The co.lab Opens for Education
This week at Zynga’s HQ in San Francisco we’re celebrating the opening of co.lab, a new “ed tech” product accelerator for start-up companies focused on enhancing the quality and reach of learning games and apps designed to improve education outcomes.
True to its name, co.lab is a co.llaboration between Zynga.org – a nonprofit organization dedicated to using games as a force for social good – and NewSchools Venture Fund – a venture philanthropy that has been working to transform public education by supporting education entrepreneurs since 1998.
The goal of co.lab is to leverage the power of social and mobile games to enhance academic, cognitive and social outcomes for PK-12 students. Zynga engineers, product managers, analysts, artists and marketers are all working closely with the companies in the co.lab cohort – Edmodo, Kidaptive, LocoMotive Labs, Motion Math and Pluto Media – volunteering their time and expertise in an incubator-like environment. Our goal is to help improve the ed tech products these great teams are developing through hands-on mentoring, strengthening core game loops, unleashing proven mechanics, and layering in social features. Zynga is also helping with play-testing, player insights and analytics, as well as pricing, marketing, and distribution.
Equally important, co.lab will give these cohort companies access to each other. Already, the space is buzzing with the energy of tireless entrepreneurs, sharing data, swapping stories of success and failure, and learning valuable lessons from one another. On their own, these companies are focused on growing their audience and their impact on students, teachers and parents. Together, they represent an important and exciting shift in the way today’s students learn, and show the true positive results of what can happen when we merge technology, education and play.
Our hope is that the partnership between NewSchools, Zynga.org, the co.lab companies, as well as leaders from other game and tech companies who will lend their expertise, will ultimately result in the advancement of the field of learning games and education technology and create better learning experiences for 21st Century students around the world.
Welcome to the world, co.lab, we can’t wait to see where you take us and what we learn!
To learn more about the companies of co.lab’s founding cohort, please visit the co.lab website.
– Ken Weber, Executive Director, Zynga.org