Boston-based Authess Closes Seed Round; EdTech Company Draws Investment from US and India

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LearnLaunch Accelerator graduate, Authess, closes seed round of investment. India's Manipal Global Education becomes strategic investor.

Authess, an Education Technology company that graduated from the LearnLaunch Accelerator spring 2015, announced the closing of its seed round of investment. With a mix of investors from the United States and a strategic investor from India, Manipal Global Education, Authess successfully raised $675,000.

Authess is focused on the design and delivery of authentic assessments that encourage creative problem solving and determine a learner’s ability to apply his or her knowledge. The Authess framework is meant to deliver realistic and performance-based assessments in a scalable and affordable manner.

“Changing how and what we assess may be one of the greatest impacts of digital technology on education,” says CEO, Paul Crockett. “We know that more multiple-choice exams do not yield the insights teachers and employers increasingly need. What will the world look like as enhanced assessments match up with sophisticated technology and data analytics?”

According to myriad research and business leaders, many college graduates lack the ability to solve complex workplace problems that require both subject knowledge and critical thinking skills. To address this gap, both colleges and industry managers must first measure, then improve graduates’ and employees’ ability to address realistic, meaningful, and complex scenarios.

“Authentic assessments will help close the skills gap between education and job skills,” said co-founder Chris Kaiser, who is Amgen Professor of Biology and former Provost at MIT. “Assessments based on the principles, knowledge and skills connected to jobs will enable measurement not only of what learners know, but more importantly whether they can creatively apply that knowledge to solve real-world problems.”

“The success of Authess, and others like it, is why we exist,” explained LearnLaunch co-founder and partner Jean Hammond. “Authess is an example of the edtech innovation that is thriving in Boston. LearnLaunch provides the environment and support to get companies like this off the ground.”

Speaking on their investment, Mr. S. Vaitheeswaran, MD & CEO of Manipal Global Education Services, said “we see this investment as a strategic partnership. With a strong presence in India in the testing and assessment space, this relationship will open up interesting opportunities to collaborate with Authess in the U.S. and global market.”

Mr. Crockett announced that the company will be focused on product development and serving its early customers.

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