Innovation is Alive and Well in Education

Last night I had the opportunity to be a “UX Expert” at an “Expert-a-thon” arranged by the Boston area User Experience Professionals’ Association (UXPA) and LearnLaunch. What a fun evening! There were 8 education-related start-ups there, I got to choose 2  for whom to be a UX expert.  That meant I heard their general pitch and then we talked about ways to improve various aspects of the user experience for their product.

I was able to spend some detailed time with Authess and Ni-O toys.   Authess is interested in authentic assessment (beyond multiple-choice tests), and  might focus first on university education, while Ni-O was at the other end of the spectrum, making hardware development kits for kids and leveraging 3-D printing.

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CEO Paul Crockett of Authess

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CEO Nadav Liebermann and CPO Geut Gonen of Ni-O Toys

About 30 other “UX experts” showed up as well, and I even got to re-connect with some former colleagues.

I also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Asad Butt, the Operations director of the LearnLaunch Accelerator.  He gave me more background on how the accelerator is assisting education-related start-ups. I think this is really cool stuff.  Asad mentioned that they are always looking for UX mentors. This could be a commitment of visiting the accelerator in downtown Boston a few times, or participating via web conference to provide feedback on product design. If you are interested, feel free to drop him a note at

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