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SXSWedu 2014

Connecting Nimble Innovation and Rigorous Research

Innovation from small businesses is essential in the rapidly evolving education landscape. However, innovative ideas are useful only to the extent that they are supported by rigorous research in education. Arcadia Apps, a small business that has developed a robust assessment platform for mobile and web delivery that incorporates interactive, collaborative, and social features, and WestEd, a nonprofit research organization with extensive experience implementing assessment and instructional solutions for state and federal education agencies, have partnered to develop interactive literacy courseware for middle school students. This partnership builds on the strengths of each organization to deliver an innovative solution for schools that is grounded in current scientific research. Implications of small business/nonprofit research organization partnership for product development, federal and foundation funding, distribution, and intellectual property will be discussed.

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  1. Why is building relationships with education researchers essential for successful ed tech product development?
  2. How do I find and start a relationship with the right research partner that will help me be successful?
  3. What kind of funding is available to support partnerships between education developers and education researchers?


  • Chris Camacho, Senior Research Associate, WestEd
  • Nicolle Romero, Senior Research Associate, WestEd
  • Wens Gerdyman, Co-Founder, Arcadia Apps


Matthew Nathan, Senior Director, Development, WestEd

Meta Information:

  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Panel Discussion
  • Track: Entrepreneurialism in Education
  • Level: Beginning
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