Three students at the University of Pennsylvania—Joseph Cohen, Dan Getelman, and Jim Grandpre—are quitting school to launch a new education startup called Coursekit, and they’ve raised $1 million in a seed round to do it. (Peter Thiel would be proud). The New York City startup just closed a seed round from Founder Collective, IA Ventures, Shasta Ventures and some angels. IA Ventures led the round.
Coursekit is like Facebook or Yammer for courses. Like many other students frustrated with Blackboard, the current online course management standard, the Coursekit founders think they can do a better job. “It is really a Blackboard replacement with a heavy emphasis on social networking,” says CEO Cohen.
The service will launch later this summer in time for the Fall semester. It’s a place where teachers can post their syllabus, reading materials, grades, calendars, links, and so on. It is designed as a way for professors to manage their course and interactions with students.
But it is also a social messaging system for students to communicate with each other. “We want a 300 person lecture feel like a 20 person seminar,” says Cohen. Students can share links, videos, MP3s, and other files like PDFs. In this way, they can bring in relevant material from the Web to enhance the course and teach each other.
Lore (formerly Coursekit) is reshaping education for the Internet age. Lore is a community of curious people, spanning every discipline, campus, country, and age. It’s a platform for learning: a new venue for education that allows you to explore.
Founder Collective is a seed-stage venture capital fund, built by a collection of successful entrepreneurs. They are headquartered in New York City and Cambridge, but make investments all over the world.
IA Venture invests in early-stage companies developing breakthrough tools and technologies for managing and extracting value from Big Data. IA Ventures was founded on the belief that managing and extracting value from massive, occasionally unstructured, often real-time data sets is a competitive advantage. Most data generated today is simply treated as exhaust “lost forever” along with the valuable insights held in it. This is purely because all but the most sophisticated organizations are overwhelmed by the massive datasets that are now...
Shasta Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on companies in the consumer Internet, mobile and software sectors. Shasta was formed in 2004 to back brilliant entrepreneurs with an unwavering commitment to the customer experience. Located in Menlo Park, California, Shasta Ventures has $725 million dollars under management across three funds. Shasta Ventures has backed startups including Apptio, Lithium, Mint, Nest, Smule, Spiceworks, TaskRabbit, Turn, Zenprise and Zuora.