In an event held at the MaRS Discovery District, Impact8 graduated the third cohort of its eight-week accelerator program. A joint partnership between the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and the MaRS edtech cluster, the spring 2015 Work & Learning cohort targeted startups finding solutions for access and inclusion, workforce planning, youth employment, system transformation, and curriculum and content enhancement.
Here are the eight graduating startups, featuring companies from across the nation: Toronto, Vancouver, Moncton, and Winnipeg.
· Cube for Teachers, an interactive database and professional learning network created for K-12 educators to simplify how teaching resources are shared, stored and accessed for greater efficiency and better learning outcomes.
· Forward Vision Games, cloud-based simulation games that improve financial literacy and decision-making to enable financial and entrepreneurial capacity among Canadian high school and post-secondary students, with a particular focus on First Nations students, content and communities.
· Higher Ed Points allows loyalty points from programs like Aeroplan to be redeemed to help students pay for their higher education at post-secondary education institutions and/or their student loan payments in Canada.
· Kids Great Minds delivers learning programs to inspire and educate kids about digital technology.
· QUIO enables teachers and instructors to create customized formative and summative assessment tools and portfolios, and manage data into visual learning maps to articulate holistic evaluations of 21st-century student learning and performance.
· Riipen, an online platform that connects companies with students and graduates through employer-created projects and paid work opportunities.
· Textbooks for Change provides affordable and accessible textbooks for domestic and international students. The proceeds are used to provide microloans and send donated textbooks to university libraries across low-resource regions across Africa.
· Vizwik (by Agora Mobile), a social learning platform that teaches users to create, test, share and sell cross-platform (Android, Apple, Blackberry, Windows) apps using a visual coding and development tool.
Following the graduation demos, Agora Mobile received a $10,000 grand prize for Vizwik, as determined by its fellow Impact8 graduates. The prize winnings come just a short year after the Moncton-based startup raised $1 million in seed funding from the NBIF.
“The Impact8 program was an amazing experience packed full of learning and practical knowledge provided by industry experts who have been there,” said Simon Gauvin, Co-Founder and CEO, Agora Mobile. “It was an honor to be selected among Canada’s best and connected to seven great leaders who are making a real impact on peoples’ lives.”