Investment Aimed at Helping PreK-12 Schools Realize a Whole-Child Vision for Student Success  

ARLINGTON, VA – June 10, 2020 – Intellispark, an education technology company focused on improving student success for PreK-12 schools, today announced that it has raised $2.3 million in seed funding led by GSV Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s product development, set the foundation for a scalable go-to-market plan, and round out the leadership team.

Founded in 2017, the company has developed an innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product designed to help PreK-12 schools support the whole child. Specifically, Intellispark makes it easy for districts and schools to check in with their students throughout the school year — to understand and improve their success skills, career and college readiness, sense of engagement, and connections with faculty and staff. Intellispark integrates students’ daily academic performance and other key indicators to provide teachers with recommended research-based content they can incorporate into their existing classroom curriculum.

In May 2020, following two years of development and testing, the company announced the general availability of its first product. A number of schools, including Oswego East High School (Illinois) and Hutchinson High School (Minnesota), served as design partners. At launch, Intellispark enables schools to integrate and elevate their social and emotional learning (SEL) initiatives. Future releases will support additional initiatives, including restorative justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The company is co-founded by Stephen M. Smith and Shaun Fanning, who previously founded Naviance, a leading college and career readiness platform now offered by Hobsons. The pair also co-authored Who Do You Think You Are? Three Critical Conversations for Coaching Teens to College & Career Success, published by John Wiley & Sons. 

“For decades, schools have invested in technology systems, student survey tools, and data dashboards trying to move the needle on student success. With schools facing so much change and uncertainty, it is clear that supporting the whole child — not just academically, but holistically — is vital to student success,” said Smith, CEO of the company. “At Intellispark, we believe that data are simply the start of a story, not the core of the story. We are devoted to empowering teachers and school counselors to foster a culture of student success where every student can be known, supported, and appreciated.”

“At GSV Ventures, we invest in proven teams who are tackling important challenges. It is clear that Steve and Shaun, and the whole Intellispark team, are deeply passionate about helping districts and schools think differently about student success,” said Deborah Quazzo, managing partner of GSV Ventures. “We are excited to lead the seed round for Intellispark. We are impressed by what they have accomplished in bringing the Intellispark platform to market and look forward to supporting their early growth.” GSV Ventures will join the company’s board of directors. 

About Intellispark

Intellispark® believes that student success is a team sport and is re-defining how PreK-12 schools, students, and families can work together to prepare successful, future-ready students. Intellispark provides innovative student success technology and services for PreK-12 schools and districts, tying together a student-centered view of disparate data, research-based assessments and engagement recommendations, and integrated communication tools — all to realize a whole-child vision for student success. By fostering a culture of student success where every student can be known, supported, and appreciated, Intellispark helps to create the conditions for all students to thrive. For more information, please call 800.709.5405 (+1 703.397.8700 outside of North America) or visit www.intellispark.com.

About GSV Ventures

GSV Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that is focused on the $7+ trillion learning and talent technology sector. The fund is currently investing out of GSV Ventures Fund II, backing innovative entrepreneurs across the “Pre-K to Gray” Arc of Learning and Talent technology. Portfolio holdings include Andela, Pluralsight, TurnItIn, Coursera, Course Hero, Outlier, and Degreed, among others.

Mary Docken

Mary Docken

Mary Docken is vice president, outreach at Intellispark. Mary has extensive experience in education having served as director of admission at two colleges in the Midwest as well as director of college counseling at Mounds Park Academy in Saint Paul, MN. before joining Naviance in 2006 which was acquired by Hobsons in 2007.