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Company Bio: (excerpted from the Valiant website)

Valiant Technology started in 1985 with the launch of the robot Turtle. Originally founded through an Anglo American alliance between CEO Dave Catlin and the late Professor Tom Stonier, a New Yorker working in the UK. The company aimed at combining good education practice and design to create great educational products. They have pursued this ideal ever since, as testified by their long string of innovative and educational awards.

Valiant now has offices in London and Chicago, where it trades as Valiant USA. As a matter of policy it keeps its staff levels small and networks with a wide range of people from educators to illustrators: from programmers to eccentrics.

Valiant USA Company Backgrounder

While Valiant USA was launched in January 2004, Valiant Technology’s U.S. operations started in 1992. Valiant USA is a subsidiary of Valiant Technology Ltd. of London, England.

The Company’s Founding

Valiant Technology Ltd. was founded in April 1985 by the late professor Tom Stonier and Dave Catlin, the Managing Director. In the early 1980’s, New York native Stonier opened and headed the School of Science and Technology at the University of Bradford in England. Technology and education were a natural interest.

Stonier established the educational credentials of the company and, though he passed away in 1999, his philosophy still underpins the whole company rationale. The combination of Stonier’s vision and Catlin’s design flair created a set of award-winning products. The first product was Turtle, a classic Logo-based device that looks like a turtle and provides a tool for students to investigate a particular field of knowledge. It is still remembered by many American teachers. The Valiant Turtle was included in the book, Best of British Design, published by the UK’s Design Council.

Roamer, a robot with its own on-board Logo program, was launched in 1990. It is a testimony to its educational value that Valiant still sells the product nearly 17 years later. Roamer won the inaugural “BETT Award” as Best Primary Product in 1998 and also received a “Millennium Award.” Valiant is currently developing a next-generation educational robot based on Roamer.

Valiant followed Roamer robot with the development of a hands-on design technology product called Inventa, which also won “Millennium” product status and the “Horner’s Award” for the “most innovative design using plastic” – awarded by the British Plastics Federation.

In 2002, the company was awarded the prestigious “Queen’s Award for Innovation” in recognition of its track record in creative and useful educational product designs.

MathAmigo for Handheld Technologies

In 1998, Valiant started the research that would lead to MathAmigo. The decision came in response to the objectives of the State Systemic Initiatives. Catlin explains:

Our products have always been cross-curricular and very constructivist. While we still hold those beliefs, we felt teachers needed some practical help in preparing lessons. So we set up a study group to look at the problem. It was during that time that I had the inspiration to look at creating a math machine. We found some excellent research on the use of devices like TI’s, Little Professor, etc. This was done in the early 1980s at Southampton University in England. The work clearly showed the idea had potential to solve many of the problems we saw math teachers facing in schools. Our further studies and the NCET’s research on Integrated Learning Systems like Success Maker really showed that portable handheld technology was essential if we are to bring the full advantage of technology to the classroom.

After four years of research and development, Valiant created MathAmigo, a K-8 standardsbased math software system. This included making a specific handheld device now called Classic MathAmigo to run the software. Much of the practical testing was done at school sites in the United States. Then in 2003, the company became aware of PalmOne’s efforts and launched a version for Palm OS devices, plus the AlphaSmart Dana. Valiant again expanded the software system in 2005 to be compatible with more operating systems and devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets, and handhelds that use the Windows and Windows Mobile platform.

Valiant USA, a Subsidiary of Valiant Technology Ltd.

At the start of 2004, the company reorganized its U.S. operation and started distributing its products under its new subsidiary, Valiant USA. Nancy Kokat still runs the day-today operations. After leaving GoKnow, Debbie DeSousa joined the operation to manage marketing development. As a result the company has established MathAmigo in a large number of school districts and partnered with AlphaSmart and Educational Resource Services for distribution. Valiant USA is working with several American universities including Rutgers University Center for Math and Science Education and Medgar Evers College plus the Education Technology Think Tank to assist schools in closing the achievement gap and improving educational outcomes for the most disadvantaged students. These partnerships are also helping to generate more enthusiasm for science and math, ensuring America’s students are prepared for jobs in an increasingly digital and global environment. Recently, Valiant earned congressional recognition from U.S. Rep. Major Owens (D-NY) and a partnership award from the Education Technology Think Tank for its collaborative work to improve math teaching and learning.


--Nancy Kokat, Valiant USA, 888-366-6628,
--Charlene Blohm, C. Blohm & Associates, Inc., 608-839-9800,


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