Charting the online ed disruption

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

04.10.13 Blog EducationDon’t look now, but online education startups may soon give social media/mobile app developers a run for their money — in Oregon and around the country.

Portland startup Treehouse, which offers basic technology classes for high school students, announced today it was closing a  $7 million series B round of financing, with Kaplan Ventures taking the lead. CEO Ryan Carson relocated from England last year, and Treehouse will use the money to grow employees and services.

This past December,  EdCaliber, a maker of K-12 learning management tools profiled in our June 2012 issue, closed a $335,000 convertible debt financing round led by the Gorge Angel Investor Network.

On the national stage, Stanford announced last week it was joining a Harvard and MIT-backed enterprise, edX, to develop a system that allows colleges to develop free online courses, otherwise known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs. Stanford already operates its own MOOC, but the edX partnership is expected to boost enrollment worldwide.

"I really believe this will enable true, planet-scale application of online education," edX president Anant Agarwal told the Huffington Post on Monday.

The surge in online education startups is the most visible sign of the disruption underway in the K-12 and higher education marketplace. As budgets tighten, tuition costs skyrocket  — and as quality in secondary and post secondary schooling declines — a growing number of entrepreneurs aim to upend business as usual, making education more accessible and affordable via online options.

As the parent of a high school senior, I am watching such developments with a keen eye. Because sending your kids to college in 2013 is akin to buying a hugely expensive house at the height of the housing boom — but with advance knowledge of the impending collapse.

As for Oregon's startup hordes, the payoff for entering the rapidly growing online ed arena may turn out to be every entrepreneur's dream: lots and lots of money.

OB Editor Linda Baker keeps tabs on CEO and public policy issues, with frequent forays into innovation, entrepreneurship, and bikes.

 

More Articles

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

Celestial Eats

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER AND EILEEN GARVIN

A power lunch at Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar.


Read more...

2015 100 Best companies announced

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 0022cneditBY OB STAFF

The 100 Best list recognizes large, medium and small companies for excellence in work environment, management and communications, decision-making and trust, career development and learning, and benefits and compensation.


Read more...

Letting Go

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

As baby boomers sell their businesses, too many forget the all-important succession plan.


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor or anything, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


Read more...

Power Players

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

A new energy-sharing agreement sparks concerns about independence and collaboration in the region's utility industry.


Read more...

5 highlights from the Angel Oregon Showcase

The Latest
Thursday, April 23, 2015
IMG 5069BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well at the Oregon Angel showcase, an annual event for angel investors and early stage entrepreneurs.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS