NY Edtech Week is a global education innovation festival in New York City celebrating education entrepreneurship. The event will take place December 19-21, 2016 centered at NYU’s Greenwich Village campus with activities taking place around the city.

A global meeting point for the education innovation industry focusing on how entrepreneurship and edtech drive advancements in education and learning. New York City is an ideal location because the city and its neighbors are home to the most significant learning infrastructure in the world. NY Edtech Week will offer the best of New York City — connections, customers, capital, and culture — in this must-attend event for the edtech and education communities.

The festival attracts, develops, and supports education entrepreneurs and edtech investors — and consequently supports advancements in learning outcomes. The 2016 NY Edtech Week innovation festival will expand on past successful events that have brought together hundreds of technology innovators, early-stage investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, media representatives, researchers, and teachers to foster new partnerships and exchange best practices.

The Founders

Doug Lynch is a member of the faculty at the Rossier School of Education at USC. Doug has been active in educational entrepreneurship. As Vice Dean, he created the Penn GSE-Milken Education Business Plan Competition and a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania and Teach for America to support the corps members serving in Philadelphia. He also helped start Genesis Academy, at Arizona State University, one of the first charter schools in the country.

Doug has also been a leading thinker in corporate learning for almost twenty years. He served as a director for the Wharton School’s Aresty Institute for Executive Education and as a senior fellow at the Fels Institute of Government. Doug launched a master’s degree at Penn in medical education for physicians and the PennCLO program, the first doctoral program for work-based learning leaders. At New York University, he was an early adopter of e-learning and has testified before Congress and the UN on the subject in the mid-90’s. He worked with FDNY after 9/11 and was selected by the SEC to do the ethics training to allow WorldCom to emerge out of bankruptcy. He created “Corporate Learning Services,” an advisory program on developing corporate universities for large organizations such as American Express and JetBlue Airways.

Doug has published widely on both education innovation and work-based learning and has sat on presidential and gubernatorial boards. Most recently Doug was the chair of American Society for Training & Development’s Public Policy Committee (spearheading their initiative on Bridging the Skills Gap) the board of visitors for the Central Intelligence Agency, Delaware’s gubernatorial innovation advisory committee, and chaired the US delegation to the International Standards Organization to set global standards for work-based training.

He has won several awards including the APX award for best program in Human Resource Management, an HR Executive Top 10 award, and a U.S. Presidential award in innovation from the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2013, he was voted by Harvard’s EducationNext one of the most important thinkers in education.

Doug holds a PH.D. and an M.PHIL. in Economics and Education from Columbia University. Doug also did doctoral work in evaluation at Arizona State University, where he also received his B.A. in Economics. In addition, Doug has an M.B.A. in International Finance from New York University.

Jeanne Allen is an entrepreneur, an innovator and a leader. Her entire career has been devoted to edreform, and as a result, Jeanne is the most recognized and respected expert, thought leader, speaker, and writer in the field. She founded the Center for Education Reform (CER) in 1993 and leads the nationwide fight to ensure that the bedrock of U.S. schooling is innovation, freedom and flexibility.

Jeanne knows that education can change a life’s trajectory and deeply cares that all Americans have an opportunity to experience a world class education. She is the inspiration behind EdReformUÔ, a unique online program to teach students the history of education reform policy. As a devoted lifelong learner, Jeanne graduated with a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Ed Entrepreneurship program in 2015.

Jeanne puts her expertise to use as she counsels a number of entrepreneurial education and technology companies, including CommonLit, Junior Explorer and the Modern States Education Alliance. Major edtech investors and accelerators, including DreamIT, 1776 and GSV Labs, count Jeanne as one of their key mentors. Her professional impact balances with service, as she sits on several boards, including the nationally recognized Washington Leadership Academy in Washington, DC; StartEd in NYC; and the Challenge Charter School in Chandler, AZ. Among her charitable and civic work, Jeanne is on the Leadership Council of the National Italian American Foundation, is a Dame of Malta, and an active member of the John Carroll Society. In addition, Jeanne was awarded the Education Industry Association’s “Friend of Education Award” in 2012, Working Mother’s “Most Powerful Moms in Education,” and the Black Alliance for Educational Options’ Champion Award in 2013.

