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LearnLaunch's Latest Accelerator Cohort Focused on Workforce

The Boston-based startup accelerator has chosen five startups — four from the U.S. and one from Austria — for its 12-week Breakthrough to Scale program, and many of them propose tech solutions to workforce training.

Startup staff collaborate
The numerous accelerator programs seeking out the best and brightest startups in the ed-tech space, from Amazon's AWS EdStart to AT&T's Aspire, have been understandably focused on digital learning and the implications of emerging tech in recent years. But with the announcement of its new cohort last week, Boston-based ed-tech accelerator LearnLaunch is betting on ed tech's potential in professional development and fulfilling increasingly dire workforce needs.

LearnLaunch Fund + Accelerator, which since 2013 has invested in dozens of early-stage ed-tech companies, has chosen five startups that are “future-proofing” education with high-tech tools for hands-on, human-centered lessons in K-12, higher ed and professional development. As described in a news release, the latest startups for LearnLaunch's Breakthrough to Scale program include:

  • Automation Workz, a Detroit-based company that prepares and certifies people for jobs in cybersecurity — a field that has been gouged by worker shortages.
  • CareerDash, based in Austin, Texas, which offers bootcamp programs for underserved communities — an evergreen, hot-button issue for institutions, companies and legislators.
  • Empathetics, a Boston-based SaaS company that trains professionals in a range of industries, such as health care and law enforcement, on empathy and interpersonal skills.
  • Julius Education, another Boston-based company, focused on cultivating diverse talent for jobs in a changing energy industry.
  • Robo Wunderkind, an Austria-based company that makes curriculum materials and professional development for STEAM education, including robotics kits and programming apps.

"The presence of several workforce-focused companies in the cohort represents the need for innovative solutions that address both learning and future of work in growing industries,” LearnLaunch Accelerator General Partner Jean Hammond said in a public statement.

The handful of startups will take part in a 12-week program, the majority of which will be virtual, where they will work with mentors to help build up their products and scale their businesses. When the program concludes, the companies will go on to secure funding and deploy their products, ultimately showcasing their work in a "demo day" in New York this September, in conjunction with EDTECH WEEK and the HolonIQ Global Impact Summit, according to the news release.

According to its website, LearnLaunch has 71 portfolio companies and over 175 mentors in its network, having guided more than 100 entrepreneurs toward their goals and raised over $210 million for their companies.