Mozilla Invests $59,000 In Three Kansas City Startups
Three Kansas City startups will receive a combined $59,000 from the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund to expand and develop programs that promote innovation in the classroom.
KC Social Innovation Center, PlanIT Impact and Pennez were awarded money for using Kansas City’s gigabit internet to create new ways to learn.
The internet of things is the network of physical objects — devices, vehicles, buildings — containing software, sensors and internet connectivity that enable them to collect and exchange data.
PlanIT Impact is a tool that provides architects, planners and designers with information on how a building or site will utilize energy, emit greenhouse gases and perform in other ways by using open data to create interactive 3D models.
Pennezis an online tool that teaches reading using artificial intelligence software that interacts with kids in real time. It's designed to help children with different dialects, cultures and other educational needs improve their reading.
Janice Wait leads Mozilla’s gigabit work in Kansas City. She says she's excited about the potential of these programs to expand to other cities across the country.
“The technologies that they’re using are very cutting edge, and they’re things that you don’t often see in classroom environments,” Wait says.
All three companies now enter a 16-week pilot period, during which they'll scale up and expand their programs.
The Gigabit Community Fund is a partnership with Mozilla, The National Science Foundation and US Ignite to demonstrate the value of gigabit networks. It currently funds pilot projects in the country's first two gigabit cities, Kansas City and Chattanooga, Tennessee, and recently announced it will be adding Austin, Texas.