New York, N.Y.
Educational software and digital content sold into the pre-K-12 market accounted for $7.97 billion in company revenues in 2011-12, according to survey results released here Wednesday by the Software & Information Industry Association's Education Division at its Business Education Forum.
That represents a 2.7 percent increase from the $7.76 billion reported in 2010-2011, according to John Richards, founder and president of Consulting Services for Education, Inc., the Newton, Mass.-based firm that conducted the study on behalf of the SIIA.
Some 300 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and consultants gathered here for the past two days to learn how they can continue to promote growth in the sector—for pre-K-12 and college students, and for their businesses.
Sectors of the market that are growing dramatically are instructional support and assessments, which increased more than 30 percent year over year, and the pre-K market, which went from 0 in reported revenues to $14 million.
At the same time, sellers of administrative tools—such as human resources and IT platforms for schools—reported revenues that indicated a one-third decline, Richards said, noting that he cannot account for the "why" behind that reversal.
With a focus on new and promising ideas in education, the SIIA's Education Division judging panel chose 10 organizations from about 70 applicants to be profiled in the SIIA's Innovation Incubator program at the conference.
LightSail, a New York City-based company that offers an adaptive, tablet-based literacy platform for grades K-12, received the most awards. It won the Educators' Choice Award for the most innovative product, as voted by more than 400 educators. Conference attendees also voted it "most likely to succeed," and it was chosen runner-up for "most innovative."
Karen Billings, vice president for the SIIA's education division, said this was the most awards received by one recipient since the business forum began 13 years ago.
Attendees chose RoboKind, a Dallas-based company, for developing the most innovative product. The company makes Robots4Autism, a humanoid robot that delivers research-based interventions and curriculum for children with autism to provide nonthreatening interaction and consistent lesson delivery.
InstaEDU, a San Francisco-based company that connects students with tutors online immediately, was selected as runner-up for most likely to succeed.
Meanwhile, Richards, who produced the "SIIA U.S. Education Technology Market Pre-K-12 Report," said it will be available in about one week.