the startup rundown

Startup News: 2tor Looks to Europe While MyCityWay Hops Across The Pond

Picadilly CIrcus, London, (Source: Paul Atherton via Wikipedia)

LAWGIC. Today 2tor is partnering with Washington University to put their Master of Laws degree online. 2tor’s previous partnerships with USC, UNC and Georgetown have put high-end higher education online with programs in social work, business and nursing. The Washington University partnership is specifically aimed at removing a hurdle for international students who want to study U.S. law. Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Dev Bootcamp, Incubator Deadlines, Closet Monsters From TV and Free Food

Stacy London of What not to Wear has a new startup called TKTKTKTKTK (Source: Phil Plait

SHUTTER. Luminance is not your average photography conference. Instead of focusing on the latest gear, this two-day program will bring together experts at the forefront of the technology we use to create, manipulate and share our images. Among the speakers are Behance founder Scott Belsky, Hipstamatic cofounder Lucas Allen Buick, Google’s Chris Chabot, Pulitzer prize winning photographer Barbara Davidson, Tumblr CEO president John Maloney, Facebook Photos engineer Srinivas Narayanan and the School of Visual Art’s David Ross. All speakers will present a 20-minute TED-style lecture.

TOE, HEEL, TOE, HEEL. What Not to Wear‘s Stacy London is the cofounder of a just-launched site that aims to connect personal stylists with the stylistically clueless. Style For Hire stylists will perform a “closet audit,” provide personal shopping services or create new outfits out of clothes a customer already has—that’s called closet shopping. Now women who aren’t lucky enough to be on the show can still have their closets—and lack of fashion sense—torn apart, but without the benefit of a judgmental, national audience. Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Foursquare Day, Impact Investing, Assembled Capital and New Social Apps

Mayor Michael Bloomberg with Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley. The mayor declared April 16 NYC's official 4sqday. (Ben Weitzenkorn)

2×2^2. April 16 is officially 4sqDay in New York and over a dozen other cities around the country. The fan-created social media holiday’s official celebration will begin at 7 p.m. at The Caulfield. Check out the community blog and RSVP here.

CAPITAL IDEA. General Assembly is bringing back “Assembled Capital,” an all day event dedicated to getting startups funded. The $200 (plus a $4.97 fee) to get in is a bit steep, but breakfast, lunch and booze are totally included! The event will include talks, panels and plenty of elbow-rubbing time with the like of Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena, TechStars NYC’s David TischCharlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Shane Snow of Contently and many others.

AIRbnFREE. Airbnb is teaming up with Thrillist and sponsoring Tour de Thrillist, a bicoastal race to discover all that LA, Vegas, Austin, Philly and of course NYC have to offer. Up for grabs is a five-destination trip and free Airbnb accommodations. Cross your fingers and enter the sweepstakes here. Read More

Fresh Capital

Online Higher Education Gets a Raise as 2tor Secures $26 M. in Series D Funding Round

It's about time gosh darn it!

Online learning platform 2tor today announced the close of a $26 million Series D funding round led by an affiliate of the Hillman Company. This brings the Chelsea Piers-based company’s total venture funding to $96 million. All previous investors—Bessemer Venture Partners, Highland Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Novak Biddle Venture Partners and City Light Capital—who helped 2tor raise $32.5 million just over a year ago decided to come back. Joining them were new investors SVB Capital and WestRiver Capital. Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Size That Matters and a New Mobile Music Concierge

Quincy cofounders Christina Wallace and Alex Nelson via Quincy

WAITING ROOM. ZocDoc just became active in Austin, the company’s 16th market. Available to over one-third of the U.S. population, ZocDoc is continuing its mission to make scheduling doctor’s appointments really fucking easy with well over one million unique visitors each month.

DINERO. Integrate, a New York-based company that helps businesses “plan, execute, track, analyze and optimize their multi-channel marketing strategy” just raised $11 million in Series B funding. Comcast Ventures and Liberty Global joined Foundry Group, a repeat investor.

VERTICAL BUZZ. Last week BuzzFeed launched two new verticals—Sports with Jack Moore and Kevin Lincoln and Shift, aimed at female readers, with Amy Odell of New York Magazine.

MEASURE UP. Harvard Business School bffs Christina Wallace and Alex Nelson are tall girls who were looking for tall girl pants. Enter their new fashion startup, Quincy, which rethinks women’s apparel sizing by assigning sizes based on bust and height. The site launched yesterday with a collection of five blazers, and will roll out more highly-tailored items over the coming months. Read More

The Third Degree

David Liu on Knewton’s $33 M. Round From Founder’s Fund: ‘We’re Taking All the Dirty Work Out of Teaching’

Mr. Liu

Yesterday Knewton, the Union Square-based online education startup, announced a $33 million Series D round led by Founder’s Fund, the VC firm co-founded by Peter Thiel. That might explain why Betabeat heard Mr. Thiel’s fellow co-founders Ken Howery and Luke Nosek were throwing a pre-game party Friday night in New York.

Existing investors Accel, Bessemer and FirstMark also participated in the round, along with Pearson, an education publisher, putting Knewton’s valuation higher than $150 million, according to TechCrunch. Another New York City-based education startup, 2Tor (get it??), raised $32.5 million earlier this year. But what sets Knewton apart is the adaptive learning algorithm the company developed, which figures out student’s weakness and can be applied to any type of curriculum.

Indeed, after trying its platform out in test prep, Knewton is now being used by all 10,000 incoming freshman at Arizona State for an online math readiness course.

Betabeat talked to COO David Liu about why Knewton isn’t making teachers obsolete, how its adaptive learning algorithm works, why Mr. Thiel would invest in an education startup and why Mr. Liu thinks Knewton is, basically, going to take over the world of personalized education. Read More