MindCET, an Israeli organization that brings together educators and entrepreneurs to develop groundbreaking tech in education, has been working since 2012 to find education tech (EdTech) startups, tapping into gaming, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, to transform the Israeli learning environment.
Below we review 7 exciting edtech companies in MindCET’s accelerator program:
Imagine going on an adventure where a smart toy (in this case, a ball based on a motion console with a speaker and an app) gives you a mission and gets you to accomplish it through voice commands. This is essentially what CEO Chen Lev wants Storyball to become, telling NoCamels the goal is to eventually get publishers to create their own customized Storyball skins based on well-known characters like Harry Potter or a Disney princess. In the mean time, the AI-and-machine-learning powered device bridges the physical and digital worlds by encouraging children to go outdoors or exercise by offering an interactive game through role play.
“If you are strong in math, we will make you stronger. If you are weak in math, we will make you stronger,” CEO and co-founder of Mathika, Eyal Dessou Tzafir said during the presentation for the company, the only math-focused EdTech startup in the program. This self-funded company, which creates game-based math learning environments for students through its platform, empowering them to become self-learners is looking “to expand to the world,” Dessou Tzafir tells NoCamels.
Because the focus is on math, language is not a barrier, he says, adding that he uses social media to connect with many people showing interest in the product, particularly in India and South Africa. Mathika, he says wants to partner with teachers and allow them to create their own videos around math. The company has developed a pilot program in four Israeli schools, including Kehila School in Tel Aviv and Amirim, a Bedouin school in Beersheba.
Texti is an AI service that teaches English grammar, reading, and vocabulary in a trendy way — through pop culture. The startup creates unique and effective tasks for learning the language, based on the personal interests of the student and highlighting their favorite movies, music, and sports. The platform can be integrated with any English training platform. The company says its vision is to “use AI to its full potential in the language learning field.” Texti is headed by CEO Eyal Chloe Rosen, an entrepreneur who also has a background in UX, design, and the building and creating of software.
4. ELA (E-Learning Analytics)
Worldwide revenue for game-based learning products are predicted to surge to $7.3 billion by 2021, according to an e-learning market trends report from Docebo, an international learning management system (LMS). It’s important to know if those e-learning products are effective for the user, said Lee Hadar, Chief Marketing Officer of ELA, a BI and analytics tool that integrates with any digital educational content to perform innovative user and behavior analysis. This behavior analysis provides unique insights into the learner’s performance, strengths, and weaknesses, motivation, and trends. Parents, educational content creators and educators will find ELA’s diagnostic BI can improve the educational value of their products, CMO Lee Hadar said during her pitch at the Demo Day.
5. Agree Online
This innovative startup created a digital platform to help kids and teens resolve conflicts with the guidance of their classmates and peers, who serve as young moderators. The advisers offer parties (the children in conflict) possible solutions to their quarrel and vote for solutions offered by other advisers. Parties review suggestions and choose the solution they think are best. Moving forward, they negotiate the problem in chat, with the help of a young moderator until they reach a solution that mutually beneficial for all parties. Examples of conflicts currently being moderated on the platform include a disagreement between brothers about which movie to go see, a communication breakdown between friends and a hurtful comment between teammates on a Whatsapp group they are both part of.
Gamify is interactive platform that teaches technology, entrepreneurship, and collaborative coding, allowing children as young as five to create recreational and educational mobile games quickly and easily. This approach makes software development accessible for all and gives kids new ways to express creativity. The platform was actually developed with a large group of kids, CEO Aviram Mizrahi told the crowd at the MindCET event.
In addition, the games have an integrated chat feature so that kids can easily connect and collaborate. They also have access to virtual coins based on the amount of players using the game. These virtual coins can be used to buy real gadgets in online stores or assets to improve their game. The company has set up a pilot program in 20 Israeli schools and after-school programs, and over 5,000 games have so far been created by kids, Mizrahi said. Gamify recently changed its name from Let’s Get Startup
While many of the EdTech startups presenting at the Demo Day event focused on children and teenagers, CoQua.Labs is a platform geared towards adult education — universities, publishers and massive open online courses (MOOCs.) The platform provides analyses of individual content consumption to create a personal learning profile for each learner. That information is then used to rate each learning experience and optimize content for future learners at every stage. CEO Yatir Davidovich said online content creators can optimize and personalize for students without surveys or questions, creating more effective learning experiences, reducing dropouts, cutting costs and increasing revenue.