Innovation Blog

Top 26 Spotlight: EdTrips, Ashton Instruments,…




EdTrips, founded by Jakob Garrow and Laura Wallendel alongside their CTO Jillian Kando, is one of the Top 26 at this years MassChallenge Accelerator Program. The company is called EdTrips and we sat down with Jakob to get a better understanding of who they are and what they do.

EdTrips primary goal is to make field trips easy for organizers and to also drive more traffic to educational destinations by consolidating the booking and payment of trips among the multiple destinations that they serve. The system saves time, allowing teachers to have more opportunities to book more trips for the children.

EdTrips started off by Jakob and his co-founder realizing the impact their travel experiences had on their growth. Experience is the most powerful tool we have in education said Jakob and the inspiration behind Edtrips was the ability to allow kids to learn not just inside of the classroom, but outside as well

When Jakob and his co-founder arent in the office, which is very rare, they both enjoy cooking and spending time with their significant others as much as they can. The startup life can be hard.

Since Jakob and EdTrips spend so much time in the office, they had a chance to really get to know the other startups at MassChallenge. When asked which finalist was his favorite, Jakob immediately said Jess Meets Ken.

Ashton Instruments


These are James and Bill. Together they form Ashton Instruments.James and Bill, both avid cyclists, are focused on building a new design of cycling power meters. A power meter shows you, in Watts, how hard youre pushing your bike so you can track your performance during training and racing. James and Bill describe power meters as very helpful and fun but also super expensive, something way out of our price range. So Ashton Instruments was born to develop a low cost bicycle power meter for the everyday cyclist.

In order to get to know our startups better, we often ask them to name a few activities they enjoy when they arent slaving away at the office. For Ashton Instruments, its obvious – cycling! For James and Bill, even 8am morning meetings are often taken on the bike.

Working in an open office environment gives many chances to get to know the different startups that also occupy the MassChallenge space. For Ashton Instruments, their favorite startup is BeatFarm, a company that developed an app that mixes music in real time while the person is engaging in a sport – a sport like cycling!



Meet Jennifer and Sam Feller, founders of the company Refleece. Refleece, a Social Impact startup, is a Top 26 Finalist this year.

Refleece partners with clothing companies in order to upscale their waste and turn them into modern accessories. The inspiration behind their company started when the couple met while folding fleece as sales associates at the Patagonia store on Newbury St. in their twenties.

They viewed Patagonia as a very earnest and idealistic company and as they went off to pursue other opportunities, Patagonias mission and business model always stayed in the back of their minds.

As Sam started working at Patagonias corporate office as a designer and Jennifer dove into non-profit life, they looked to solve a dilemma that plagued them for many years before hand: creating a profitable product that can still save the Earth. Over 2 billion lbs of clothes are thrown away each year by clothing companies, creating huge environmental footprints. Jennifer and Sam decided to stop talking about the problem and solve it. Thus, Refleece came into being.

As an environmentally friendly company, Jennifer and Sam love to be outside as much as they can. When not in the office, Sam enjoys surfing, skiing, and sailing all year round while Jennifer enjoys hiking and cross country skiing.

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