Why ROC: Second Avenue Learning

Why ROC

Second Avenue Learning is making a move to Rochester’s Tower 280 as it continues to grow its business.

CEO Tory Van Voorhis discussed the company’s focus and growth Wednesday in our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“We are an education technology company and we develop interactive, serious games and build out incredibly rich learning management systems for both the K-12 marketplace as well as the higher education landscape.,” said Van Voorhis.

Second Avenue Learning was founded 10 years ago.  “When we first started the company nobody understood what serious games or interactive were for education and now we’re seeing widespread adoption and it’s really helping to fuel our growth,” Van Voorhis said.

The move downtown has Van Voorhis excited.  “We’ve been out in the suburbs for the last 10 years in a great location, but as the company has grown and matured, it was really time for us to take the next step and move downtown,” she said.  “I wanted to get the team located in the hub of innovation that is evolving in Rochester so that they could feel like they were part of that bigger community.  And also, with the Strong National Museum of Play right around the corner and some of the really great things that the U of R and RIT are doing downtown, it was the right time for us.”

Greater acceptance of innovation has helped fuel Second Avenue Learning’s growth.  “When many of us went to school it was textbooks and chalk, and now everything has moved to mobile, and it’s on computers and kids are increasingly accessing their textbooks online, using interactives and serious games to learn,” said Van Voorhis.
 
A feature called Voters Ed is one example of how Second Avenue Learning is changing educational instruction.  “We created Voters Ed first in 2012 as a way of educating students and teachers about the way Presidents are elected in this country,” Van Voorhis said.  “It’s a very complicated process and we wanted to create a safe, no spin, no ads zone for students to be able to see the full history of the U.S. Presidential election, as well as to see poll data that was kept current.”
 
Van Voorhis said Rochester provides many of the resources necessary for Second Avenue Learning to thrive.  “It’s been a fabulous fit,” she said.  “We are really blessed here in the Rochester area to have the U of R, RIT and the Strong National Museum of Play, so we’re hiring some of those young graduates from the U of R’s computer science program, and the RIT game school.  We leverage the assets that have been collected by the Strong National Museum of Play, in terms of their digital collection, and so we have this great, creative hub and we bring all of those talents together in terms of learning design, subject matter expertise – we tap biologists, and chemists and physicists all the time locally – as well as keeping those artists and computer scientists that are graduating from these great programs here.”
 
To learn more about Second Avenue Learning, click here.
 
To learn more about Greater Rochester Enterprise, click here.
 
 
 
 
 

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