DALLAS – May 13, 2015 — Istation, a leader in the educational technology industry, announced today that Chairman and CEO Richard H. Collins is a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year® 2015 Award in the Southwest Region.
Istation develops effective, highly engaging computer-based learning programs. More than four million students in 44 states and four countries are experiencing remarkable academic gains thanks to Istation's software and Collins' vision.
The EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards recognize men and women who build market-leading businesses, create jobs, and contribute to the vibrancy of communities. Istation has flourished thanks to Collins' leadership and perseverance. When he became CEO, Istation had about 30 employees. There are now almost 200. Istation now impacts five times as many schools as when it began, and Istation’s suite of products has expanded to include writing, math and Spanish language programs in addition to its original award-winning reading program. Committed to forward thinking and future preparedness, Collins led the charge for Istation to develop mobile apps. Istation's reading assessment was named 2015's Best Educational App for a Mobile Device by the software and information industry's most prestigious awards, the CODiEs.
Istation proves that technology can transform even the change-averse world of education, and Collins is one of ed tech’s earliest champions. In fact, his desire to use technology to help teachers inspired him to become Istation's largest investor and one of its original founders in 1998 and later Chairman and CEO in 2007.
Collins led Istation through a national economic downturn that saw school budgets slashed. He focused on delivering a high-quality product that schools could trust. He became a salesman himself, hitting the road to showcase what Istation offers: quick and accurate computer-based assessments, individualized learning paths, and thorough reports that give parents and teachers a precise look at how each student is performing. All of that is delivered through game-like animation that teaches students while they play.
Collins wholeheartedly believes in equality for all students and all schools. From the very start, he challenged Istation’s engineers to find a way to deliver a highly engaging reading program to every school—even those with aging computers and little connectivity. The result was a proprietary software platform proven to work on any campus, no matter the equipment available.
"Students, regardless of where they go to school and regardless of their socioeconomic background, should have the same opportunity for success,” Collins said. “Istation fulfills my vision by providing educational technology that helps level the playing field and affords all students tools they need to be successful."
A panel of independent judges selected Collins as a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The Southwest Regional winners will be announced at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards gala on June 27. The EY Entrepreneur of the Year program is in its 29th year and recognizes leaders in more than 60 countries throughout the world. Winners of the regional award are eligible for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year National Award.
Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards are nationally sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America. In the Southwest Region, sponsors also include BBVA, Colliers International, Haynes and Boone, Merrill Corp., Roach Howard Smith & Barton, bkm Total Office of Texas, DCEO Magazine and SocialStrategy1.
Founded in 1998 and based in Dallas, Texas, Istation (Imagination Station) has become one of the nation's leading providers of richly animated, game-like educational technology. Winner of several national educational technology awards, the Istation program puts more instructional time in the classroom through small-group and collaborative instruction. Istation's innovative reading, math and Spanish programs immerse students in an engaging and interactive environment and inspire them to learn. Additionally, administrators and educators can use Istation to easily track the progress of their students, schools and classrooms. Istation now serves over 4 million students throughout the United States and in several other countries.
About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. This unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contributions of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.
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