AT&T wants to improve the way we educate in America, and to make good on that undertaking they created the AT&T Aspire Accelerator, part of a $350 million commitment to empower students to reach their full potential.

The inaugural class, which graduated in 2015, included five ed-tech startups both for- and not-for-profit. If your mission is to improve the way we educate in America through the use of technology, AT&T wants to hear from you.

“We need to welcome ideas from every corner that use technology in innovative ways to help students succeed,” said Nancy Poon Lue, executive director, GSV Summit. “The Aspire Accelerator’s unique focus on helping both for- and non-profit ed-tech ventures thrive is already having an impact."

The first graduating class set the bar high for its successors, as the five members were chosen out of more than 340 applicants. They combined to reach more than 2 million students and are working in 1,400 school districts.

"One of the things that I really value about how AT&T approached this program is they really care about impacting the students," said Benjamin Levy, co-founder and CEO of PlayPosit, one of the inaugural graduates of the program. "We're able to have an impact much greater than we would have had prior to our experience with AT&T."

The Aspire Accelerator is a six-month commitment, which includes a $100,000 AT&T investment and an additional $25,000 for each venture to cover costs of the program (nonprofit companies will be given a general contribution). Those selected will also receive mentorship from both internal AT&T and external mentors from the education and technology sector. Enrollees will be able to leverage the national program AT&T provides all while staying at its current location due to the flexibility the accelerator offers.

The Aspire Accelerator is open to any venture working to develop technology to support students’ educational and career success, and the deadline for submitting an application is Feb. 5, 2016. The program will begin selecting ventures in May of 2016.

For more information on how to apply for a chance to participate in the 2016 Aspire Accelerator class, go to