Zynga donates $1 million to new educational games accelerator

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By Emanuel Maiberg Comment

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The social gaming giant’s nonprofit organization Zynga.org and venture philanthropy firm NewSchools Venture Fund will create an “ed tech” accelerator focused on enhancing the quality and reach of learning games and apps designed to improve education outcomes.

Zynga and NewSchool selected ed tech companies KidaptiveLocoMotiveLabs, and Motion Math for the program, which will officially start this summer. Edmodo, the world’s largest social learning platform for education, will also join the accelerator as a charter partner. Zynga will provide the companies with work space at its San Francisco headquarters and encourage Zynga employees to volunteer their expertise in game design, testing, analytics, product marketing and distribution. Zynga.org has also agreed to commit $1 million in funding for the accelerator’s first year.

Some of Zynga.org’s previous initiatives allowed players to donate to charitable organizations like Toys for Tots and FATEM by purchasing special in-game items. To date, Zynga.org raised more than $13 million for its non-profit partners.

NewSchools Venture Fund, which is focused on improving public education for low-income children, has invested in many for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Its portfolio of more than 100 organizations includes technology-focused solutions like Engrade, eSpark and GreatSchools.

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