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Posts by Jennifer Carolan

Startups Should Prioritize Sustainability over Fundraising

Startup guru and author of The Startup Owner’s Manual, Steve Blank wrote a great blog post this week on raising money titled “Fund raising is a means not an end” and I couldn’t agree more. I worry about this increased focus on raising money over building a sustainable business – for both for-profits and not for profits. The education-oriented endeavors are particularly at risk due to less scrutiny of their business models […] Read more

Seed Fund Investing Values

When Wayee and I launched this Seed Fund in late 2011, we started with this set of investment principles to guide our evaluation process though realizing that every company is unique and early stage investing is not a precise science. I’d like to share these principles in an effort to make the investing process more open and transparent. Read more

‘Tis the season

“If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible — from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.”—President Barack ObamaWe all know that our school system needs help.  That our kids are not prepared well in comparison to their counterparts in other developed countries.  We know achievement gaps persist. While the gap between white and […] Read more

Introducing Jason Singer, our new entrepreneur-in-residence

Almost a year ago nearly to the day, at an edtech holiday party, I met Jason Singer, who shared his idea for an interactive e-reader with me.  I was hoping he would act on his idea but as principal of KIPP King Collegiate High School and with a young family at home, I knew he had a full load.Fast forward a year later and Jason has launched his company, Gobstopper, recruited a […] Read more

A closer look at edtech funding for K-12 startups

Last night at a packed Silicon Valley meetup, I joined Alan Louie of ImagineK12 and Nari Ansari of Technology Crossover Ventures for a panel discussion of edtech investing. It was inspiring to see so many education entrepreneurs eager to network and learn more about funding opportunities. In this spirit we’d love to share with you an analysis of K-12 (no higher ed included) funding by stage for 2012 and the funders who […] Read more

rational [edtech] exuberance

­­I’ve been enjoying the thoughtful pieces on the increased excitement about education technology from Frank Catalano in GeekWire, Betsy Corcoran in All Things D and Audrey Watters in Hack Education.  From our vantage point at NewSchools, the excitement is palpable. Our education technology pipeline has increased 5x from last year and at least 10x from 2010.  Educators in our portfolio schools are energized by the new teacher tools, blended learning supports and […] Read more

The Innovation Challenge

Today marks the start of the Citi Innovation Challenge, which will culminate in a live pitch session at NBC News’ “Education Nation” Summit on Tuesday, September 25th. For a second year, NewSchools is partnering with NBC and Citi to design and carry out the Innovation Challenge. This year’s Challenge will feature three startups: ReadImagine, Pathbrite and NoRedInk. I’m excited about this year’s Challenge because now more then ever, we need the optimism and […] Read more

Welcome Mytonomy!

The NewSchools Seed Fund looks for spots in the K-12 landscape where technology can support, enhance and personalize learning, especially for those students who need it most. To this end, we’re excited to welcome a new, early-stage technology company that helps high schools support their students’ quest for college. By capturing short video alumni stories, graduates pay it forward by offering candid advice and inspiration to current students. It’s called Mytonomy and it’s […] Read more