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INTERNET | Internet Software & Services / Video
generationgenius.com

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Founded Year

2017

Stage

Unattributed | Alive

Total Raised

$600K

Last Raised

$600K | 3 yrs ago

About Generation Genius

Generation Genius is a streaming video service made in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association that brings school science topics to life through fun, funny, entertaining and educational videos.

Generation Genius Headquarter Location

14622 Ventura Blvd #2026

Sherman Oaks, California, 91403,

United States

866-936-5564

Latest Generation Genius News

Generation Genius Is Disrupting EdTech With Its Engaging STEM Series For Classrooms

Apr 19, 2021

Generation Genius Dr. Jeff Vinokur is a newly-minted science celebrity. Every week, over one million students in grades K to 8 watch his STEM series in their schools nationwide. The educational streaming platform he cofounded, Generation Genius, boasts subscriptions in over 20% of U.S. elementary schools and millions in annual revenue. A PhD biochemist, Vinokur’s lightbulb moment for Generation Genius came while he was performing science at elementary school assemblies as a grad student at UCLA. “After the assemblies, kids would come up to me and ask if I was Bill Nye the Science Guy. It was very flattering, but it also made me wonder how a kid born in 2010 knew about a science show from the 1990s. I was surprised to learn that, 25 years later, they were still watching Bill Nye in schools,” Vinokur says. He saw an opportunity, so he set out to create STEM content for a new generation. The president of the National Science Teaching Association agreed to consult on one pilot video bankrolled by Vinokur’s school assemblies. “I tested the pilot video with students, teachers and principals,” says Vinokur, who is known to his kid fans as Dr. Jeff. “The data showed that kids loved it, teachers wanted to use it, and principals would pay for it.” Eric Rollman, the cofounder of Generation Genius, has won an Emmy for children's television. Generation Genius Using this data, Vinokur recruited seasoned Hollywood TV executive Eric S. Rollman to join him as cofounder. Rollman is the former president of Marvel Television & Animation and the former president of Fox Family Productions Worldwide. The two production companies later sold to Disney for a combined sum of nearly $9.5 billion. Credited on over 5,000 episodes of children’s television, Rollman won an Emmy award in 2016 for Best Children’s Series. MORE FOR YOU “I was immediately smitten with Vinokur’s concept, but it also felt personal,” Rollman says. “I’m the son of a science teacher and my daughter was in elementary school at the time. A chance to use my experience to build a next generation EdTech company, with a focus on high-quality content, was highly appealing. Dr. Jeff’s vision and drive reminded me of my early days with Saban and Marvel. I just knew there was an incredible adventure ahead.” To launch the streaming service, Vinokur and Rollman first needed funding. Vinokur describes spending a year pitching 500 philanthropists, venture capitalists, and foundations, and getting declined nearly every time. “EdTech investors thought the idea of spending five to six figures on a 10-minute classroom video was insane and that we should pitch media investor instead. But when we did that, media investors said they don’t know anything about selling to schools and that we should instead pitch EdTech investors!” Rollman and Vinokur strive to bring modern Hollywood production values to their EdTech content. Generation Genius After racking up 499 rejections, the cofounders finally got one yes. A foundation called the Howard Hughes Medical Institute funded their first series for a seven-figure sum. Angel investment later followed on. After producing the content in Hollywood and building their streaming platform, which pairs videos with teacher resources like lesson plans and quizzes, it was time to premiere. Yet despite a well-attended event at the national conference for science teachers, sales on the first day totaled just $124. “We were definitely sweating at that point, having spent so much cash on content and making so little in subscription sales,” Vinokur recalls. When he got back to LA, he curled up in the fetal position on his couch. But then he picked himself up and moved on. “We knew all wasn’t lost,” Vinokur says. “We had been warned countless times that school adoption is very slow.” Indeed, once the new school year started in September 2018, sales started to snowball. Increasing month after month, the company yielded $1 million in subscription sales for the first school year, a rare milestone for an EdTech startup. It was clear that Generation Genius was onto something. Generation Genius momentum is rapidly building, with math and Spanish programming in the works. Generation Genius In their second school year, Generation Genius revenues grew nearly 400%. They expanded coverage to all science topics in grades K to 5. Now in their third school year, content has grown to cover every science topic across grades K to 8. The cofounders say they are on pace to exceed eight figures in annual recurring revenue starting in 2021. The cofounders attribute the fast growth of Generation Genius, and their deepening reach into American classrooms, to their high-quality videos. “When teachers love a resource, they tell other teachers. It’s as simple as that. We let teachers try us out for free. The kids love it so much that they ask for it every day,” Vinokur says. Rollman adds, “Teachers love that we deliver a trusted and turn-key solution to engaging their kids and cover all of their state standards.” As for the future, Generation Genius is currently expanding its content beyond science. Math videos covering every topic in common core math for grades K to 8 are now in production. The company also says they have begun translating their science videos into Spanish for the upcoming school year. Vinokur offers EdTech founders the following advice. “Don’t be discouraged if your product isn’t flying off the shelf on day one. Generation Genius felt like a flop when it premiered. Turns out all we needed was a little bit of patience for it to catch on. Just three short years later, it’s among the fastest growing startups in our industry.”

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