Founder: Shawn Young, Founder and CEO
Venture: Classcraft Studios Inc (Sherbrooke, PQ)
Classcraft is an Engagement Management System for schools, making it easy for schools to inject gamification into many aspects of learning. Classcraft is based on research in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is an evidence-based three-tiered framework to improve and integrate all the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. Traditional approaches to implementing PBIS fall short in helping middle school educators consistently promote lasting behavior change across schools and classrooms, failing to generate the type of data that administrators need for Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. And because they don’t address behavior at its source — student engagement — they miss the opportunity to make a lasting, systemic impact. Classcraft succeeds in motivating students by using gaming principles to fulfill students’ fundamental needs for autonomy, competency, and human relationships. Games are also culturally relevant for young people: they don’t just reflect youth culture, they define it. The benefits of PBIS with Classcraft are:
- Fostering school-family partnerships
- A built-in framework for addressing negative behavior
- Data you can use to personalize student interventions
- Encourage positive behavior through teamwork — and rewards that matter
- Define and teach positive behaviors consistently across classrooms
Since its launch in 2013, Classcraft has gained incredible traction with educators worldwide, providing tools to gamify their classrooms.
Shawn Young is a co-founder and CEO of Classcraft Studios Inc. He taught 11th grade physics for 9 years, holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and master’s in education from Université de Sherbrooke and is also a seasoned web developer. Shawn sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), sits on the corporate advisory board for Future Ready Schools New Jersey, sits on the corporate advisory board for the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), is the vice-president of the Edteq Association and is an Ambassador for the Education faculty of University of Sherbrooke. Shawn recently secured $7.5M in Series A funding for Classcraft, and won MindShare Learning’s 2019 EdTech Startup of the Year award.
Shawn’s in-house leadership team seems to include only two family members whose education and credentials are not provided, but his corporate website provides ample information on the academic research that underlies his product. It also presents impressive testimonials from a variety of researchers at recognized universities in North America and Europe.
Classwork’s Board of Directors and Advisors is a strong blend of leaders from established software development companies, VC firms, government ministries, tech incubators and non-profit foundations. This indicates a broad and stable network of support and expertise to back up a promising young business.