co.lab is an accelerator that works with startups leveraging the power of digital games to build transformative educational technologies for PK-12 students and teachers. Our model is built upon a belief in the need for innovation in education, and in games’ potential to enhance learning – by creating virtual sandboxes that encourage experimentation and engagement, offering new opportunities for collaborative interactions, and unlocking new ways to assess cognitive and social growth. Our program is designed to add value to early stage edtech companies while generating knowledge that will help designers, educators, researchers and funders better understand challenges and opportunities related to developing high quality learning games and applications.
co.lab’s primary offering is a four-month product accelerator based in San Francisco, California, focused on helping promising edtech startups improve and successfully scale their product(s). Participating companies receive a stipend of up to $50,000, desk space in co.lab’s offices, and most importantly access to tools, best practices, and hands-on advisory and mentorship from our mentor network – which includes best-in-class game industry professionals, entrepreneurs, educators and venture capitalists. Drawing upon the resources of our founding partners, we’re creating opportunities for developers to build, test and distribute great products to millions of students and teachers worldwide.
To learn more about the co.lab experience and the value we provide to companies, please visit our program page.
Zynga.org is a nonprofit organization working to promote and facilitate the use of games for social impact. Zynga.org is interested in the role games can play in improving learning and social outcomes.
Reach Capital Reach Capital supports the most promising entrepreneurs developing technology solutions for challenges in K-12 education. Reach invests in early stage tech tools, applications, content, and services to improve education opportunities for all children.
Executive Director, co.lab Partner, Reach Capital
Prior to joining co.lab, Esteban was co-founder and CEO of social game developer Atakama Labs (acquired by DeNA in 2011). After Atakama was acquired by DeNA, Esteban became VP with roles in studios, corporate development and alliances. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Wanako Games, developer of console games. Wanako earned Game of the Year for Xbox Live Arcade and was acquired by Vivendi Games in 2006. After Wanako’s acquisition Esteban became VP of Business Development at Sierra Online. Previously, Esteban has worked in venture capital, private equity and investment banking. Esteban is also a Partner at Reach Capital, an early stage educational technology fund.
Director of Programs, co.lab
Deena has over 14 years of experience specializing in interactive educational products for K-12. She has worked at a variety of ed tech companies including Leapfrog, Pearson, Education.com and most recently, AltSchool. She is passionate about making innovative, fun and engaging yet effective learning experiences for kids and teachers both inside and outside the classroom. Deena graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from Boston University and an M.A in Education with a focus on Instructional Technology from San Francisco State University.
Partner, Reach Capital
Jennifer is General Partner of Reach Capital, an education technology fund for early-stage companies with potential for big impact in K-12 education. Jennifer began her career as a teacher in traditional district schools. After seven years in the classroom, she left to study differentiation at Stanford School of Education and then joined NewSchools and formed and led the Seed Fund. Jennifer sits on the Board of Directors for BetterLesson, Equal Opportunity Schools and Bullis Charter School. She still teaches sometimes, most recently Innovations in Teaching 338 at Stanford’s School of Education/d.school. Jennifer has three children who attend a charter school in Los Altos California.
Erin Baudo Felter,
Executive Director, Zynga.org
Erin leads Zynga.org’s global employee impact, community and education work. She is passionate about the role games can play in transforming learning experiences. Erin brings both operational and programmatic support to co.lab, with a primary focus on connecting co.lab companies to Zynga’s network of product experts. She also runs a partnership with SFUSD on two public high school Game Design Academies, which leverage students’ interest in games to engage them in STEM and expose them to tech careers. Previously, Erin worked in corporate social responsibility roles at Yahoo! and Warner Bros. She received a B.A. in Anthropology and Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Friends of co.lab
NewSchools Venture Fund is one of the original co-founders of co.lab. Additionally, we work with a wide range of leading research, learning games and educational organizations to support our companies. Collaborators include, but are not limited to:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is co.lab’s focus?
co.lab is designed to support the development of high-quality educational technologies that improve academic and social outcomes for PK-12 students using the power of games. co.lab works with cohorts of promising startup companies to accelerate their products. Our program strengthens these companies’ products by sharing best practices, tools and expertise, as well as by providing access to critical feedback from students and educators.
How do teams apply to co.lab?
We are no longer accepting applications for the program.