Frenalytics Wins NSF’s VITAL Prize Challenge


by | February 29, 2024



ALEXANDRIA, VA, February 29, 2024 –– Frenalytics, the patented personalized learning and data collection software for underserved students of all abilities, has been named a winner of the VITAL Prize Challenge in the competition’s Rapid and Continuous Learning Assessment track.


Frenalytics CEO Matt Giovanniello and other VITAL Prize winning teams accepting awards at NSF Headquarters on February 29, 2024. Credit: Shayla Cornick, Digital Promise

Today, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Digital Promise announced the winners of the VITAL Prize Challenge, a nationwide competition investing in teams developing the next generation of learning technologies. Along with other winning teams, Frenalytics was invited to the U.S. National Science Foundation’s headquarters in Alexandria, VA on February 29, where team leads accepted their awards, met with NSF staff and partners, and presented their solutions to funders.


Frenalytics is just one of 3 winning teams in the competition’s Rapid and Continuous Learning Assessment track, and one of 9 winning teams across all tracks. Thanks to NSF’s partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Walton Family Foundation, Frenalytics has won an additional $100,000 in non-dilutive funding, bringing the company’s total funding and mentor stipends from the competition to $195,000.


The VITAL Prize Challenge commenced in April 2023, 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 2023, previously winning $20,000 in non-dilutive funding and $15,000 in mentor stipends. When the final round began in November 2023, the 18 advancing teams – each winning $50,000 in non-dilutive funding and $10,000 in mentor stipends – were judged based on whether their solution has evidence of product-market fit, has strong potential to transformationally impact teaching and learning for underserved learners, and uses participatory and evidence-based design practices.


“These innovations will have a transformational impact on the learning landscape, catalyzing a new generation of emerging technologies and innovations for K-12 learning for all learners all across the U.S.,” said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF assistant director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships. “The award-winning teams were selected through a rigorous, multistage process, with a focus on solutions that demonstrate strong potential for market adoption and impact among those who have traditionally been left out of STEM fields.”


Throughout the three rounds of the VITAL Prize Challenge, the Frenalytics team:

  • Completed 267 interviews, co-design sessions, and feedback surveys 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
  • Developed prototypes for 9 new screens and 46 new features 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 23 strategies to support learner variability based on evidence-based techniques researched by Digital Promise
  • Attended 5 industry conferences, including EdTech Week 2023 and IEI’s 2024 Mid-Year Summit
  • Has won contracts and implemented its special education & ELL solution in schools & districts across New York, North Carolina, Texas, and more


“I am sincerely thankful for the incredible opportunity to collaborate with FrenalyticsEDU and contribute to the VITAL Prize Challenge. This journey has been truly transformative, and I am filled with gratitude for the meaningful experiences we’ve shared,” 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. “This tool is specifically designed to enhance learning experiences, particularly for those who have been historically and systematically excluded from such opportunities. …We truly believe FrenalyticsEDU tool is a game-changer, and you see that passion shining through every step of the way. I am wholeheartedly convinced of its impact in the educational realm and beyond.”


The final round 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 demo promotional video as submitted to the judges:


Watch the full final presentation as submitted to the judges:


“Leading our team through this competition has been among my greatest professional honors,” exclaimed Matt Giovanniello, CEO and co-founder of Frenalytics. “We’ve grown exponentially both as a product and as a team throughout the VITAL Prize Challenge, and I’m deeply grateful for the subject matter experts who generously shared their time, talent, and treasure to make the world of special education a better place for all. By participating in – and now winning – this competition, we’ve made great strides towards our mission of empowering every special educator & student to lead more meaningful and independent lives, and we’re now more determined than ever to achieve this ambitious goal.”


“The VITAL Prize Challenge was more than a competition – it was an educational journey that challenged how software is currently built and empowered teams with new approaches for building software that can truly solve problems in education,” shared Caitlyn Hutchison, lead product designer at Frenalytics. “Over the course of 10 months, Digital Promise showed teams the value of being design-led. The VITAL Prize Challenge pushed teams to dig deep into problems in education before ideating on solutions, to involve educators and students in the design process as equal collaborators, and to get feedback on solutions early and often to push our ideas further than we thought possible.”





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.



Engage Your Mind with Frenalytics™ – signup for a free account, or call (516) 399-7170 to learn more.


About Frenalytics

FrenalyticsEDU named winner of Best New K-12 Solution in the prestigious 2023 Supes’ Choice Awards by the Institute for Education Innovation (IEI)!


Frenalytics is a patented, cloud-based interactive platform streamlines the IEP process through progress monitoring, teacher & parent communication, and personalized learning. 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.

In 2023 alone, Frenalytics has been awarded several lucrative contracts, including with the NYC Department of Education, Houston Independent School District, Richardson Independent School District in Texas, Joshua Independent School District in Texas, and a special pilot program with the Los Angeles Unified School District.


Want to see how Frenalytics helps patients and students live more independent lives?
Click here to create a free account, or give us a call at (516) 399-7170.


Try Frenalytics for free!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.