Our investment in Simbulus

We’ve recently invested in Simbulus the makers of Woot Math. Located in Boulder, CO, the company is building a software application that we believe will revolutionize the way that kids learn math.

We’ve long believed that current education methodologies are archaic. The process of education seems to be one of the last markets that have resisted technological advancement. From time to time, we’ve considered whether or not we wanted to pursue an education investment theme, although to date, we have not made that decision.

That being said, we are all highly active in education. Ryan has sat on the board of his son’s school. Seth has three grade-school aged children and with them has worked with a large number of apps and technologies targeted at students, parents and schools. Brad and Jason have both been adjunct professors at the University of Colorado. We all participated in the Techstars Kaplan program, which was based around education technologies. We’ve each seen the challenges up close.

Woot Math a tablet and web application that teaches kids fractions, which are broadly recognized as the gateway to algebra success. In time, they intend to move up to more advanced materials where the addressable market is over $400 million a year (math only). The cost is between $6.99 and $8.99 a student and they sell to educators – from superintendent down to individual teachers and parents.

Woot Math is unique in that it personalizes and adapts to each student and fully supports in-class out out-of-class sessions. It also provides feedback to the teacher to help them optimize their lesson plans and knowledge about particular students. Woot Math is also funded by the National Science Foundation through an SBIR grant, a great program for innovative startups.

If the company is successful in building a big business and able to move to higher complexity levels, we believe there is room to go into other competency verticals.

The company was founded by Krista Marks, Tom Fischaber, Sean Kelly, Brent Milne, and Jeff Ward. We were advisors to their last company Kerpoof that was acquired by Disney in 2008, and we’ve known Krista and Brent for many years and have always wanted to work with them.

If you have kids, download the app!

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