Written by Jerred Ziegler.
Imagine being able to graduate college with project work for a major company on your resume, all thanks to a class at your university. This is the driving force behind experiential learning, classes that allow students to have a taste of what life is like at successful companies without leaving campus. EduSourced, a startup in Columbus, Ohio, has developed a software solution to make experiential learning simpler and more effective for both students and the companies they are working with.
“The biggest issue with experiential learning right now is that student teams essentially operate in a box separate from the business itself,” said David Comisford, CEO of EduSourced. “Employees at the company and even university faculty often don’t know what the students are working on. They just receive a final project at the end of the semester. There is no opportunity for collaboration with the teams.”
EduSourced’s solution is a central, web-based location where both students and companies can have input on the project and stay connected throughout the process. The EduSourced software also connects businesses and universities looking to partner in experiential learning. Many schools have difficulty finding companies to work with outside of their communities, and many businesses struggle to find university programs that are a good fit for their projects. By having both parties on the EduSourced platform, these connections can be made much easier – much like a dating site for experiential learning.
“We provide a software solution for schools to make existing programs better and grow their platform to make it easier to source projects for experiential learning from companies,” said Comisford. “We are able to connect businesses with schools on EduSourced, taking the burden off both the universities finding these companies and the companies searching for these programs.”
EduSourced currently partners with several major universities across the country including the University of Illinois, Purdue, Arizona State University and The Ohio State University.
Rev1 Ventures, a central Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier, has been integral to EduSourced’s success. The organization’s Concept Academy helped EduSourced hone their fit in the market and develop their product. In addition, Rev1 is currently leading the company’s second round of funding.
“We wouldn’t be here if early investors like Rev1 weren’t involved from day one,” said Comisford. “We’ve received terrific benefits like mentoring and business coaching. In addition, the state’s interest in seeing startups succeed is a huge net gain for entrepreneurs. A lot of startups would not be here if it wasn’t for initiatives like Ohio Third Frontier.”