Michelson Runway Launch Event

The Michelson 20MM Foundation hosted Michelson Runway’s Cohort 2 on February 15th with their partners Runway Incubator, Bisk Ventures, Cooley LLP and General Assembly.

Cohort two was invited to attend a three day launch event in San Francisco to meet their peers and everyone else that they would be working with in the next four months. The event allowed the startups to create stronger bonds between the class of 2018.

Welcome Cohort Two!

In a room full of unfamiliar faces, the Michelson Runway team was excited to get to know each startup closely and to introduce the startups to helpful resources that would benefit their missions.  

What better way to meet someone than through human bingo! Members of each startup had to step out of their comfort zone and had to engage with their classmates.

The startups were thrown a curveball when they were asked to pitch in front of Nicole Jarbo, Pitch Coach at Goodbets Group. With no prior preparation, they had five minutes to present their companies. The activity allowed each start up to receive feedback from both their Pitch Coach and peers.

“I appreciated the feedback from the coach and the rest of the cohort. It validated some of the areas we know we are strong and other areas we know we need to work on,” said Fredric Mitchell from the Whether by Better Weekdays.

Knowledge is Power

Startups also had the opportunity to learn and to become aware of resources that are available to them through the program. They were presented with constraints and expectations that administrators have to consider before adopting any new technology on campus. Designs for Learning presented Audience and Impact Tools that could benefit each startup when analyzing their data.

Matt Johnson, attorney from Cooley LLP provided an overview of the key legal issues edtech startups should prioritize to grow and scale their business in a highly regulated market. While Entangled Velocity, part of the Entangled Group, discussed “Marketing, Sales, & Growth.”

The Launch Event wasn’t all work, the startups were invited to join the Michelson Runway team and their partners for dinner. Everyone had the opportunity to meet investors and to familiarize each other with peers that they didn’t have a chance to meet earlier.  


Michelson Runway wrapped up the Launch Event with a friendly competition amongst the startups at General Assembly. Each startup had to pitch once again, but this time they presented a problem that they had been encountering in front of 33 General Assembly students and Alums.  They were encouraged to join the startup that aligned best with their interests and to break up into teams.The teams had six hours to deliberate and to plan their big ideas that could solve the startup’s problems.

“I was very impressed and their quick work has provided some great ideas for where and how we should address future product development in an area we were looking to expand upon,” explained Eddie Lin, Co-founder at NexusEdge.

At the end, there could only be one winner and that winner was APL NextEd’s Kathleen Gibson’s group.

“I was excited that the APL nextED Hackathon team was being recognized for the excellent work that they did, even in the short amount of time they had to solve the problem,” said Kathleen Gibson from APL NextED

Congratulations to the winning group and to all the participants for coming up with great presentations! Everyone had great solutions and showed that with hard work and teamwork anything is possible! 


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