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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Capstone Acquires Educational Software Company Portage Interactive

Capstone Acquires Educational Software Company Portage Interactive

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Aug. 5, 2010 – Capstone, the leading publisher of children’s books and digital products and services, has acquired Portage Interactive, LLC, an e-learning technology solutions company based out of Minneapolis. Founded in 1999, Portage Interactive has an extensive background in technology, product development, and audio and media automation for learning games and creativity tools for children.

"We acquired Portage Interactive because of their vast experience in the interactive market and are excited to add them to our team to help grow our digital products and solutions on a national and international scale ," said Tom Ahern, CEO of Capstone.

Over the course of a decade, Portage Interactive partnered with companies such as DreamWorks, Hewlett-Packard, the Learning Company (now Houghton Mifflin Learning Technologies), and PLATO Learning to develop interactive experiences for children, from the initial concept, art direction, and animation to development, production, and web design. Among its high-profile projects includes development work on versions of The Oregon TrailÒ and activity CDs for the animated movie classics Shrek 2ä, Shrek 3ä, Kung Fu Pandaä, Madagascarä, and Over the Hedgeä, which were translated into more than 10 languages and received worldwide promotion.

Portage Interactive built an introductory reading program for Learning Elements, sold to Plato Learning called Focus Reading and Language Program, which was recognized as an outstanding education technology curriculum product by Tech & Learning with a 2003 Award of Excellence. Portage Interactive also built and delivered their own products to market, including GradePad, an iPhone grading application, and TeamTreks, a project-based adventure game.  

"The creativity and expertise in the area of e-learning and product development that Portage Interactive brings will catapult our digital reading solutions into the education market,” said Todd Brekhus, Capstone Digital President.

Former partner at Portage Interactive and now Capstone Digital's Director of Development Mike Palmquist added, “The entire Portage Interactive team was excited by the innovative product vision that Capstone outlined and based on our experience we felt it was a perfect match. We plan on leveraging our expertise to develop a new generation of interactive learning environments for schools and students.”

Capstone Digital, the digital division of Capstone, formed in early 2010 and is quickly becoming an innovator in the education market with its award-winning digital products Capstone Interactive Libraryä and PebbleGoä Animals and Earth and Space. For more information on Capstone Digital, visit www.capstonedigital.com.

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About Capstone Digital
Capstone Digital, a division of Capstone, develops personalized learning environments and interactive resources.  Offerings include digital books, research databases and audio books, all designed to increase fluency and reading levels for PreK-9 students.  Using Capstone Digital products, students gain confidence in their abilities, take ownership in their reading growth, and achieve success across the curriculum.  For more information, visit www.CapstoneDigital.com.

About Capstone
Capstone is the leading publisher of children’s books and digital solutions, offering everything from nonfiction, fiction, and picture books to interactive books, ebooks and literacy programs. Imprints and divisions include Capstone Press, Compass Point Books, Picture Window Books, Stone Arch Books. Capstone Digital, and Heinemann-Raintree. For more information, visit www.CapstonePub.com.

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