Boston-based educational content provider Cengage Learning has announced its expansion into Latin America with the opening of a business accelerator at the Autonomous University of Chihuahua in Mexico.
The accelerator, which will be run by the LearnLaunch Institute, also from Boston, is to be housed in an innovation lab created at the university campus by Cengage. It will provide access to seed funding, logistics, accounting, management resources and intensive coaching to promising local startups.
Cengage aims to strengthen new educational trends and models in Latin America by aiding startups focused on developing new software for content delivery and teacher training, along with the integration of affordable hardware in schools.
“Latin America, which has one of the world’s youngest populations, is also a laggard in educational technology” and needs strong support in this area, said Fernando Valenzuela, president of Cengage Learning Latin America.
Beyond the initial partnership with the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, the accelerator will also operate at elementary and secondary schools, trade schools and colleges and universities.
“The idea here is to begin this dialogue where the entrepreneurs who are doing some innovation in education from the Boston area are going to be able to tap into the Latin American market,” Valenzuela said.
“LearnLaunch is going to have a presence in Latin America and they are going to mentor the entrepreneurs as to how they should adapt their products and their software and their innovation to the Latin American challenges,” Valenzuela added.
“And then we are going to basically introduce them to some of the higher level innovation customers in Latin America, and at the same time we are going to identify entrepreneurs in Latin America who could be supported by a structured, accelerated program.”
Cengage Learning is an educational content, technology and services provider with more than 5,500 employees in over 20 countries around the world. Its services include provision of print and digital textbooks, reference materials, test preparation, and academic materials.
LearnLaunch is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing student achievement through the adoption of digital technologies.