SAM Labs, an edtech startup that empowers teachers with the most engaging STEAM classroom solutions, has announced the completion of a $6.75 million Series A round of financing led by Touchstone Innovations and E15 Ventures. SAM Labs will use the funding to develop a number of new educational products that support its mission to inspire every student to discover the fun in coding and creating. With the global edtech market set to reach $252 billion by 2020, SAM Labs is on track to lead the industry with its STEAM innovations for the classroom.
“As a technology company delivering solutions for teaching STEAM and computing, we’re thrilled to deepen our research and development efforts to bring new products to the classroom,” said Joachim Horn, founder and CEO of SAM Labs. “This round of funding will increase our time spent working closely with teachers, administrators, and standards like NGSS to develop the most engaging teaching materials, hardware, and software to excite students about the possibilities of STEAM.”
“U.S. schools are lagging in computer science education, with no unified government standards to drive curriculum,” said Philip Liang, Managing Partner, E15 Ventures. “SAM Labs keenly understands the importance of democratizing coding – making coding education accessible for all students across all skill levels and interests. E15 Ventures is proud to invest in tomorrow’s coding experts. We’re pleased to be a partner to SAM Labs as it drives mainstream interest in coding and computer science.”
SAM Labs has already made an impact on coding and computer science education with its current offerings. The company’s STEAM Kit provides a solution for teachers who are looking to bring computer science to the classroom, but may not have received the training or resources needed to properly teach coding.
By focusing on learning outcomes and efficacy, SAM Labs will continue to improve student and teacher experiences. This includes adding new technology, cross-curricula lesson plans and schemes of work, professional development, and hands-on customer support.
“The expectation to integrate technology in the classroom today is simply part of the job,” said Nate Gordon, Lower School Math & Technology Coordinator at Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland. “But the reality is, training and classroom resources are often lacking. SAM Labs is a solution for teaching computer science across a variety of subjects. With the STEAM Kit, I know that I’m properly conveying lessons to my students – who will rely on this knowledge as they move forward in their education and career paths. SAM Labs’ commitment to teachers and students gives me confidence that our curriculum will catch up to the where it should be as it relates to computer science."
“We’ve seen an increased focus from edtech companies on improving education standards in the U.S. and around the world,” said Robert Bahns, Director of Technology Ventures, Touchstone Innovations. “With products like the STEAM Kit, SAM Labs has been at the forefront of this innovation since it was founded in 2014 – and in many ways, it has set the standard for coding and computer science education both at home and in the classroom. A proficiency in computer science is something from which all students should benefit, and SAM Labs is allowing for this possibility across the globe.”
SAM Labs will also continue growing its partnerships with government organisations like the City of Helsinki and the UAE Ministry of Education, as well as companies like Microsoft Education and Intel Education.
“SAM Labs graduated from the Intel Education Accelerator in 2016, and ever since it has grown its efforts to bring STEAM education to classrooms around the world,” said Elizabeth Broers, Global Program Director, Intel Education Accelerator. “With an increasing demand for quality resources to teach coding and computer science, the importance of products like SAM Labs’ STEAM Kit is magnified, and additional funds to support SAM Labs’ education program will only help increase its impact worldwide.”