Ten companies from the Imagine K12 incubator in Palo Alto pitched their wares onstage this morning at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. In order to participate in the three-month Imagine K12 program, which runs out of the AOL offices, a startup has to have an education bent but otherwise can focus on any product.
When I asked Imagine K12 participant Brett Kopf why start an incubator focused solely on education he responded,”There are a lot of problems in education, so there’s a lot of room to be solving problems.” Fair enough.
Kopf’s startup, remind101, is a private “Twitter for teachers,” providing educators with a “safe” way to broadcast messages like test reminders (hence the name) and notes of encouragement to their students; With remind101 no participant has any access to any other participant’s personal and sensitive contact info like social networking profiles, phone numbers or email addresses.
“It’s not that we don’t trust teachers. It’s that teachers don’t have a good way to communicate because there are potential assumptions people can make,” says Kopf. In three weeks since the service’s launch, the product has been used by 1,500 teachers, 15,000 students and parents; cumulatively sending over 130K messages.