This year’s edition of the Plugg conference will have two online education start ups on the Start Up Rally. Every year a jury of experts selects 20 companies for the short list of the Rally. Those companies will then pitch during the conference and eventually there will be one winner selected by the jury and one winner selected by the audience.
Plugg has already somekind of a history of having great online education start ups on the shortlist. Last year’s winner was Mendeley, a service that help you to organize, share and discover research papers and Myngle won the audience choice award.
Amongst the 20 companies on the shortlist was also an interesting start up from Germany SofaTutor.com which recently secured a series A funding of something between 700 – 900.000 Euro. SofaTutor also closed a partnership with the renown German publisher Klett which now included video content delivered by SofaTutor to a new range of textbooks preparing students for the German Abitur (university entrance diploma).
Coming to this year’s shortlisted start ups:
Sclipo has already been on the market for a while. The platform started in 2007 and evolved from an educational video page to a Web Learning Application (WLA) a term the founder Gregor Gimmy recently introduced on the Sclipo blog.
[...] because Sclipo provides learning tools as a web application: no download, no installation on your web server, no configuration, no maintenance, no hosting: Just register, and you have your own WLA up and running in minutes.
If you want some more information about the evolution of Sclipo you should watch the EDUKWEST interview I did with Christopher Grant who was Senior Vice President of the company back then.
The second start up English Attack! has not officially launched yet. I met the two founders Paul Maglione and Frederic Tibout at TechCrunch Europe’s Europas event in London last year and I am looking forward to see them in Paris at the TechCrunch Paris event by the end of March (still some tickets available).
Paul and Frederic are both former entertainment industry executives and worked for companies like Activision, Blizzard, Vivendi Games Mobile, I-Play, Apple, CNN, NBC to name a few. Hence the approach of English Attack! is 100% entertainment-focused because besides its dominant role in world business, English is also the global language of entertainment.
Therefore the target group is between 15-30 years of age which the founders define as the one with the highest learning potential but the lowest tolerance of traditional classroom approaches.
I am looking forward to see their pitches and hope that both will make it in the last round, of course. You can see the complete list of this year’s shortlisted start ups for the Start Up Rally 2010 on the Plugg website and there are also some tickets left for the event.