AT&T Aspire Accelerator

Are you on a mission to use technology to enhance learning and help every student achieve a bright, successful future?

Technology is changing the world – it is changing how we communicate, how we work, and how we play. It is also fundamentally changing how we learn.

Mobile technology, applications, and services are empowering students to achieve, removing barriers to graduation, enabling teachers, and preparing today’s learners for the jobs of tomorrow.

The Aspire Accelerator works with organizations that use technology to help students succeed, strengthen schools and communities, or prepare learners for employment.

The Aspire Accelerator will connect you with the resources, services, expertise, and relationships you need to drive exponential change in how we learn.


  • Jan 4

    Applications Open

  • Jan 27

    Applications Close

  • March 2018

    Applicants Notified

  • May 2018

    Program Kick-off

  • Sept/Oct 2018

    Demo Day/Graduation

Applications Open

Apply now

Applications Closes

Application must be submitted by 11:59pm EST (8:59pm PST) on January 27, 2018.

Applicants Notified

All applicants will be notified of their application status in March.

Program Kickoff

Work with the Aspire Accelerator team to lay out your goals for the program and how we can help you achieve these objectives.

Demo Day & Graduation

Pitch your product or service to investors, AT&T executives and education stakeholders.

The 2018 Accelerator Class


Miami, FL

Caribu allows any trusted adult to read and draw with children, through an interactive video-call, no matter how far apart.


Newark, NJ

MindRight (501(c)3) empowers youth of color to heal from systemic oppression trauma — including structural violence, poverty, racism and discrimination — with support via text message.


New York, NY

Move This World  uses multimedia content to develop social skills and strengthen emotional intelligence in PreK through high school.


Oakland, CA

Substantial (501(c)3) creates training, resources and information substitute teachers need to be successful. The program customizes for each school system’s unique context, and delivers it online with modern, mobile friendly technology.


Boston, MA

Unruly Studios revolutionizes learning by combining STEM education with physical play. It teaches kids how to code and gets them active.


Lithonia, GA

Weird Enough Productions (501(c)3) teaches students how to combat fake news, identify media bias and create positive content through an ed-tech tool.


Washington, D.C.

Words Liive makes it effortless for teachers to integrate music into lessons.


Arlington, VA

Zoobean provides a web application, mobile app, and prospective hardware device through which families can track their independent reading and stay motivated to read.

Accelerator Benefits


Aspire Investment

$100,000 AT&T Aspire investment and an additional $25,000 to cover costs associated with the program.


Customized Program

Access to expertise, services and relationships tailored to each organization throughout the 4-6 month program.



Connect with AT&T and external mentors from the education and technology ecosystems.


National platform

Be a part of the broader AT&T Aspire initiative, which is committed to driving innovation in education on a national scale.


Flexible Location

No relocation necessary. Unlike other accelerators, an organization does not have to move to participate in the Aspire Accelerator.



Receive access to a dedicated Entrepreneur in Residence, UI/UX design services, and opportunities to participate in education conferences.


Oakland, CA

A cloud-based platform that reinvents small group learning through personalized curriculum and texts. Learn more>

Palo Alto, CA

A website where students can crowdsource career advice by asking questions that are answered by an online volunteer corps of working professionals. Learn more>

Seattle, WA

An app that uses voice analysis and machine learning to provide teachers with personalized data about their instruction to help them improve it. Learn more>

Denver, CO

Creators of NBA Math Hoops, a board game, mobile app and community program that builds fundamental math skills through engagement with NBA and WNBA player statistics. Learn more>

Berkeley, CA

An app that enables special education teachers to measure individualized student performance, analyze learning trends in real-time and share progress on demand with districts and parents. Learn more>

Brookline, MA

A platform that curates engaging audio stories from public radio and wraps teaching supports around them, allowing teachers to assess students’ listening skills. Learn more>

Oakland, CA

Creators of Lumen, an app that gathers mobile usage data and converts it into actionable intelligence for parents, providing focused reading support. Learn more>

Pittsburgh, PA

A cloud-based platform that engages teenagers in programming and STEM subjects through game design. Learn more>

