Frenalytics Advances to Final Round of NSF’s VITAL Prize Challenge


by | November 28, 2023



NEW YORK, NY, November 28, 2023 –– Frenalytics, the patented personalized learning and data collection software for underserved students of all abilities, has advanced to the semi-final round of the VITAL Prize Challenge.


Banner image that displays Frenalytics as a finalist in the VITAL Prize Challenge. Credit: Frenalytics, Digital Promise

Today, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Digital Promise announced the teams advancing to the final round of the VITAL Prize Challenge, a nationwide competition investing in teams developing the next generation of learning technologies.


Frenalytics is just one of 18 teams that will advance to the final round. Thanks to NSF’s partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Walton Family Foundation, Frenalytics has won an additional $50,000 in non-dilutive funding and $10,000 in mentor stipends.


The VITAL Prize Challenge commenced earlier this year, where 100 teams – selected from over 300 applicants – received entrepreneurial training, customer discovery support, and mentorship to build K-12 learning innovations for adoption nationwide. Frenalytics advanced to the semi-final round in July, previously winning $20,000 in non-dilutive funding and $15,000 in mentor stipends. Now in its final round, the 18 advancing teams were judged based on whether their solution fulfills a need, has strong potential to impact and improve student learning, and uses participatory and evidence-based design practices.


“VITAL Prize finalists are meeting the moment, developing tools and solutions to enhance teaching and accelerate learning,” said Romy Drucker, director of the Education Program at the Walton Family Foundation. “With NSF’s guidance and support, VITAL entrepreneurs will be poised to unleash the talent and genius of many promising young minds.”


Since July, as part of the semi-final of the VITAL Prize Challenge, the Frenalytics team:

  • Developed 3 new prototypes that better automate the collection of relevant progress monitoring data, deliver age-appropriate personalized learning to students of all abilities, centralize standards-aligned skills in an expansive Content Library, and centralize important notes & communications about each student in a secure Progress Notes module
  • Incorporated 17 strategies to support learner variability based on evidence-based techniques researched by Digital Promise
  • Completed 49 additional interviews and co-design sessions with subject matter experts, including special education teachers and inclusion teachers across grades K-12, principals, superintendents, directors of special education, parents, and students with IEPs
  • Participated in weekly educator-mentor working sessions and five 2-hour training sessions
  • Prepared and delivered a 5-minute presentation to an educator review committee


The semi-final round presentation further innovated on the many ways that FrenalyticsEDU – the company’s award-winning personalized learning & data collection solution for special education, English Language Learner (ELL), and struggling student populations – supports & benefits students, staff, and families.


Watch the full presentation as submitted to the judges:


“The success of education technology is not just about the tools but the collective efforts of educators, students and the EdTech company – it’s a shared endeavor with the overall goal of enhancing the learning experience for all students,” remarked Charmeer Raindrop, Instructional Technology Facilitator at Weddington Hills Elementary in Cabarrus County Schools and educator-mentor for Team Frenalytics in the VITAL Prize Challenge. “What truly is remarkable about Frenalytics is their comprehensive consideration of everyone that’s involved… Together, we are reshaping the educational landscape and ensuring that every student’s unique needs are met and that education becomes a collaborative endeavor for all.”


“We are elated to be advancing to the final round of the VITAL Prize Challenge,” exclaimed Matt Giovanniello, CEO and co-founder of Frenalytics. “Among the many things we learned through this competition, it’s become increasingly obvious just how much of an impact FrenalyticsEDU can have on our underserved learners – students with IEPs/504 plans, English Language Learners, and struggling students – and the educators and families that vigorously support them. Along with Caitlyn, David, Jen, Shawn, Charmeer, and the rest of our team, I look forward to maximizing our progress and impact in the final round of the competition, as well as positioning Frenalytics to be a worthy contender for winning the VITAL Prize Challenge in its entirety.”


The final round of the VITAL Prize Challenge commences in early December, where 9 winning teams will be chosen and awarded up to an additional $250,000 in non-dilutive seed funding.




About the VITAL Prize Competition

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Walton Family Foundation, announced the VITAL Prize Challenge in early 2023, which stands for Visionary Interdisciplinary Teams Advancing Learning (VITAL) Prize Challenge and is managed by Digital Promise.

The VITAL Prize Challenge is intended to develop and support early-stage concepts and ideas based on equitable, innovative uses of technology and research. Frenalytics was accepted from over 300 teams for its novel EdTech-centric innovations proposed for FrenalyticsEDU.


About Digital Promise

Digital Promise is a global nonprofit working to expand opportunity for every learner. Working with a wide range of partners and practitioners in the U.S. and around the world, our initiatives have impacted over 4.4 million students and 180,000 teachers across 173 districts and in 27 countries to date.



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About Frenalytics
Frenalytics is a patented, cloud-based interactive platform designed to personalize the learning process for patients and students with cognitive deficits. The first version of Frenalytics was created by CEO Matt after his grandmother suffered a massive stroke during open-heart surgery. With Frenalytics, clinicians, teachers, and family members are directly involved in their patient’s or student’s care to make (re)learning fun and engaging from virtually anywhere.


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