WGU Labs Announces Making Space as the Winner in Inaugural Accelerator Competition in EdTech Innovations

SAN DIEGO, April 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WGU Labs, a leader in accelerating education innovation, today announced Making Space as the winner of its inaugural Accelerator Pitch Competition. The winner was chosen after five finalists pitched their EdTech startup to a panel of judges consisting of senior WGU and Strada Education Foundation leaders alongside an audience of investors, stakeholders, and higher education leaders at the 2024 ASU+GSV Summit.  

Making Space will receive a $50,000 cash investment for equity from the WGU Labs Fund, $25,000 in services from the WGU Labs Accelerator, and a paid pilot with WGU for up to $25,000 to support their future growth. 

"Currently, disabled people are twice as likely to face unemployment compared to non-disabled people, there is a critical opportunity for systemic change," stated Keely Cat-Wells, CEO of Making Space. "This is a pivotal moment for advancing disability rights within both the workforce and educational sectors. At Making Space, we are committed to helping Disabled people build careers, not just secure jobs," she added, “I could not be more excited for the opportunity to work with impacted groups at WGU."

Making Space’s initiative to address disabled worker unemployment through free, employer-backed courses and advanced matching technology demonstrates their commitment to diversifying workforces and establishing benchmarks for inclusive employment. By providing tailored industry training and facilitating career matches, Making Space not only promotes long-term success, but also challenges disability bias in the workforce. 

"Making Space's mission to tackle unemployment among disabled workers through innovative education and technology solutions aligns seamlessly with WGU Labs' vision of creating more inclusive and accessible learning and employment pathways,” said Brad Bernatek, Managing Director of the Accelerator at WGU Labs. “Their work is a testament to the transformative power of technology in breaking down barriers and fostering diversity in the workforce. We are deeply committed to supporting Making Space's growth, as its success reflects our shared commitment to leveraging technology for social good. Together, we aim to build a future where educational and career opportunities are boundless, reflecting the diversity and potential of every learner.”

In 2023, WGU Labs collaborated with 17 higher education institutions and 10 EdTech companies, conducted 16 research engagements, and invested $850,000 in EdTech startups, all in the continued effort to broadly impact the educational sector.


About WGU Labs
WGU Labs is the nonprofit EdTech consulting, incubation, research, and design arm of Western Governors University, where our mission is to identify and support scalable solutions that address the biggest challenges in education today. The Accelerator at WGU Labs provides research, market development and product enhancement services to early-stage education businesses. Through these services, as well as financial investments, the Accelerator advances the scale and impact of education companies that share its mission to increase student access, lower student costs and improve student outcomes. Learn more at wgulabs.org or follow us on LinkedIn.


Making Space Wins Inaugural WGU Labs Accelerator Pitch Competition

Contact Data