At the Towson University Incubator (d/b/a TU Incubator), we look for entrepreneurs and solutions who are a match for our program and who we believe can either change the game or who might initially be building a sustainable, independent lifestyle business. Either way, the impact is real and there’s a good partnership that begins and evolves.
TU Incubator is about impact, but we are an incubator — not Y-Combinator. Our role is to support the scale-worthy and the small business, the mid-life first-time entrepreneur and the undergraduate who rallies a team attacking a big problem or more independence-inducing lifestyle on the other side of parchment. In edtech, we tend toward the former and take a thematic approach to problem-solving in areas that we believe are worth the mutual effort. As a public state university incubator with roots going back 150 years engrained in mindful service to teaching & learning, we take all this quite seriously.
Class Compete Becomes Virtual Member of TU Incubator
My first in-person meeting with Rahul Mahna was at an edSurge Tech for Schools Summit in Baltimore. I was intrigued by the product idea of his company, Class Compete. Thankfully, he persisted and, after a meeting or two, he decided to join the incubator as a Virtual Member. Class Compete is located in New Jersey, but Rahul has been involved as an advisor with a Baltimore-based edtech company for a while, so the network overlap happened organically.
Are You Ready for the Next Test?
With respect to the screenshot at right, Class Compete is designed to place a learner through a series of games that will ready him or her for more high stakes tests thereafter. The system allows students to be their best selves when heading into these critical local, district and national tests. If you’ve been following the national news in the last couple of years, you have undoubtedly seen the trend toward opt-outs and backlash over testing. What if there was a way to lessen the amount of testing and the anxiety associated with high stakes outcomes? What if the quantity of testing was minimized partly because the quality and efficacy of said testing increased?
Paraphrased from the OED, acculturation is the act of assimilating with a different often dominant culture. You think students need help in assimilating with large scale testing? Seems likely. The theme (“gamified testing acculturation”) posited in the image above is a bit clunky but intends to emphasize the game + fit aspect of the platform. Class Compete fully understands and embraces the notion where any solution that reduces the anxiety of a test taker on the front of end of said experience almost always produces improved outcomes, both near and longer term. It was Ben Franklin who incited “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We can forgive him for not including testing, particularly because there are innovative solutions such as Class Compete to help us deal with that certainty.