Boulder, CO

provides monthly subscription to coding projects that teach grade-schoolers to program apps.
Learn more>

Athens, GA

this interactive case study software has students acting like scientists, learning science concepts and honing problem solving skills.
Learn more>

Washington, DC

a free digital platform that helps teachers find and plan engaging lessons and track student progress in reading.
Learn more>

Denver, CO

an engaging app that exposes students to STEM careers using videos, games and self-reflection quizzes.
Learn more>

San Francisco, CA

a nonprofit software service and mobile iOS and Android app that guides and motivates community college students by using customized nudges to take actions and engage in behaviors proven to help them graduate faster.
Learn more>

Chicago, IL

an online platform connecting teachers with on-demand teaching assistants to grade and provide thorough feedback on student work.
Learn more>

Raleigh, NC

an education innovation firm providing a research-backed, online platform & services for educators and their organizations to know and manage the technologies that are best for their classrooms.
Learn more>

Oakland, CA

a financial wellness innovation lab empowers the next generation of Americans with financial capability skills.
Learn more>

Washington, DC

a platform (web & iOS) that lets teachers create and share interactive video lessons.
Learn more>

Brooklyn, NY

a nonprofit literacy tool that builds students’ grammar skills through personalized writing and proofreading activities.
Learn more>

San Francisco, CA

a multilingual texting platform that connects teachers, families and students via mobile technology.
Learn more>

Board of Advisors

The Aspire Accelerator’s primary objective is to foster the Education Technology ecosystem and support innovative new products and services in education. The Aspire Accelerator’s Board of Advisors supports the program and shares our mission for social impact.

Charles Best
Founder and CEO of

Charles Best is the CEO and Founder of, a nonprofit organization which provides a simple way to address educational inequity. At, public school teachers create classroom project requests and donors can pick the projects they want to support. For more information on Charles click here.

Kimberly Bryant
Founder of Black Girls Code

Kimberly Bryant is the Founder and Executive Director of Black Girls CODE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing underrepresented girls to the field of technology and computer science. For more information on Kimberly click here.

Elizabeth Corcoran
Co-Founder and CEO of EdSurge

Elizabeth “Betsy” Corcoran is co-founder and CEO of EdSurge, an award-winning news and information source on education technology. EdSurge delivers weekly newsletters for educators and entrepreneurs, as well as the industry's most comprehensive index of edtech products, and runs conferences around the country where educators and entrepreneurs meet on common ground. For more information on Betsy click here.

Brigette Lau
Partner at Social Capital

Brigette Lau is a Partner at Social Capital, whose mission is to advance humanity by solving the world's hardest problems. Social Capital seeks to create value and change on a global scale by investing in and starting companies in areas including healthcare, education, financial services and enterprise. In this role, Brigette leads the firm's investments in the education industry, including investments in InstaEDU (acquired by Chegg), Descomplica, Treehouse, Swing Education, Brilliant and CreativeLive. For more information on Brigette, click here

Nancy Lue
Co-Lead, Advanced Research & Development Education Fund

Nancy Poon Lue is currently co-leading the exploration of a national advanced research and development education fund on behalf of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. She is also a Partner and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the venture philanthropy organization Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2). Previously, she served as Executive Director of the venture capital firm Global Silicon Valley (GSV) and Senior Advisor of the U.S. Department of Education. For more information on Nancy click here.

Daniel Lurie
Co-Founder and CEO of Tipping Point

Before founding Tipping Point in 2005, Daniel Lurie worked for the Bill Bradley Presidential Campaign, Accenture Consulting and the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. September 11th 2001 fell within Daniel’s first week of work at Robin Hood and he was humbled to witness Robin Hood’s relief efforts to lift up the city. For more information on Daniel click here.

Ramona Pierson
Head of Learning Products, Amazon

At the age of 22, Ramona Pierson was hit by a drunk driver while running and spent 18 months in a coma and 11 years blind. She relearned everything from breathing and seeing to walking and smiling. From this experience arose the drive to build companies where personalized learning and relearning were the center of all products. For more information on Ramona click here.

