Sydney based education technology company Intersective has won a $383,000 Commonwealth Government Accelerating Commercialisation grant to invest in developing its world first experiential learning management software, Practera. The grant will support the development of the next version of Practera and a pilot with Intern placement company Performance Education.
Intersective Co-Founder and Co-CEO Wes Sonnenreich welcomed the announcement. “We’re delighted that the AC committee has recognised the global opportunity for education technology to improve the efficiency and quality of experiential and work integrated learning – programs like internships, placements and business projects. Employers, Universities and Students want to do more work integrated learning but are constrained by cost, quality assurance and mismatched expectations. Practera is a patented technology platform which incorporates leading research to help employers, students and educators collaborate more effectively. We’re filling an important gap as traditional learning management systems (eg; Blackboard, Moodle), simply aren’t designed to support this need. Practera can complement them.”
Practera has been developed in collaboration with leading University and employer customers like the University of Sydney, QUT, Macquarie University, EY and Deloitte. Early versions of the technology have already demonstrated value – supporting award winning, large scale industry collaborations with significantly fewer resources than traditionally required.
Intersective Advisory Board member and former Chief Strategy Officer for Deloitte Asia-Pacific Gerhard Vorster is bullish about the value of work integrated learning technology, “Enhancing the professional skills of graduates, and providing business with effective models for engaging with future talent are important areas for innovation. Education technology can help change the game in terms of lowering barriers. Better and more cost effective work integrated learning means a more productive and work ready graduate workforce. As well as untapped value in that interface between learning and work, Australia has a serious youth underemployment challenge – business leaders feel a strong obligation to provide opportunities to the next generation”.
Performance Education CEO, Owen Firth agrees, “We’re very excited about the potential of Practera to improve the quality and outcomes of internship and placement programs for both employers and students. This is central to our strategy / vision of… “
Intersective was co-founded by Wes Sonnenreich and Beau Leese, two experienced entrepreneurs and executives with University, large business, start-up and government experience. Prior to Intersective, Wes was Director of Innovation for Deloitte Australia, MIT graduate and co-founder of 4 US technology startups. Beau has recently stepped down as Head of Strategy, Innovation and International for the CSIRO, remains a CSIRO entrepreneur in residence and is a 2013 AFR-Boss Young Executive of the Year. Intersective has previously won awards and grants from Tech23, the Business / Higher Education Roundtable, NSW Office of Trade & Investment.