Karl Rectanus Kaplan/TechStars Demo Day 2014

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After graduating from a pair of national accelerators, the EdTech company helping teachers and school districts vet technologies has closed an $800,000 round that will help it bring its software called LearnTrials to market.

Lea(R)n is based at HQ Raleigh, and started by former teaching fellow, EdTech executive and education innovation consultant Karl Rectanus. He secured an NC IDEA grant in 2014 and then moved to New York City for three months to participate in the prestigious Kaplan Techstars EdTech Accelerator. Earlier this year, he participated in another accelerator sponsored by AT&T. Both accelerators contributed to the round announced today, along with the Inception Micro Angel fund of Research Triangle Park. 

But the lead investor was Edovate Capital, a seed and early stage capital fund interested only in the education innovation space. Lea(R)n joins a portfolio of six EdTech companies ranging from a virtual wallet for teachers to manage classroom expenses to a platform to help military veterans excel in college. The fund's founder and manager is Graham Forman, vice president of development for a software company in the K-12 space. He's a former legislative aide who has deep interest and experience dealing with education policy. 

Three other angels participated in the round: Gregg Burt of California and Boston-based Walt Winshall and Jean Hammond, who is a partner at LearnLaunch Institute and a key player in building an EdTech cluster of companies in Boston.

Lea(R)n has received a lot of attention in its field for helping educators sort through the thousands of software platforms on the market today for classrooms and administration. A new partnership with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction will get LearnTrials into the hands of 98,000 teachers around the state. According to a news release today, early users have also had success with the platform in Silicon Valley, New Jersey and New Orleans.

We hope to catch up with Rectanus to learn how he plans to spend the dollars, along with his national rollout strategy. Stay tuned for that.