Acelero Learning Selected as an Early Childhood Innovation Prize Winner

15 Top Ideas will share in $1 million in funding from Gary Community Investments

May 23, 2018:

Acelero Learning was recently recognized as one of Gary Community Investments’ Early Childhood Innovation Prize winners, because of its potential to create breakthrough impact for young children. As one of only 15 winners selected from more than 570 applications from innovators in 100 countries through OpenIDEO’s prize platform, Acelero Learning will share in $1 million in prize funding from Gary Community Investments (GCI) to help accelerate our impact.

Acelero Learning’s idea is a next generation, adaptive child assessment system, designed to leverage the best thinking in the field to create a single, unified tool for teachers to better individualize teaching and learning for children.  The intention is to harness current research, leading technology, and human-centered design to make assessment, including language, early math, and executive function, easy for educators, intuitive for families, and fun for young children and toddlers. Next Assess will be an adaptive assessment system that provides actionable intel on child development in a flash in order to drive instruction and intervention, inform families and supporters, and fuel program innovation. Most importantly, Next Assess will bridge the divide between data and action, offering educators and families just right next steps to propel each child’s individual development to catalyze community efforts to close the achievement gap.

Launched in fall 2017 as part of GCI’s multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment to catalyzing early childhood innovation, the Prize brought together hundreds of innovators and experts from across the globe to collaboratively solve the question: How might we maximize every child’s potential during their first three years? As part of the Prize process, 217 participating innovators received mentorship from 135 experts in early childhood and other fields, helping to strengthen their concepts before they were submitted.

"The Early Childhood Innovation Prize tapped into the brainpower of thinkers from diverse backgrounds who were willing to offer ideas that are novel to the space, or more effective, efficient or scalable than current ones,” says Steffanie Clothier, Gary Community Investments’ child development investment director. “We are thrilled to recognize Next Assess as one of the Prize’s Top Ideas because we believe in its potential for creating transformative impact for young children.”  

"Being chosen as one of the Early Childhood Innovation Prize’s Top Ideas will allow us to accelerate our work with leading experts in early childhood education and the development of the next generation of child assessment, get breakthrough solutions to educators sooner, and take the next steps toward true individualized learning,” says Henry Wilde, CEO of Acelero Learning. “In addition, we look forward to continuing to collaborate with and learn from the community that came together during the Prize process.”

The Prize’s 15 Top Ideas include solutions that focus on three opportunity areas: improving children’s earliest experiences so they are healthy and constructive; supporting parents and families in giving children the best start possible; and leveraging neighborhoods and communities to design neighborhoods and communities with very young children and their families in mind. Ideas that fell outside of these areas but were particularly novel were also considered. The winning solutions include ideas from new innovators with early concepts in development, early stage innovators with at least one-year prototyping experience, and advanced innovators with more than three years’ experience. More information on the Prize and all of the Top Idea winners is available here.

To continue the momentum generated during the Prize, GCI and OpenIDEO are in the process of designing an early childhood innovation network that will accelerate compelling ideas that emerged through the Prize through access to mentors, experts and investors and facilitate continued collaboration around solving early childhood challenges.