venture partners

PAST Foundation Logo


Founded in 2000, PAST Foundation is a 501(c) (3) charitable, nonprofit organization. Celebrating 20 years of innovative educational practices, PAST has been a leader in designing STEM education across the nation, bringing problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. Created in 2015, the PAST Innovation Lab, an independently owned and operated R&D prototyping facility, was named as a promising example to Re-imagine High School as featured in Forbes and recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design.

PAST's Excellence

Over the years, PAST has been recognized for many awards and has been the recipient of numerous grants including being recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 vision report. PAST was the only educational entity in Ohio to be included in this publication. The PAST Foundation partners with a number of schools and districts that, based on current evidence, transitioned effectively to serve and educate students after school buildings closed as a result of the pandemic.

The Design Cycle
The Design Cycle at PAST Foundation.
StartSOLE Logo

The core of StartSOLE – the enterprise – is to create products and tools that put the student at the center of their learning. StartSOLE’s first product offering focused on inquiry learning. Its facilitation tool is in use with more than 35,000 educators, impacting over 1.4 million students in over 100 countries and has seen widespread adoption in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Students dive into an inquiry-based experience initiated by a big question facilitated by a teacher over a single class period. Aligned to state standards and easy to learn, the approach can be applied in any subject area and over the entire K-20 grade span.

Behind The Enquiry Learning

Behind the inquiry experience is a platform technology capable of powering many other applications. All of StartSOLE’s work is driven by three core principles: simple, transformational and credible. Simple: The core competency of StartSOLE is an understanding of the educator’s workflow. Tools produced for teachers and students must be envisioned as fitting seamlessly (and ideally, effortlessly) into the day. Demand for use is generated from the bottom up rather than through top-down administrative edicts. Transformational: Solutions must have the possibility of moving the needle in education in areas that really matter. Credible: Credibility of tools is judged by the beholder. Research evidence matters and tools are introduced into pilot environments where efficacy is measured.

StartSOLE also partners with a number of schools and districts that, based on current evidence, transitioned effectively to serve and educate students after school buildings closed as a result of pandemic.