We do believe that it’s important for companies to be sustainable — but it deeply matters to this community [Maryland] that these solutions improve student and teacher outcomes.
BALTIMORE, Md. (PRWEB) October 22, 2014
Over the last few years, the Greater Baltimore region has become an edtech hub to watch. The newly formed EdTech Maryland, a non-profit focused on driving innovation and excellence in education by solving real problems for real people, is coordinating and accelerating the growth of the edtech ecosystem across Maryland.
EdTech Maryland convenes stakeholders through formal and informal events, drives the Research Consortium developing short-cycle research on new tools and innovative practices, retains and attracts talent, supports educational organizations and provides policy advice related to edtech.
Taking the reins as executive director is Katrina Stevens, an edtech commentator and former educator who spent over 20 years in independent and public schools as a teacher and administrator, as well as working in higher education and consulting for a wide range of education companies and organizations through the Tuscany Group.
In her most recent role as EdSurge Summit Director, Stevens helped catalyze edtech in cities across the US by bringing together local educators and national edtech startups for 2-day events that foster true dialogue among stakeholders. Stevens’ work as global facilitator for Startup Education also allowed her to work with edtech communities around the world.
“Maryland, more than any other ecosystem I’ve seen, truly cares about the double bottom line,” says Stevens . “Yes, we do believe that it’s important for companies to be sustainable — but it deeply matters to this community that these solutions improve student and teacher outcomes. EdTech Maryland will identify effective solutions and help to scale them so that more students, educators and others benefit.”
Joining Stevens on the executive board is a veritable who’s who of edtech in the Baltimore region: Frank Bonsal, director of entrepreneurship at Towson University and long-term edtech investor; John Cammack, former T. Rowe Price executive with significant angel investments in edtech; Phyllis Hillwig, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Words and Numbers; Andrew Coy, executive director of the Digital Harbor Foundation; and Vince Talbert, co-founder of Bill Me Later, chairman of the board of directors at Network for Good and edtech investor. Jennifer Meyer, chief operating officer at the Economic Alliance for Greater Baltimore, serves as the board chair.
“We’re still building our Board,” says Stevens. “It’s crucial that our Board represent the diverse students and communities we serve. We’re in conversations with superintendents, industry leaders, higher ed deans and key foundations.”
While EdTech Maryland is a newly formed legal non-profit entity, the Greater Baltimore EdTech Advisory Task Force has served as an ad hoc working group over the past year and a half. The Task Force launched successful events such as the Baltimore EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit at the Four Seasons last February -- an event that drew over 700 educators from across the region to explore edtech tools created by 35 participating edtech startups from around the country. The EdTech Maryland monthly happy hours have also drawn a lively crowd representative of the whole ecosystem.
The Greater Baltimore region has a rich history of supporting education and edtech companies. Maryland, for example, routinely ranks as one of the top states in the country for excellence in education. In addition to the stalwart edtech regional companies such as Laureate, Sylvan, Connections, Prometrics, StraighterLine, Learn It Systems, many promising new edtech startups are cropping up. Companies are even moving to Baltimore: two NYC-based companies, Citelighter and Three Ring, relocated to Baltimore recently and several other companies are considering making the move.
All inquiries should be directed to Katrina Stevens at email@example.com.