Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed a surge in new, scrappy education startups. One of the most promising ones I’ve seen is ShowMe, previously called Easel Learning. The New York City startup just raised an $800,000 seed round from Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, betaworks, Learn Capital, BOLDstart, and angel investor Naval Ravikant. The company is hiring.
ShowMe turns your tablet computer into an interactive video whiteboard. Teachers can record lessons while speaking and drawing on the touchscreen. The resulting videos can then be viewed on the iPad app or the ShowMe website, where they can be searched shared, and voted up. The iPad app has been downloaded 150,000 times since its launch a month ago, which is not bad for an eduction app.
The videos are crowdsourced from teachers and educators in much the same way that Khan Academy offers up learning videos, but with the added whiteboard format which is particularly helpful for subjects such as math or science. But really it works for any subject where a whiteboard can be used as a teaching tool. ShowMe takes the whiteboard out of the classroom and puts it in students laps.
ShowMe’s technology also powers the Princeton Review’s SAt prep app. In the video below, which I shot last April, CEO San Kim shows off the technology.
ShowMe is an open learning community you can learn or teach anything. Over 1.5 million lessons have been created using the ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard iPad app, ranging from algebra to calculus to cooking. There are millions of great teachers out there; ShowMe empowers them to share their knowledge and teach the world.
Lerer Ventures is a New York-based, seed stage venture capital fund run by Ken and Ben Lerer. LV invests in founders in the earliest stages of a startup’s life, seeking out those entrepreneurs with product vision, consumer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambition. Its portfolio includes betaworks, chartbeat, Canvas Networks, Simple (formerly BankSimple), gdgt, GroupMe, Greplin, and Venmo.
SV Angel is the micro VC firm located in Silicon Valley and founded by angel investors, Ron Conway and David Lee. SV Angel provides capital investments to early stage companies focused on the Internet, e-commerce, and information technology markets. SV Angel is a venture fund which has raised investment from external investors or limited partners in industry parlance. In April 2010, the fund announced its size of $20 million. Per the firm, SV Angel initially expected to raise a...
Founded in 2008, betaworks is a company of builders. A tightly linked network of ideas, people, capital, products and data brought together in imaginative ways to build out a more connected world. At first glance we seem to do many things. But first and foremost, we’re builders, seeking to create a more sustainable innovation model. The more we build, the more we learn, the more we get ideas for peripheral things, all related, connected – in a loosely...