Investment focused on expansion into additional states and enhancements of course offerings
OKLAHOMA CITY (June 6, 2002) – Baxter Brings, President and CEO of Advanced Academics Inc., an online learning company for students in grades seven through 12, announces today the company has secured $7.5 million in a Series B Preferred Stock financing. New investors were Council Ventures, of Nashville, Chrysalis Ventures, of Louisville, Ky.; and Prosperitas Investment Partners also of Louisville. Previous investors who participated in the financing were Chisholm Private Capital Partners and American Fidelity Group, both of Oklahoma City.
“In a difficult environment for venture capital, I believe securing this level of financing sends a strong message about our achievements thus far, as well as the future of our business model,” says Brings, who joined Advanced Academics after serving as President and CEO of Instructional Fair Group, a division of the Tribune Company. “We have solidified our executive team with top talent in the education publishing industry, correlated our course offerings to more state standards, increased the number of states where we have certified our teachers, and continue to deliver the best possible online education experience for high school students.”
Since January 2002, Advanced Academics has added eight new states for operation: Alaska, Georgia, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. Three recent new contracts include a pilot project with the Detroit Public School District, the Seattle Public School District, and the South Brunswick, NJ Public School District. Brings says additional major contract wins will be announced during the summer.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with Advanced Academics and are excited by the tremendous momentum generated by Baxter’s leadership, the strong sales and marketing force and, of course, a superior online education product,” says Gary Peat, Partner at Council Ventures. “We’re very confident that Advanced Academics has quickly earned the trust of American educators by offering a powerful, reliable technology that meets the needs of at-risk students and accelerated learners in grades seven through twelve.”
The Advanced Academics model is designed so there is minimal district management required. The Advanced Academics staff of certified teachers handles all aspects of the learning experience including course development, assessment, grading and 24/7 availability for interaction with the student via real-time chats, e-mail and phone calls. According to Brings, the company also provides custom reporting and time monitoring of student activity that can be viewed online not only by the district, teacher and student, but also by parents and guardians. Advanced Academics also provides all data necessary for accreditation and funding, plus financial and audit records.
According to Ron Walker, Area Director, Oklahoma City Public School District, the Advanced Academics model will rapidly become the industry standard.
“Advanced Academics has created a solid technology platform that can handle a large volume of students, they have full-time, certified teachers available 24 hours a day, and their curriculum meets school districts’ rigid requirements,” Walker says. “I’m most impressed by their dedication to be a true partner with American educators, to ensure we can reclaim at-risk students as well as boost opportunities for accelerated students and homeschoolers.”