“Transitioning from being an academic to
an entrepreneur was a major, major change
of perspective. Being surrounded by other
entrepreneurs has made it much easier.
I had to reset my priorities and the way
I learned new things: shifting my focus from
experimental research data to people— 
and trying to understand their needs.
It’s very challenging. I’ve been 
an academic for my entire life.
But I’m having quite an adventure!”

explore
As Choosito! CEO Eleni Miltsakaki made the
transition from academic to entrepreneur,
the Science Center’s Port business incubator
provided crucial support and connections.
As Choosito! CEO Eleni Miltsakaki made the
transition from academic to entrepreneur,
the Science Center’s Port business incubator
provided crucial support and connections.

“Transitioning from being an academic to
an entrepreneur was a major, major change
of perspective. Being surrounded by other
entrepreneurs has made it much easier.
I had to reset my priorities and the way
I learned new things: shifting my focus from
experimental research data to people— 
and trying to understand their needs.
It’s very challenging. I’ve been 
an academic for my entire life.
But I’m having quite an adventure!”

my ENDEAVOR

At Choosito!, we’re blending research and linguistics, the psychology of reading, natural language processing and machine learning to build the world’s first real-time, trusted curator of web content.

The World Wide Web is not a library with catalogued information. For example, a fourth grader searching for “Peru” using a typical search engine may be faced with travel blogs and information sites written for high school and beyond. Even the relevant ones may be beyond the student’s reading level.

Choosito! analyzes the reading level and subject category of any website. It learns from and responds to the needs of the user—automatically and in real time. Learners can engage with content that matches their reading level, background and interests.

Our technology offers an unprecedented opportunity for differentiated learning and helps students understand and critically engage with the information that’s available to them.

my PROGRAM

Before we came to the Port, we were running pilot studies and got a lot of experience in what teachers wanted and how our product would work in the classroom. But then we needed to build the business.

That’s when we realized, “We need to be part of an incubator so we can talk to people and get the help that we need—connections to business, to people who can help us with marketing, with finances, with investment, and with strategic planning.” And that’s when we decided to approach the Science Center.

We were able to plug in to the people and resources we needed—immediately.

[READ MORE ABOUT THE PORT]

my NETWORK

The Science Center has played an important role in expanding our network. The team here has made critical connections with big education publishers and also given us suggestions and contacts to explore potential opportunities for Choosito! in the medical domain. They have also promoted Choosito! for potential partnerships.

We are collaborating with several schools in the Lower Merion School District and charter and magnet schools in the Philadelphia School District, as well as special education and other private and public schools in Delaware.

We are actively engaged with the tech and ed-tech communities in Philadelphia. There are a number of local meetups where education technology startups can get connected with teachers. These are really helping to create positive relationships between startups and teachers. Being embedded in the community has really allowed us to get involved!

my HABITAT

Location was critical. Proximity to Penn was important because we have advisors there. Our team has already grown because we can attract talent coming out of the universities.

Being in an environment that has a vibrant university presence is very important to me. It makes me feel comfortable that there are brilliant people to talk to that can help me and the business.

We love our office. We have plenty of room to operate. We have an advisor and an investor on the other coast, so we need to have Skype conference meetings often and we get support for that.

I also love Philadelphia because it has a great balance between city life and quality of life. I used to think the only thing Philadelphia was missing was a vibrant startup scene; now that’s emerging. And I love it!