How publisher Pearson gets close to education startups

DianaStepnerIt’s hard to get closer to the startup world than Diana Stepner. The VP of Innovation Partnerships and Developer Relations at Pearson plc spends many of her days working from a desk at RocketSpace in San Francisco, a shared office space that houses early-stage ventures. Stepner also runs the Pearson Catalyst for Education accelerator program, which seeks out partners from the startup world that address specific business challenges Pearson is focusing on.

With roots that trace back to 1724, London-based Pearson publishes textbooks, digital learning materials, and the Financial Times, and also owns a large stake of the publishing company Penguin Random House. Revenues last year were $8.71 billion.

Stepner is part of Pearson’s product and marketing organization, reporting to the Senior Vice President of Partnerships. She spoke with Innovation Leader about the benefits of working alongside startups, and what Pearson hopes to achieve with its accelerator program.

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