Business

Mathtoons firm secures funding

Mathtoons Media Inc. has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from the National Research Council of Canada’s industrial research assistance program to develop the framework for a digital math practice workbook.

Mathtoons Media is an educational technology company based in Kelowna, founded by Kristin Garn in 2011.

Garn has taught high school math and university calculus in B.C. and Manitoba for over 20 years.

The Mathtoons creative team includes former Disney animator and illustrator Jessika Von Innereber, who has spent much of her career creating rich animation experiences for children, working for companies like Leapfrog, Disney and FisherPrice.

Kelowna native Will Schneider creates the voice of Mathtoons materials and has his MFA in screenwriting from Los Angeles American Film Institute.

Jay Pozo has developed software for 12 years and worked with high profile companies including Blast Radius, Electronic Arts and Disney.

He has designed and built software and hardware systems for massive multiplayer online games, media hubs and various institutions.

In the next quarter, Mathtoons will develop “ThUMP! The Ultimate Math Practice,” which will be a multi-platform learning and practice system, integrating elements of game play with learning and aiming to make difficult topics, like advanced algebra and calculus, much more fun to learn.

Future plans are to provide this framework to other educational institutions and companies interested in creating their own engaging learning experiences using their content integrated with Mathtoon’s evaluation and performance reporting systems.

“We’re excited that NRC-IRAP funding will help us develop this first framework for real 21st century teaching and learning tools,” said Garn.

Working with the National Research Council of Canada has helped Mathtoons better understand their own business model, acknowledged Garn. That help has allowed the Mathtoons team to consider new opportunities for research that will eventually help to improve their products, Garn added.

Discussions with an industrial technology advisor helped the development team at Mathtoons identify important requirements for their software and also helped add more structure to the development plan, he said.

Receiving NRC-IRAP funding will enable the Mathtoons team to maximize the testing and development of ideas meant to enhance the learning experience and engagement within the framework they will develop.

“With NRC-IRAP funding, we can now plan efficiently to build prototypes with multiple types of content on multiple delivery platforms, which is very important in this rapidly changing world of educational technology,” he said.

Mathtoons Media Inc. is currently on the Accelerate Okanagan Venture Acceleration Program.

Jeff Keen, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan,  said, “Kristin has built an amazing team of experienced and highly talented individuals that are building innovative and creative educational technology products that solve real problems.

“We believe they have the opportunity to be game changers in this space and look forward to supporting them through the next stage of their company’s development.”

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