“We founded Imagine K12 in 2011 to help companies innovate in education technology in order to improve outcomes for children in the United States and around the world. YC founder Paul Graham believed in our mission, and with his help and advice, Imagine K12 was launched and has run like a sister company of YC. We utilize a nearly identical application process and startup philosophy and, in fact, Geoff became a partner at YC at the same time. Several companies have participated in both IK12 and YC, and YC partners, including Paul, Jessica Livingston, Sam Altman, and others have given their time to IK12 companies,” cowrote IK12 Partner Geoff Ralston and Tim Brady.
According to the blog, IK12 has accomplished quite a feat, funding over 80 companies, and in 2016 nearly every school in every district, in every state of the country uses a tool created by an Imagine K12 company.
“Several of the fastest growing edtech companies in the country are IK12 alumni, including, for example, Remind, ClassDojo, and Panorama Education,” shared Ralston and Brady. “During the past five years, the edtech ecosystem has evolved and matured, and technology adoption by schools in the US and around the world has become inevitable. President Obama even promoted computer science education in his most recent State of the Union address.”
Furthermore, Ralston and Brady commented,
“YC has expanded and changed as well, with renewed efforts in focused areas such as hardware, healthcare, and enterprise. With this in mind, we began talking to Sam last year about more tightly integrating Imagine K12 within YC and creating a YC education vertical. Future YC/Imagine K12 edtech startups would then get the benefit of being full YC participants and we would eliminate the duplication of effort that Imagine K12’s separate schedule, application and interview process, and funding events represent.”
In the blog, Ralston and Brady maintained that Imagine K12 will operate as an edtech specialization within YC’s program. New YC/Imagine K12 companies will have access to YC’s startup network and resources coupled with Imagine K12’s Educator Network and specialized understanding of the education market. Edtech companies in the future will use the regular Y Combinator application process (the Summer 2016 application is currently open) and will automatically become part of YC/Imagine K12 if accepted.