Archive for January, 2012

CI’s TechStarts (not Techstars)

January 19th, 2012

While one part of the state is encouraging private creation of accelerator programs (and providing some matching funds for the first few years), another part of the state is doing it now.  In the last week or so, Connecticut Innovations has announced the TechStart Fund for student or early stage technology companies.  I’m excited we’re going to be neighbors in Science Park.

I talked to Luke Weinstein (one of the mentors) and got the scoop.  I love the speed with which this is coming together!

It’s a 10 week accelerator program with $25,000 in non-recourse loan to the company (CI does not get any ownership in the company or require any personal guarantee for paying the loan back).  At least half the team is expected to participate in New Haven fulltime during the program which starts in early March.

If you’re interested, act fast as the deadline to apply is Feb 22.

Let me know if you’ve heard any more details.

Computer as Teacher. Teacher as Coach.

January 15th, 2012

I’m facisnated by the possibilites in embracing technology in education.  We’ve only scratched the surface.  There appears to be so much oppertunity here.

About a year ago, I wrote a post about my view of the school of the future.  I was excited to read another vision today in Techcrunch.  Vinod Khosla posted an article on called “Will We Need Teachers Or Algorithms?”

He does a great job articulating something I’ve been trying to describe to my friends for some time.

There are new key trends that I see emerging in education enabled by advancing technology: namely decentralization and gamification. By understanding these trends, it is much easier to imagine why we won’t need teachers or why we can free up today’s teachers to be mentors and coaches. Software can free teachers to have more human relationships by giving them the time to be guidance counselors and friends to young kids instead of being lecturers who talk at them.  This last possibility is very important—in addition to learning, schools enable critical social development for children through teacher student relationships and interacting with other children—classrooms of peers and teachers provide much more than math lessons.  And by freeing up teachers’ time, technology can lead to increased social development rather than less as many assume.

Do you buy it?  If not, why won’t it work?

And how long will it take for us to get there?  My bet: by the time the first iPhone baby enters high school, we’ll be seeing a lot more adoption.  By then, the parents will have grown up with computers and the students will have grown up with smartphones.  Let’s hope the teachers and administrators are ready.

Draft of CT Innovation Ecosystem RFQ

January 7th, 2012

Still digging through this myself but wanted to share the draft RFQ from the State of Connecticut.  What do you think?

“The State of Connecticut is working with entrepreneurs, economic development organizations and institutions to build a world-class system of support for innovation and entrepreneurship.  Over the last six months members of Connecticut’s innovation community collaborated to design a framework for this system, which will involve a matrix of organizations and both public and private investment.  Before releasing the official Request for Qualifications (RFQ), the State would like input on this Draft RFQ.  Please review this document and send all comments and critique to innovationct@gmail.com by 5pm, January 13.”

CT Innovation Ecosystem RFQ – Draft for Comment – 1-5-12