FastBridge Learning spun out of University of Minnesota in 2015 and has been picked up by edtech firm Illuminate Education.

FastBridge Learning, a US-based curriculum assessment software tool developer spun out of University of Minnesota, has been bought by education technology provider Illuminate Education for an undisclosed sum.

The deal marks the eighth acquisition or public listing for a University of Minnesota-founded company since 2017.

Founded in 2015, FastBridge Learning offers a data-fuelled assessment framework called Formative Assessment System for Teachers (Fast) that enables schools to monitor and measure the progress of individual students in reading, mathematics and behavioural development.

Teachers can use FastBridge’s software tools to form lesson plans tailored to academic ability, set assessments to track student progress and to identify scope for teaching adjustments based on data collected by the platform.

The tools are suitable for assessing kindergarten, junior and high school children, and have been used in 46 US states, including a statewide commission for schools across Iowa.

The acquisition will integrate FastBridge’s offering with Illuminate Education’s range of teacher support software tools, which already includes data-driven student assessment functionality, though FastBridge will continue to operate as a distinct subsidiary.

The Fast software was pioneered in the lab of Theodore Christ, professor of educational psychology in University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, and then spun out with assistance from the Venture Center at University of Minnesota’s tech commercialisation unit.

FastBridge does not appear to have disclosed details of equity funding, though the research team received a competitive grant award from the US Department of Education in 2005.