Startup of the Week

Making Learning More Compelling than Video Games with Edgi

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Every week, the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute elects a Startup of the Week. We invite the founders of these startups to share a blog post with our community. These posts can be inspirational, educational, or entertaining. 

This blog post was written by Tinsley Maier (Gallatin '20), Co-founder of edgi.


At edgi we think education should be so compelling and fun that people would rather spend their time learning than swiping through a social feed or playing video games.

To do this, we’re taking elements of both video games and social networks and incorporating them into a gamified experience centered around learning.

Students in the edgi community meet friends from around the world while engaging with topics that matter most to our future, like the implications of AI and the ethics of capitalism. They earn crypto & edgi coins by completing fun, educational challenges and quests.

In our first challenge “Draw the Metaverse” we asked students to share their vision for what they think the metaverse could look like. First place went to an 11th grade student in Berlin who used an AI image generator to create “Doge Enters the Metaverse.”

"Dog Enters Metaverse" challenge image

Many high school students we serve are frustrated that what they’re learning in school doesn’t feel relevant to their lives. They often turn to social feeds or games for engagement and a sense of belonging, but are left feeling alone and like they’ve wasted their time.

We’re interested in creating a new kind of social experience, one in which people feel productive about the time spent on the platform – learning from & engaging with other members and building up their resumés – and are rewarded for participating and adding value.

My co-founders Josh Shapiro (Gallatin ‘18, now faculty at Steinhardt) & Aashay Mody (Stern ‘10) and I see a huge opportunity for a community-driven education platform that empowers and incentivizes people to learn about and engage with real world issues.

At edgi we’re building a learning experience that takes full advantage of the opportunities enabled by technology, yet is based on the rich human connections and vibrant community that are essential for a lasting education.

Josh and I were inspired to start edgi by our time at Gallatin - we wanted to make the kind of self-directed, interdisciplinary education we experienced there more widely accessible.

I’m incredibly thankful for the community, mentorship & support I’ve found at NYU and the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, especially through the Female Founders Fellowship and VC Pitchfest.

If you’d like to stay connected with edgi check out our TikTok, Twitter, or Instagram.

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