Education Startups Take Over Silicon Valley

Those asking “what’s next?” in the world of innovative startups may not have envisioned educational tools to be leading the way, but such companies are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

On June 5, Noodle was chosen as a “Most Likely to Succeed” startup company at the prestigious SVForum’s Launch: Silicon Valley 2012, a highly acclaimed event for emerging technology companies.

Noodle was recognised for its education discovery engine, which allows students and their families to find best-fit providers for any education need, ranging from searching for the right college or grad school to finding great tutors and guidance counselors – alongside many other categories. The site is the first industry-spanning organising principle for education, with 120,000 education providers and growing quickly.

“Tuesday was a terrific day for Noodle. We’re tremendously excited to have won at this important forum. We presented alongside many outstanding companies that have already achieved success in the marketplace, which only underscores how humbled we were to have been chosen for this honour,” said COO and CFO Rob Ryman.

“This also validates the importance of our mission — to transform the way people find education and learning. I’m especially happy that this competition focused on product and user experience, which stands at the heart of what we’re focused on.”

Launch: Silicon Valley, which is in its seventh year, is a premier product launch event for technology startups. The event was co-sponsored Garage Technology Ventures, Microsoft, and SVForum, a leading non-profit organisation for technologists and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

Over 500 attendees gathered at Microsoft’s Conference centre in Mountain View, CA for the event, and more than 300 companies applied to present. Noodle was one of six winners chosen from 30 nominees from around the world, almost a third of which came from overseas. The companies presented to an audience, as well as a panel of Silicon Valley VCs and Angels, whose votes determined the winners.

The startup’s prizes for winning include $5,000 as well as the opportunity to pitch to venture capitalists. Noodle will also likely receive capital from Enterprise Ireland, a government agency in Ireland that encourages promising companies to establish a presence there.

Noodle’s win in the prestigious competition is yet another sign that education technology is taking centre stage in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Startups seeking to better education in one way or another are receiving significant funding from the world’s leading venture capitalists.

Noodle, Skillshare, 2tor, Coursera, Udemy, and Voxy are a handful of these rising education stars taking centre stage in our innovation economy.

In the months and years to come, education innovation will become increasingly central and vital to our nation and the entire globe.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at