Iowa EdTech Collaborative Receives EDA Grant to Support the Advancement of Educational Technology Growth in the State of Iowa
April 9, 2021 | News & Press Releases
April 9, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kate Moreland, President ICAD
Tom Banta, Vice President, Strategic Growth
Adam Bentley, ECICOG Planner/Economic Development Specialist
Iowa EdTech Collaborative Receives EDA Grant to Support the Advancement of Educational Technology Growth in the State of Iowa.
The EDA Grant will help support the hiring of a full-time “Director of Educational Technology” and expand awareness of the Iowa EdTech Collaborative and Accelerator program across the state and nation.
IOWA CITY, IA — This week, the Iowa EdTech Collaborative was awarded a $393,184 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce‘s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support the advancement of Educational Technology (EdTech) growth in the state of Iowa. The EDA Grant, will be leveraged with local investment and is expected to create or retain 463 jobs.
“CARES Act funding has created opportunities to provide a wide-range of economic assistance to communities as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the pandemic. With the rapid growth of the EdTech industry worldwide, we believe the Iowa EdTech Collaborative has the potential to have a significant impact on our state and region’s economic recovery and future resiliency.” – Adam Bentley, East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG).
The Iowa EdTech Collaborative officially launched in October of 2019 after the completion of an in-depth study commissioned by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and produced by TEConomy, “The EdTech Opportunity: Educational Technology as a Dynamic Growth Sector for Iowa.”
“The TEConomy study confirmed Iowa’s legacy in education and strong foundation in EdTech, while presenting a roadmap to create jobs and grow this thriving sector,” said Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority. “This grant will build upon our work to weave EdTech into Iowa’s economic development priorities, expand the state’s foothold in this global industry and benefit future learners.”
The Iowa EdTech Collaborative efforts are being led by the Iowa City Area Development Group, which was identified as the logical organization to spearhead the strategies due to a growing EdTech cluster in the Iowa City area.
“Innovation in assessment and learning has been a foundation of the Iowa City area for over 60 years. What started with entrepreneurial roots has blossomed into an industry that employs over 3,100 employees statewide with more than 2,000 here locally in Johnson County. The recent emergence of a handful of successful EdTech startups has led us to dive deeper and explore doubling down on the sector.”- Kate Moreland, President of the Iowa City Area Development Group.
The past year accelerated the disruption and innovation taking place in the EdTech industry. Several Johnson County-based EdTech startups have used the pandemic as an opportunity to grow their user base and expand their product to new markets. Pear Deck, an Iowa City-based EdTech company that recently merged with GoGardian, added over 100,000 educators and nearly 2.5 million new users to their platform in a matter of months and now has users on every continent except Antarctica.
“We see this moment in time as an opportunity not only to grow jobs in our communities, but put Iowa on a global stage for responsible, effective EdTech. Iowa is in the unique position to become one of the national — and global — leaders in the EdTech industry. Engaging and effective edtech solutions can have a powerful social impact on school communities, teachers, and students. We’re optimistic the support from this grant program will help assist in the principled growth of this dynamic industry.” – Michal Eynon-Lynch, Co-Founder Pear Deck.
Iowa’s three public Universities will be integral to this effort. “This grant will help leverage an extraordinary community of EdTech innovators in our region to continue improving learning and creating new jobs. The University of Iowa is proud to partner with our business community to drive innovation through commercializing new ideas through start-ups. The COVID pandemic has revealed new opportunities for these collaborations so the timing is perfect.” Dan Clay, Dean, College of Education, University of Iowa.
About the EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides the Economic Development Administration (EDA) with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Learn more at https://eda.gov/coronavirus/
About the Iowa EdTech Collaborative
The Iowa EdTech Collaborative is a network of internationally-known education companies, successful EdTech startups, academic and education stakeholders, and economic development leaders who are working collectively to grow human-centered lifelong learning in the State of Iowa. Learn more at edtechiowa.com.