BOSTON, Jan. 03, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LearnLaunch Accelerator, the leading education technology startup program, today announced the first cohort of its second Fund, LearnLaunch Accelerator II, as well as the expansion of its investment staff.  Five early-stage education technology companies will participate in LearnLaunch’s Breakthrough program beginning on January 9th.  Companies receive up to $120k in financing as well as an intensive two-month personalized curriculum designed to stimulate company growth and assist in raising capital.

The five companies that service the K-12, higher education, early education, and continuing education markets are:

  • CareAcademy provides evidence-based online classes for non-medical professional and family caregivers with a goal of excellent customer service. 
  • CourseStorm enables simple online course registration by providing a platform for organizations to publish their catalog online and for students to find and register for classes. 
  • Kaymbu is the leading classroom documentation and family engagement platform for early education programs. From photo sharing to school newsletters, student portfolios and even emergency messaging, schools can more effectively connect with young, digital-native parents. 
  • Quality Interactions delivers cultural competency training for healthcare organizations and learning solutions that incorporate real-life scenarios, backed by a research-based approach to cross-cultural communication. 
  • WriteSteps dramatically improves K-5 writing and grammar skills through daily lessons, visual aids, and teaching demonstration videos 

"We’re excited to leverage our second Accelerator Fund with the second iteration of our Breakthrough program, bringing more mature companies into the edtech ecosystem that we’re building,” said Liam Pisano, LearnLaunch Managing Director.  “Working with companies closer to Series A financing allows us to add to our investment staff with proven industry operators and investors bringing a wealth of big and small company experience to our company-building process.”

With the organization’s growth and success, three new Venture Partners will be joining the LearnLaunch team to work with portfolio companies and sit on the Accelerator Investment Committee.

  • Tetyana Astashkina: Formerly, Tetyana worked in Switzerland with b-to-v Partners – an early stage VC firm backed by Europe’s largest network of angel investors.  Tetyana’s investments covered a broad spectrum of areas from consumer internet to clean technologies.  She graduated with distinctions from the Ivan Franko University (Ukraine) with B.A and M.A in International Relations and earned a Master of European Studies degree from the European University Viadrina (Germany).
  • Eric Cantor:  Eric is a seasoned CEO and board member with more than 35 years of experience creating value for investors. He is currently the CEO of New Mountain Learning (NML), a diversified blended learning solutions company serving select segments of the secondary, post-secondary, and career readiness markets. He has a background in education, training, consulting & information services with small / medium cap private equity-owned companies and large diversified public corporations.  Eric received a BA in history from Haverford College and an MBA in marketing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Steve Shapiro:  Steve brings more than 25 years of entrepreneurial experience to his role as Chief Executive Officer of Academic Merit. Steve has launched four successful start-ups, ranging from K-12 intervention in urban school districts, tutoring and test prep, adult workforce development and international student exchange. Steve currently guides Academic Merit’s overall strategy and has successfully helped the company pivot to engage a number of nationally recognized partners.  Steve has both a BS and MBA from Cornell University and is currently on sabbatical from the M.Ed and Ed.D program at UMass Boston.

“Like the edtech marketplace itself, LearnLaunch is growing and innovating, now working on both supply and demand,” said Jean Hammond, co-founder of LearnLaunch. “Bringing great companies, education customers, and insightful investors together is resulting in a healthy economic cluster of sustainable growth.”

LearnLaunch Accelerator's intensive program provides these edtech startups with seed funding, six months of workspace in the unique and collaborative LearnLaunch Campus located at the heart of Boston’s Innovation District, strategic guidance on bringing their products to market, and access to a diverse team of more than 100 industry-savvy expert mentors providing continual support. These companies will emerge from the Accelerator program ready for next stages of funding, deployment, scale and growth.

These five new Breakthrough companies will be showcased at LearnLaunch's 5th Annual Across Boundaries Conference on February 3rd, 2017 at the Hynes Convention Center, which is expected to draw more than 1,000 attendees

About LearnLaunch Accelerator

LearnLaunch Accelerator is the leading early stage edtech startup accelerator.  LearnLaunch Accelerator provides the most promising education technology startups worldwide with up to $120,000 in seed funding, a personalized development plan, sector specific curriculum, and a network of industry focused mentors, intensive coaching and all the tools necessary to grow a successful edtech startup. It offers investors a diversified platform of early stage companies in the rapidly growing edtech sector. For more Information, visit or follow us @LearnLaunchX.

About LearnLaunch

LearnLaunch is dedicated to connecting, supporting, and investing in the education technology ecosystem to drive innovation and transform learning.  We offer a vibrant community, educational events, a collaborative co-working space, and a selective accelerator program to promote the growth of the edtech sector. LearnLaunch is based in Boston, a world education hub. Learn more about LearnLaunch Accelerator, Campus and Institute at and follow LearnLaunch on Twitter at @learnlaunch.

Josef Blumenfeld