Get Schooled Scores a Spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Gaming List

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

The lighting-thumbed gamer diehards will nod in knowing agreement as they glance at Fast Company’s roll call of the 10 most innovative companies in gaming – streamer Twitch, gamemakers 2K and Activision Blizzard, founding father of modern gaming Nintendo. But the name at number nine might teach even the most seasoned gamer something brand new: Get Schooled, the non-profit organization whose primary mission is inspiring students to finish high school and succeed in college.

How exactly does an organization founded via a partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Viacom crash a who’s who of modern gaming giants? By adopting the fearless attitude and experimental dynamic of a Silicon Valley start-up driven to solve an complex problem.

“Get Schooled has a track record of success in part because we have adopted the principles of a high performing tech start up: we value partnerships, use data to continuously improve and have learned how to fail fast,” said Marie Groark, Executive Director of Get Schooled.

Those improvements have hinged upon a bold and vast adventure into gamification, a realm that many high school students know well and require no primer to engage with. The pivot began just two years after Get Schooled launched in 2010, transforming www.getschooled.com into an immersive gamified universe, where competition, point scoring and rules have engaged millions of young people, who can cash out their points for stuff like autographed gear from NBA and NFL stars, calculators or backpacks in a rewards store sponsored by the organization.

Students can also earn scholarships, or celebrity appearances by the likes of DJ Khaled, Nicki Minaj, James Harden, KeKe Palmer, Nick Cannon, Ne-Yo, Chance the Rapper and Ludacris. Check out Kendrick Lamar’s visit to Bethel High School in Alaska, a former “drop-out factory” that earned the visit by winning one of Get Schooled’s national points-based competitions:

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Big K.R.I.T. Speaks Out, Snoop Is Honored as DJ Khaled Hosts BET Hip Hop Awards

The annual BET Hip Hop Awards celebrates and showcases the year’s best in hip-hop culture, and 2016 was no exception. From Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, the awards dished out memorable honors and performances by some of the biggest names in the industry. This year’s Hip Hop Awards, hosted by major key himself DJ Khaled, left us wanting “another one.”

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Why? Check out some highlights below, then watch the rest here.

Let’s Get Things Moving

Take notes – this is how to open a show in style. Gucci Mane performed from his ninth studio album, Everybody Looking, alongside producer Zaytoven. Joined later on stage by Young Thug, Travis Scott and Migos Quavo, the artists set the stage for the Hip Hop Awards, teaming up to perform Pick Up the Phone. Watch it here.

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The 2015 BET Awards Dazzle and Electrify

The newly minted Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles was on fire Saturday night as the 15th annual BET Awards came to town. It was a night full of phenomenal performances, heartfelt speeches and unforgettable moments. The night’s top winners included Kendrick Lamar for Best Male Hip Hop Artist and in a three-way tie, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown won three awards each, followed by Oscar-winning film “Selma” and FOX’s “Empire,” which each took home two awards.

The evening also featured some throwback moments that paid tribute to the legends. Legendary recording artist and Motown executive Smokey Robinson received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He also performed “Tracks of My Tears,” “Cruisin’,” and a crowd sing-along to “My Girl,” with Tori Kelly, Robin Thicke and Ne-Yo. Check it out:


Hosts Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson captivated the crowd the entire night, thanks to their riffs on a range of hot topics and impersonating celebrities from Sam Smith to Cookie and Lucius from “Empire.” For a complete list of award winners and more information, click here.