New partnership puts Montessorium in position to "swing for the fences"

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Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013 12:00 am

Development of Montessorium's new "Library" feature is a focus of the company's new partner, Y Media Labs.

It's back-to-school time, and education tech startup Montesorrium has more apps—instead of books—on their mind. This is thanks to a deal the three-year-old Sioux Falls company sealed Friday with San Francisco app maker Y Media Labs, the team behind apps for brands such as Lonely Planet and Sesame Street.

"Y Media has been instrumental in our success, and we've charted a path forward that we think is nothing short of swinging for the fences—minus the pointing at left field," Montessorium co-founder Bobby George told Silicon Prairie News this weekend by email.

However, the two app makers' relationship is nothing new. In fact, for nearly three years Y Media has served as Montessorium's development shop. "We like to say that we're responsible for design and concept and they're responsible for development," George (right) said, noting Y Media built past Montessorium apps Intro to Colors, Alpha Writer and Intro to Geography from scratch—each sell for at least $3.99.

This "partnership," as Montessorium calls it on their blog, makes Y Media an integral part of the Sioux Falls startup's team. In exchange for their services, Y Media now has an equity stake in Montessorium.

"Montessorium will continue as it is, in terms of creative direction, business development, strategy, etc. but we now have the added bonus of having an experienced, collaborative, in-house development team who is interested in furthering the conversation of what Montessorium is and what it can become," George said.

As to what the company can become, that's where the books come in, or at least a reference to books. Currently in the works at Montessorium is a new feature it calls "Library," which will allow a user to switch between the company's suite of educational apps. "An entire classroom, literally at the click of a button," its website touts.

"From the start, from the very first day we sat down and decided to pursue Montessorium, we envisioned a child being able to open an app as if it was a Montessorium classroom," George said. "Which is to say, the child could easily transition from what activity to the next, following their own interests, working through a pedagogical approach."

The release date for Library isn't yet set—nor is the date for its next app Cursive—but with the Y Media partnership sealed, it's likely Montessorium won't have to wait until fall break to catch up on its homework.

For more on Montesssorium and its App Store successes, see our recent post: "Montessori-based learning company releases latest app, Intro to Colors."


Credits: "Library" image from Montessorium.comBobby George photo from Twitter.

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