As a frequent media commentator, Jeanne has also published hundreds of articles and commentaries in newspapers and journals and as well as her own blog, Reality Check-In. Jeanne speaks with a passionate honesty that touches on vital issues like reform, choice for parents, and teacher accountability. This resonant voice has made her articles “essential reading” in outlets like The Huffington Post. Jeanne’s work, Manifesto: A Movement at Risk (2016), has been widely shared as a sentinel statement on the current state of educational reform. Her book, The School Reform Handbook: How to Improve Your Schools (1995) ignited parent-led efforts for education reform and her 2014 publication, Education Reform: Before it Was Cool documents critical milestones during her work over the past 20 plus years.

Jeanne has been a trusted advisor to Presidents, governors, and lawmakers, and continues to provide valuable counsel to policymakers, philanthropists and other colleagues in education. She began her career on Capitol Hill and was a senior official in the US Department of Education from 1983-1988. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Dickinson College and a masters of science in Education Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.

When time permits, she enjoys visiting the village of her family’s origin in Campania, Italy, and spends time on the water, especially with her husband Dr. Kevin Strother, an educator, musician and charter boat captain. Her four young adult children are in various stages of school and work; some not surprisingly in the education reform arena. These activities and her family and friends contribute to Jeanne’s deep appreciation of wine.

Additional information can be found at www.jeanneallen.net.

Ashantha Indika Kaluarachchi is an entrepreneur and advocate for budding entrepreneurs, Ash Kaluarachchi has advised and built partnerships for organizations solving problems in education for ten years. He has advised, launched and operated multiple edtech accelerators, including for Techstars (the #1 startup accelerator and mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund in the world), Kaplan, Intel, and EDGE. To date, these accelerators have funded more than 700 companies that are collectively valued in the billions of dollars. Ash continues to work to provide seed funding and intensive mentoring for edtech companies from around the world as Co-founder and Accelerator Director at StartEd. In previous startup lives he’s failed to scale a food mobility service and a risky driving prevention platform, and successfully launched social learning platforms for Fortune 500 executives while at the Executive Board in Washington DC. He was also been responsible for the Global Career Conference and Expo at Georgetown University, a international business talent marketplace that serves 25 global employers and 500 students from top 25 MBA schools annually, and National Education Week 2015, a global education innovation festival hosted by NYU Steinhardt for 500 education leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and educations. Ash has an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and economics from Grinnell University.

Jonathan D. Harber – For over 20 years, Jonathan Harber has been a pioneer in education technology. As CEO of Harber Advisors, LLC, he advises private equity funds and companies on mergers and acquisitions primarily of education technology businesses. He is also an advisor to Rethink Education, a venture capital fund focused specifically on education technology companies. Until January 2014, Harber served as CEO of Pearson K12 Technology following the acquisition of Schoolnet, Inc. In this role, he was responsible for Pearson’s K12 Technology business, managing a team of about 1,000 employees—serving approximately 25 million students. Jonathan was previously CEO and co-founder of Schoolnet, a company with the goal of helping school systems use data to increase academic achievement. Schoolnet was a finalist for a dozen CODIE Awards, was recognized twice with Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500 Award, and three times with Deloitte’s Fast 50 Award. In 2007, Ernst & Young recognized Jonathan as the Entrepreneur of the Year in New York. Schoolnet was acquired by Pearson in 2011 for $230 million. Prior to launching Schoolnet, Jonathan was the co-founder of two other Edtech companies that were sold to public companies: Diva, publisher of the award-winning video authoring system VideoShop®, [6753-1/5027052/7] Page | 9 was sold to Avid Technology concurrent with its IPO in 1993. He also co-founded NewKidCo, the first company to develop and market children’s education video games for the Playstation and N64 such as Elmo’s Letter and Number Journey. NewKidCo was sold to SoftQuad in 1998. In 2015, Jonathan joined the board of Education Management Corporation (“EDMC”) as part of its restructuring led by large private equity partners. EDMC manages post-secondary educational institutions focused on career oriented programs primarily in Health Care and Arts. Jonathan serves as the founding Chairman of the Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School in Brooklyn. For a decade, he served on the board of NYC Outward Bound. Both organizations manage schools in underserved NYC neighborhoods offering an education rooted in project-based active learning and character development. Jonathan completed his BA in Honors in Cognitive Science at Wesleyan University and MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in management with concentration in media arts and technology.