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U.Va.’s Curry School Foundation launches education accelerator

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The University of Virginia Curry School of Education Foundation has launched the Jefferson Education Accelerator, which is designed to help advance promising education solutions by providing access to expertise, investment capital and the opportunity to conduct studies with leading researchers and practitioners.

The organization is building a nationwide network of K-12 schools, colleges and universities that have shown interest in testing promising products and services.  The accelerator will also provide investment capital for some ventures through its Jefferson Education Fund.

Companies that are selected to participate in the accelerator will, in exchange for a small portion of their equity, receive support, evaluation, and guidance from researchers and industry experts.

The accelerator CEO will be Bart Epstein, an education executive who helped build the world’s largest online homework help service, acquired by IAC in 2012.

Brien Walton will be chief investment officer. He previously was CEO of the Education Design Studio and national coordinator for credit evaluations at the American Council on Education.

In addition to the Curry School Foundation’s support, the accelerator has received initial investment from University of Virginia alumni and USA Funds. A portion of the proceeds from the accelerator and fund will return to the Curry School Foundation.

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