Supporting digital equity in education with Nucleos

Written by
Wright Seneres
Jan. 9, 2021

Nucleos, a Princeton Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund portfolio company, is an education technology startup that believes that everyone should have access to 21st century learning opportunities. Co-founded by Noah Freedman '12, Nucleos provides a secure technology platform for cloud-based education for those with limited access to learning opportunities.

Supporting digital equity in prison programs is central to the mission. "Nucleos' platform makes it easy to provide access to education and training programs to those incarcerated and returning to society, thus greatly increasing the likelihood that these individuals will have better success re-integrating with society, and avoid a return to prison," said Freedman. Their e-learning platform is one of the industry’s first that incorporates degree-granting programs and industry-recognized certificates, and use of secure filtered-Internet, making it easy for agencies to adopt and deliver these services. 

"Not only does the Nucleos learning platform give those involved with the justice system access to valuable skills that aid their rehabilitation, it does so without any cost to those individuals," said Freedman. In contrast to similar solutions offered by its competition, Nucleos does not charge incarcerated people for access to the programs it delivers, which encompass high-quality academics, college courses, vocational training, and social and emotional wellness courses.
At the end of last year, Nucleos was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In line with the goals of the SBIR program to foster innovation and help create businesses and jobs in the United States, the grant money and matching funds will allow Nucleos to further educational access for the incarcerated. 

Freedman’s forward thinking EdTech approach to improving outcomes of incarcerated people aligns with Princeton’s commitment to equity, access and opportunity in education. "Noah is a great example of the impact that Princetonians are having on important social issues. Our investment thesis with the Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund was to show that a small amount of seed funding and warm introductions to the Princeton entrepreneurial ecosystem would help to support young alumni. Noah and Nucleos have shown this to be true," said Anne-Marie Maman '84, executive director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council. 

Nucleos joins fellow AEF portfolio companies Aquabyte and Wellsheet featured during Princeton’s A Year of Forward Thinking project. Aquabyte founder Bryton Shang '12 and Wellsheet founder Craig Limoli '12 were profiled as part of the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence theme for November 2020. These companies, and many others in the Princeton ecosystem, demonstrate Entrepreneurship the Princeton Way: in the Nation’s service and the service of humanity. 

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