Venture studio teams with education disruptor to bring about new innovations in education technology
INDIANAPOLIS – Sept. 21, 2020 – NEXT Studios, an Indiana-based venture studio and corporate innovation partner, and Crossroads Education (CRE), an Indiana-based organization focused on innovating education and providing equitable access to quality education for all, today announced a partnership to infuse innovation and disruption in the education technology (EdTech) marketplace, leveraging NEXT Studios intentional venture studio process and CRE’s charter to disrupt the education (EdTech) market.
“This partnership is a dream for our team. We recognize the significant contributions of those who put Indianapolis on the map as an innovation epicenter for education,” said Kevin Berkopes, founder and CEO of Crossroads Education. We now move forward to build what the stagnated innovation models were missing: agility. Our ‘venture studio for education’ represents a pace of innovation that is required to build companies with the mission to disrupt while retaining the ability to adapt.”
Drawing on resources from NEXT Studios, the joint venture will enable CRE to incubate and accelerate ideas focusing on innovative solutions that help students, teachers and families access educational resources (regardless of their location) and transition from education delivery to meaningful learning. Virtual learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the existing education inequalities and the urgent need for digital technology solutions to effectively address existing inequalities. The initial focus of the partnership will be to launch and scale a new company called Crossroads Learning Pods, which will enable small groups of students to meet in-person and complete their eLearning with the assistance of a professional Learning Pod Coach (LPC). The partnership has tapped local education leader, Jenn Watts, to manage Crossroads Learning Pods as its founding president. Watts comes to the company with significant innovation and education experience, recently serving as the director of policy for the Indiana Department of Education.
Crossroads Education believes technology, collaborative peer-learning, distributed education through eLearning and high-quality instructional talent, when applied appropriately, can instigate breakthrough progress in advancing education. They also believe the collective work of many diverse partners—governments, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, foundations and others—can accelerate that progress.
Founded by four Indiana entrepreneurs with extensive experience in technology, NEXT Studios operates from co-working spaces across Indiana. The Studio enables visionaries from around the state to develop their ideas and fuel them with talent and capital in their own local communities.
“NEXT Studios has the expertise in birthing companies, Crossroads Education has the expertise in disrupting the education market,” said Joseph Cudby, managing entrepreneur of NEXT Studios. “We are excited to work closely with CRE to deliver on our collective vision for what’s possible in education.”
“Indianapolis is accelerating its education innovation and this new collaboration between Crossroads Education and NEXT Studios is the cutting edge initiative we need during these unprecedented times,” said Greg Ballard, former mayor of Indianapolis.
To learn more, visit CRE at crossroadseducation.org or NEXT Studios at next-studios.org.
About NEXT Studios
Founded in 2020, NEXT Studios is a venture studio that is a partnership of experienced entrepreneurs, including Joseph Cudby, Tom Kilcoyne, Shelley Klingerman and John McDonald, who help visionaries share their ideas, craft them through a repeatable process, and move them forward with capital and talent. The studio works with entrepreneurs across the state to move their ideas into products and their products into companies. The studio uses a proven process to reduce the risk for investors and encourage more local investors to get involved in our local innovation economy.
About Crossroads Education
Crossroads Education (CRE) is led by a team of experts ranging from education to technology. We aim to improve learning outcomes for all students by advancing innovation in education across the United States. We inspire breakthroughs that advance education by harnessing the potential of technology, collaborative peer-learning, distributed education through eLearning, and high-quality instructional talent.
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