Along with the recognition of the fastest growing private companies in Brazos County, an education technology company has been acknowledged for its work in its early years.
At the 2022 Bryan Rotary 10 Business Performance Awards held June 22, software studio Alula Learning received the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation’s Launch Award, presented annually to a local company in existence less than five years.
Alula is focused on alleviating the reading struggles of millions of Americans, including young people with dyslexia, through a curriculum driven by gameplay.
“The Brazos Valley, as we all know, is a very special place,” said Alula Founder/CEO Jeff McDougall. “My wife and I have raised five children and four businesses here. Thankfully, all the children have experienced a successful exit. I’m still working on two of the businesses.”
BVEDC Board Chair Elect Katherine Kleemann presented the Launch Award to McDougall and his team.
The centerpiece of the annual ceremony is the honoring of the ten fastest growing companies in Brazos County. Dudley Engineering earned top honors for 2022 with 271 percent growth from 2019 to 2021. Stafford Barrett Commercial Brokerage placed second with 191 percent growth in the same period.
Both Dudley and Stafford Barrett are members of Invest Brazos Valley (IBV), the BVEDC’s private investment group.
Qualified applicants for the 2022 Bryan Rotary 10 were independent, privately held, not a franchise, in business for at least five years, headquartered in Brazos County, and had sales of more than $50,000 but less than $25 million in Fiscal Year 2021. An economist at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School calculated the applicants’ entries to determine the top ten.
West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry, also an IBV member, was presented with the Anco Insurance Award for Lifetime Business Achievement. Anco is the title sponsor for the Bryan Rotary 10 Awards, and its lifetime honor has been presented to Brazos County companies since 1998.
The Rotary Club of Bryan was chartered in 1921. Its Business Performance Awards are presented in cooperation with the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce.
Alula Learning is a software studio founded on the mission to provide dignity, self-esteem, and hope to the millions of Americans who struggle with the basic human necessity of reading.
It is estimated that one-in-five school-age children in the United States are dyslexic. However, most will never be identified as dyslexic or receive reading intervention. The impact of illiteracy is devastating to children, their parents, and ultimately, society. At present, 21 percent of U.S. adults are illiterate. Alula Learning believes this is unacceptable, but that there is an answer.
The Alula team has created and patented a scalable delivery method for reading intervention that incorporates the best practices of structured literacy education. The company has transformed a one-on-one educational curriculum into an immersive world where a student’s attentiveness is driven by an interactive story and digital gameplay. Alula Learning is working to expand the nation’s capacity to address the epidemic of illiteracy.
“The Brazos Valley provides companies with a prime location for innovation and commercialization,” said BVEDC President/CEO Matt Prochaska. “Specifically, our tech sector continues to grow with the amazing talent from companies like Alula Learning headed by Jeff McDougal and his team. Alula is making a global impact in eliminating illiteracy, and we are proud to present their impressive team with our Launch Award to further help their growth as they address this vital need for our children and future generations."