We’re on cloud nine.
We’re thrilled to finally be sharing our big news with you. This summer we raised $400,000 in pre-seed funding from strategic investors Brad Robbins and Saar Pikar.
During this year, our team worked really hard to create a useful and easy to use tool, that makes facilitating and marking student discussions easy. We accelerated our efforts over the summer to get ready for the next school year and continue to focus on making sure the tool supports students practicing and learning 21st century skills.
The funding is not the only exciting news and updates that we have to share!
We’re moving forward with our plan to expand into districts and school boards within the U.S. and Canada, grow our user base to 10 times the students, continue efficacy studies of product effectiveness in the classroom, build our content sharing community, the Parlay Universe and continue to grow our team.
Additions to the team:
Brad Robbins (our strategic investor), has joined the team as the Interim COO.
We’re happy to have him on our team! He’s been working in software for over 20 years and has extensive experience in building, scaling and operationalizing customer-focused enterprise software. He’ll be guiding the team as we continue to work towards the next stage.
Starting September 2018, we will begin our first district pilots at the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD), an Independent School District in Austin, Texas and the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN).
The 12 to 16 week pilots will also contain a research element. This will help us understand how discussions can support student learning, as well as show us how we can better understand student engagement and participation.
We are ready for this new school year and can’t wait to see all of the creative ways that teachers use Parlay to support their class discussions.
We’re continuing to improve and develop the program with the help of teachers, industry experts and educational researchers. This September we’ll be launching the Parlay Universe, our free and open content sharing community for teachers.
Key features of the Parlay Universe include:
- Access to a library of captivating discussion prompts, covering a wide range of subjects and grade areas.
- Teacher created discussion prompts that will help save teachers time on preparation.
- Discussion topics that connect education to the real world and get students collaborating and critically thinking about important 21st century problems.
Our team genuinely believes in discussions. The ability to collaborate, communicate and share ideas is an incredibly important skill that should be a part of all teams that need to work together, grow and learn.
So we put it to practice.
Every week we spend an hour or two discussing a problem, idea or project using Parlay (Live RoundTable).
Since starting this, we’ve found that our team communicates more openly, finds more creative solutions, listens closely and understands each others perspectives and is better at giving and receiving constructive feedback on ideas.
We try to model what we believe, it’s why we’ll continue to have weekly discussions even as Parlay grows.
The benefits are clear. It’s why we champion discussions in class. We want students to practice engaging in rich, active and collaborative discussions, learning content and practicing necessary 21st century skills so that they’re ready for their future.
Our energy is high and we’re ready for the next big step in our journey to achieving our mission of inspiring powerful minds through meaningful, measurable and inclusive discussions.
We hope you follow us on our journey and join in on the discussion.
Learn a little more about us!
More on ‘Why We’re Building Parlay.’
Start the new school year getting students engaged and actively learning through discussion.