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Tinkercast Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation to Develop Interactive Listening Comprehension Platform

Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Seed Funding for R&D

Montclair, NJ


FEBRUARY 4, 2019- Tinkercast is honored to announce that it has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work to revolutionize how listening comprehension is taught and subsequently increase the number of students reading at grade level at a critical time in their development.

In 2017, Tinkercast began a media movement with the launch of the breakout podcast for kids, Wow in the World. Since its launch, Wow in the World has been downloaded over 20 million times, inspiring listeners to put down their screens and look up at the amazing things happening in the world of science, technology and innovation.  Fusing this compelling podcast content with game-based learning best practices, Tinkercast intends to innovate the way teachers approach their Common Core state requirements for listening comprehension and get kids playing and laughing along the way.

“Tinkercast was founded with the belief that well-told stories can create incredible learning outcomes for children”, said Meredith Halpern-Ranzer, Tinkercast’s Chief Executive Tinkerer and Co-founder. “We are so honored the National Science Foundation has given us the opportunity to develop an innovative platform that will get many more children excited to put on their listening ears and improve their overall chances for academic success.”

“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses twice annually in June and December. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.

To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit:

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7.8 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering

About Tinkercast™

Tinkercast is the leading producer of high-quality educational audio programs for curious kids and their grown-ups. Founded in 2017 by three media veterans, parents and storytellers (Meredith Halpern-Ranzer, Guy Raz, and Mindy Thomas), Tinkercast provides a creative alternative to screen time with its unique combination of comedy and conversation that engages the minds of the whole family. The company’s premiere podcast, Wow in the World, leads curious kids on a creative, auditory journey into the most amazing stories in science, technology and new discoveries. Distributed by NPR, Wow in the World is NPR’s first kids and family program in its 47-year history. Since its launch May 2017, the show is leading the quickly growing list of kids podcasts with over 1 million downloads per month. To learn more, connect with us at Tinkercast.comFacebookTwitter and Instagram.