Earshot Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation

Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Seed Funding for R&D

SEATTLE, July 9, 2018 – Earshot LLC has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) to work on new technology to improve teaching with data.

Earshot will use these funds to conduct a pilot study to understand how its technology can be used for teachers’ professional learning. Earshot is experimenting with new voice analysis and machine learning technologies to provide accurate data to teachers about their instruction. Earshot will expand its patent-pending technology to enable teachers to share data about their instruction and collaborate with one another to improve teaching.

 “The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

“We are using technology to fuel the human relationship between a teacher and a student, which is key to student learning. By providing us with funding and support, the NSF enables us to tackle our ambitious undertaking of providing all students with the opportunity to connect with a great teacher,” said Amy Satin Spinelli, CEO of Earshot. “This seed funding is the starting point to gain new insights into what great teaching and learning sounds like and share those learnings with the world.”

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $225,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses twice annually in June and December. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.

To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7.8 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.


About Earshot LLC: Earshot empowers great conversations. Earshot’s technology uses artificial intelligence and voice analysis to automate research and provide feedback around the elements that comprise productive communications and collaboration, such as question strategy and speech patterns. The first application of this technology is to automate feedback to teachers to better engage all students in learning. Earshot’s goal is to build a better world, one conversation at a time.