was a major pain point for educators. Often times they would want to take one lesson and take part of it and incorporate it into another. This would be great if they could easily put their hands on that file.

In 2009 Baltimore math teacher Scott Messinger became fed up with the old way of planning curriculum. EdTech was poppin up everywhere at the student level, yet teachers were still writing lesson plans in Microsoft Word, or the old fashioned way, by hand.

Messinger taught himself to code over the next three years and started building what became Common Curriculum. According to whatweekly, in 2011 Robbie Earle joined Messinger as co-founder, after Education Hack Day.

They launched Common Curriculum back in August and this week they were a finalist at LAUNCHedu as part of SXSWedu.

We got a chance to catch up with Earle. Check out our video interview below.

Check out more of our SXSW 2013 Coverage here at nibletz.com

instaGrok Is A New Way To Learn, And It Works! SXSWedu Video Interview

instagrok,EdTech startup,startups,startup interview,sxswedu,sxsw13,sxswWhen I first sat down with Andrew Bender, President and CEO of instaGrok I was mesmerized at what I saw. I originally though that a “research engine” would be boring, or at best a fancy way to say search engine, and Google has determined we don’t need anymore of those.

Once Bender took me through a demo I wished that instaGrok was around when I was in school. I told Bender that I am a very visual person. I “white board” just about everything, drawing webs, flowcharts and arrows all over the place.  Well instaGrok takes whatever your researching and visually shows the user how things are connected.

Bender showed me two examples. The first was gravity. As you can see from the grok above gravity is connected to Einstein, equation, orbit, object, universe, scientists, force, astronaut, and Newton. When you’re on the instaGrok site if you click on any of the circles another web appears showing how the connections are connected to other things.

On the right side bar instaGrok connects the user to key facts, websites, videos, images, quizzes and a glossary. Now the user is connected to mountains worth of research in a very easy to understand and navigate UI. If a user was actually working on a research paper about gravity they could pin anything from the right hand columns directly into the grok.

The other topic we looked at was “Brown v Brown” and a user built grok. This grok features a bunch of links that the creator has added, or pinned, to it with the information they need.

You don’t need to register for instaGrok, but if you do you can save the groks you create for as long as you would like.

We got a chance to interview Bender at the LAUNCHedu showcase as part of SXSWedu. Check out the video interview below:

 Check out instaGrok here

Here’s more of our SXSW13 coverage at nibletz.com

Flinja The Place To Find Free Lance Ninjas SXSWedu Video Interview

Flinja,California startup,EdTech startup,startups,startup interview,sxswedu,sxsw13,sxswThere are so many reasons we like Flinja. First off, their name is short for Freelance Ninja, and any startup with the word Ninja in it rocks. Secondly they are connecting college students with ways to make money by sharing their service as free-lancers with college alumni.

The startup, founded by Rebecca Bahr and Victor Young, is a market place for current college students to find free-lance employment opportunities from alumni. Bahr says they’ve pivoted several times. When they first set out on the free lance ninja concept the platform was closed to each students actual school. Well Bahr, who went to college in Montreal, found it hard to find people to connect with when she needed a service provider in California.

Now, any college student can be a service provider to any college graduate from any school in their network.

Students are utilizing Flinja to offer videography services, photography services, wedding planning services, tutoring in a variety of subjects and anything else that they could do for others for a little money on the side (legal of course).

The hope is that the alumni or college graduates that hire the students as freelancers may be a gateway to more stable employment.

The Flinja marketplace is self contained. When a college graduate is looking for a service provider they can search through Flinja, see a provider (students) feedback and ratings, set up the service, agree to pay and actually finish the transaction. Flinja takes a small percentage from the person hiring, not from the college student.

UCLA was the first school to adopt the Flinja platform. Students are being hired as videographers, editors and tutors.

Flinja is a finalist in the LAUNCHedu competition at SXSWedu in the higher education category. They will appear in the showdown later this week.

Check out our video interview with Bahr below and for more info visit flinja.com

We’ve got more SXSWedu coverage here.

New York Startup: Exceleratr Finds Extra Curriculars For High School Students INTERVIEW

High school students applying for college are finding more and more that extra-curricular activities within the walls of the high school they’re attending are no longer adequate when it comes to moving your college application up the chain. Sure class president, yearbook, and maybe a high school Habitat for Humanity project are great, but more and more high school students are gravitating towards extracurriculars outside of the school.

These extra-curricular activities can include anything from unique volunteer opportunities to internships in a career field that the student wants to study. There are a broad range of extra-curricular activities for high school students out there, but until now Google was the easiest way to find them.

A new startup called Exceleratr, based in New York, has designed a platform to link high school students to extra-curricular activities that make a difference in both their lives and their college applications. Ezra Mosseri, one of the co-founders of Exceleratr warns though, if you’re a high school senior this year, it could be too late.

The Exceleratr platform is aimed at high school students of any age and of course the earlier you start racking up your extra-curricular resume the better.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional high school internship, an academic program, or a non academic program, Exceleratr covers all the bases.

With Exceleratr students can create profiles, and manage their extra-curricular applications the same way you might if you were looking for an actual job. Of course there are a lot of job platforms out there. There are also a fair amount of startups out there catering to college students looking for internships, however Exceleratr is the first platform designed specifically for high school students looking to add to their pre-college resume.

We got a chance to talk to Mosseri. Check out our interview below:

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New Orleans EdTech Startup Dash Technologies Releasing Dash For Teachers App Interview

Three educators in New Orleans have teamed up to form Dash Technologies a new startup focusing on educational apps for teachers. Their first app “Dash For Teachers” will hit the Apple iTunes app store on Wednesday.

Dash4Teachers is almost like a CRM app for teachers to keep tabs on students performance, log that performance and than generate a quick speed dial list so that teachers can make those ever important calls to parents. With the Dash4Teachers app, when the student’s performance is logged the app knows what parameters are set that distinguish parents that need to be called over parents of students who’s performance is up to par.

This is a valuable tool for busy teachers and busy parents. It also increases the communication between teacher and parent for the students benefit.

We had a chance to interview Dash Technologies about their exciting new app. Check out the interview below and look for the app in the iTunes app store tomorrow.

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