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Higher-Ed Startup StraighterLine Moving Out of ETC

StraighterLine, a Baltimore startup that recently got $10 million in venture funding, will soon move out of its incubator into a place of its own.

Seeking to accommodate its expanding staff, the company plans to relocate as early as Aug. 1 to a new, 6,000-square-foot office, tripling its space, says Marketing Manager, Steven Pope.
 
Its current space in The Johns Hopkins University Eastern Campus at 1101 E. 33rd St. in Waverly is 1,900 square feet and part of the Emerging Technology Center.
 
The company is still firming up a location, but the new space will be "five to 10 minutes away" from its present office, Pope says. 
 
"(We are) trying to capitalize on the market's readiness for a change in the education industry. We're trying to become the Amazon of online education. That's obviously a big goal, but we're one step closer to achieving it this year because of our expansions," Pope says.
 
The relocation is being supported by a $10 million investment to the company made in part by FirstMark Capital, a New York venture capital firm. CityLight Capital and Chrysalis Ventures also contributed to the investment.
 
Since the beginning of the year, the company has grown from 11 employees to its current staff of 22. It plans to grow to 30 employees in the next few months, Pope says.
 
The company is currently hiring subject matter experts and marketing and  software development staff.
 
StraighterLine provides entry-level, online college courses for credit in a variety of subjects. They follow a self-paced, independent study approach to online learning. Students can transfer courses taken at StraighterLine to a variety of partner colleges that offer degrees.
 
Pope says that with students facing mounting college debt, the company aims to offer low-cost and low-risk college credit options.
 
CEO Burck Smith founded the company in 2009 after launching Smarthinking, an online tutoring company.
 
 
Source: Steven Pope, marketing manager.
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, alexandra@bmoremedia.com
 
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