Sebastian Thrun
Founder and President of Udacity

Sebastian Thrun has set his sights on democratizing higher education. Founder and President of Udacity, Sebastian is also a Research Professor at Stanford University and a Google Fellow, as well as the inventor of the autonomous car and project lead on Google Glass. For more information on Sebastian click here.

Mentor Network

Photo of Aaron Anderson

Aaron Anderson

Principal, Impact Venture Captial

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Photo of Kwame Anku

Kwame Anku

Founding Principal, Black Angel Technology Investment Fund

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Maria Barrera

Director of Business Development, Nearpod

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Photo of Chris Baum

Chris Baum

Partner, Futuredraft

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Michael S. Beaudoin II

Investment Manager, Mark IV Capital

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Photo of Ashley Beckner

Ashley Beckner

Principal, Omidyar Network

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Photo of Murrayl Berner

Murrayl Berner

Head of Product Adoption and Strategy, AltSchool

Photo of David Blazevich

David Blazevich

Senior Program Director, The Bernard Osher Foundation

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Tynesia Boyea-Robinson

President & CEO, Reliance Methods

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Muhammed Chaudhry

Executive/Board Member,

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Maria Choi

Founder & CEO, Raise for Good

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Photo of Jack Crawford

Jack Crawford

General Partner, Impact Venture Captial

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Michelle Dervan

Principal, ReThink Education

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Lauren Dibble

Consulting Team Leader, Entangled Solutions

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Marlon Evans

CEO, Nex Cubed

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Shannon Farley

Co-Founder & Executive Director, Fast Forward

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Yichen I. Feng

VP, Exceed Capital Partners

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Graham Forman

Founder and Managing Director, Edovate Capital

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Mat Frenz

Partner & VP of R&D, Entangled Solutions

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Khalil Fuller

Co-Founder, Learn Fresh

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Tyler Gerhart Wood

Marketing Director, Odysseyware

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Chian Gong

Investor, Reach Capital

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Molly Goodson

Founder & CEO, The Assembly

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Danielle S. Goonan

Senior Manager II, Retail Career Opportunity, Walmart Giving

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Sarah Hall

Director, The Center for Digital Learning, Alliance for Excellent Education

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Oliver Hurst-Hiller

CTO & Head of Product,

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Danoosh Kapadia

VP of Business Development, XPLANE

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Arrun Kapoor

Managing Director, SJF Ventures

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Vijay Karunamurthy

Director of Engineering, Apple

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Anju Khetan

Sr Product Manager, Khan Academy

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Liz Kline

VP Education Programs, Common Sense Foundation

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Jeff Livingston

CEO, EdSolutions, Inc.

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Ian Lotinsky

CTO, LearnZillion

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Alexis Madrigal

Staff Writer, The Atlantic

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Vishal Makhijani

CEO, Udacity

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Mike Marriner

Cofounder, Roadtrip Nation

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Sarah Millar

Associate, City Light Capital

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Alice Myerhoff

VP Sales, EdSurge

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Samantha Olivieri

Chief Strategy Officer, GreatSchools

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Tim Olson

Chief Digital Officer, KQED

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Leslie Pappas

Executive Director, Common Ground Foundation

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Craig Peters

CEO, Awasu Design

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Laura Pinnie

Associate Director, Zoma Capital

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Tom Pryor

Senior Product Manager, Khan Academy

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Gerald Richards

Founder & CEO, Black Unicorn Consultants

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Rebecca Sanchez

Director of Cirriculum, IXL Learning

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Jasmine Schiener

Consulting Team Leader, Entangled Solutions

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Monica Simo

Principal, Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

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Debbie Stephens Stauffer

Principal, Atrium Capital

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Diana Stepner

VP, Product Management - Learning Applications, Pearson

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Katrina Stevens

Director of Learning Science, Chan Zuckerberg Institute

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Julia Stiglitz

Vice President, Coursera

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Brian Sugar

CEO and Founder, POPSUGAR

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Erik Sundelöf

Principal Technical Architect, AT&T The Foundry

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Esther Tricoche

Associate Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund

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Joe Vasquez

Co-Director, Runway Incubator

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Connie Yowell

CEO, Collective Shift

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