For- and Non-Profit Organizations Driving Social Impact Can Apply

AT&T is calling on innovative ed-tech ventures to apply for the 2017 AT&T Aspire Accelerator. In its third year, the Aspire Accelerator’s mission is to support innovations that can help every student achieve a bright, successful future—exponentially and at scale. For and non-profit organizations chosen to participate in the program receive financial investment, access to expert services and mentorship.

The Aspire Accelerator application is open thru Feb. 7. The program will begin with selected ventures in May 2017.

The eleven previous participants have thrived in the program and together have reached more than 4 million students. Aspire Accelerator Alumni include Bitsbox, Cogent Education, CommonLit (501(c)3), Couragion, GradGuru (501(c)3), The Graide Network, LearnPlatform, MindBlown Labs, PlayPosit, Quill (501(c)3), and TalkingPoints (501(c)3).

“We believe that education is the most important investment we can make and tech is our business. When you marry up education with technology you can start to make amazing change,” said Nicole Anderson, assistant vice president, Social Innovation at AT&T. “I’m excited to work with the 2017 class to bring more game-changing solutions to scale for students and teachers across the country.”

The Aspire Accelerator benefits from an external board of advisors of leading education and technology innovators: Charles Best, founder and CEO,; Kimberly Bryant, founder, Black Girls CODE; Betsy Corcoran, co-founder and CEO, EdSurge; Ben Jealous, partner, Kapor Center for Social Impact; Nancy Poon Lue, partner, Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund; Daniel Lurie, founder and CEO, Tipping Point Community; Ramona Pierson, co-founder and CEO, Declara; and Sebastian Thrun, founder and president, Udacity.

“I’ve loved the opportunity to work with the Aspire Accelerator startups and serve as a mentor for the founders as they continue to grow their organizations and bring new initiatives and products into the ed-tech space,” commented Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls CODE. “I know this year’s class will bring more innovative ideas to the table and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with AT&T to help the ventures succeed.”

Aspire Accelerator’s customized 6-month program includes:

  • Aspire Investment – $100,000 AT&T investment and an additional $25,000 for each venture to cover costs of the program. For non-profit companies, the investment will be a general contribution. They receive this in exchange for participating in the Aspire Accelerator and meeting certain requirements, including submitting impact measurements.
  • Mentorship – Access to an Entrepreneur in Residence and AT&T and external mentors from education and technology.
  • Resources – UI/UX design services and opportunities to participate in education conferences such as ISTE and ASU GSV.
  • National Platform – Inclusion in the broader AT&T Aspire initiative, which is committed to driving innovation in education.
  • Flexible Location – Organizations can participate from where they are, without relocating.

The Aspire Accelerator is open to any venture working to develop technology to support students’ educational and career success. Potential areas of focus may include: mobile apps that drive education outcomes; platforms for teachers, students and/or parents; learning and curriculum management tools; assessment and outcome tracking platforms; education distribution (online instruction, courses, etc.); and increased access for existing best practices. Solutions for students at-risk of dropping out of school will receive special consideration.

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we’ve passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.