Degreed launches crowdfunding campaign for reimagined ‘digital diploma’

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San Francisco startup Degreed is challenging the traditional college diploma with an online service that tracks and scores educational achievements from established institutions as well as new online learning platforms….


As new digital learning platforms transform how we think of universities, a new San Francisco startup wants to reimagine the degree.


Quietly rolled out a couple of months ago, Degreed provides an online service that tracks, scores and validates all of a user’s educational experiences — from formal degree programs at universities like Harvard to non-accredited courses from online sources like iTunesU and Coursera. On Thursday, the company launched a crowd-funding campaign on its site to raise $100,000 by mid-December and by the end of the first day IT had already reached $15,000.


Degreed CEO and co-founder David Blake said he hopes that by “jailbreaking” the college degree and providing an alternative way of thinking about credentials offered by institutions, they’ll be able to support the new world of education and encourage more life-long learning.


Blake said the company still plans to raise venture capital, but decided on a crowd-funding campaign after many early supporters of the site contributed through a “donate” button in addition to submitting their email addresses for early access. Degreed plans to open the site to the public more broadly in 2013. But as part of the campaign, people can receive early access to the site with their contributions….

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