Return to site


Seattle-based Startup, posed2, Inc., Awarded Competitive, Innovation
Grant from the National Science Foundation

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

Seattle, Washington, January 1, 2018 – posed2, Inc. has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $224,885, to conduct research and development on an algorithmic approach to college and career match, through a mobile app scheduled to launch Spring 2018.

“Most incoming college freshman say that ‘getting a better job’ is the primary reason to go to school. And yet, most college seniors feel unprepared to enter the work place,” said Dr. Allison Rosenberg, founder and CEO of posed2, Inc. “At posed2, we believe helping young folks understand where they want to go after they graduate from college, before they apply to school, can help contain the cost of college and increase the value of a degree. We’re the only startup in the rapidly expanding, AI industry harnessing the power of machine learning and the stickiness of video games to personalize college-to-career planning.” Rosenberg received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Harvard. She has served as a senior executive at several top universities – including the University of California System; UNC Chapel Hill; and Iowa State University -- and at Microsoft.

This project reflects the growing importance of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics in higher education and workforce training. posed2’s team of behavioral and data scientists, game designers, and software engineers, are creating video games that identify a college applicant’s best career fit, using micro-behaviors from in-game play. The company’s recommendation engine then identifies the college and course of study best suited to launch a graduate’s career successfully. Collaborators from the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will illuminate factors that promote a player's understanding of why specific recommendations are made, and how those factors influence trust and intention to pursue those recommendations.

“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cuttingedge 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.”

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $225,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales. 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 the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit: To learn more about posed2, visit:

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards roughly $200 million annually to startups and small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. The non-dilutive grants support research and development (R&D) across almost all areas of science and technology helping companies de-risk technology for commercial success. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. here.