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NewSchools’ Strategy at a Glance

Over the past month, we have been sharing a couple of the pillars of our strategy going forward.  The infographic below captures our vision, rationale and approach in a more visual way.  We’re excited to share it, and even more excited about the work ahead.A quick note: in addition to these strategic focus areas, we have a continuing commitment to diversify education leadership and to generate high quality school choices in Washington, […] Read more

Investing in Tools & Services that Support Innovative Schools

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing some information about our investment strategy at NewSchools.In a January 13 blog post about innovative school models, I acknowledged we’re at the beginning of our work as an investor in schools that put more power in students’ hands and tailor learning to their individual needs.Then on January 26 we shared some news in EdSurge about our ed tech investing. For us, these investment areas […] Read more

ReimaginED 2015: Trends in K12 Education

ReimaginED 2015: Trends in K12 Education from David Havens We’re living in a time of tremendous technological change. In the next five years, another billion people will gain access to the internet. By 2020, 80% of the adults on Earth will have a smartphone, double what it is today. [1]We started the Seed Fund to seek out those places where technological change might be leveraged to improve education, and there is much to […] Read more

A closer look at K12 edtech funding in 2014

Bolstered by a strong Q1 and Q3, venture investment in K12 education technology was up 32% in 2014 totaling $642 million (data provided by EdSurge). The top ten investments accounted for over half the funding featuring large rounds in Desire2Learn, TeachersPayTeachers, Remind, and Clever. The NewSchools Seed Fund led and/or participated in twenty early-stage K12 edtech deals this year and reviewed over three hundred others.Here we share our annual analysis of K12 […] Read more

The Power of Video in Education and Our Investment in Zaption

Online video is central to the way in which 21st century learners digest and share information with one another.  According to comScore, 188 million people in the United States will watch 49 billion videos in just a day.  Online video consumption from individuals ages 12 to 17 represents over 13% of total video hours and is amongst the most rapidly growing demographics.In U.S. K-12, video has become a common modality for delivering […] Read more

Philanthropy’s Essential Role in K-12 Edtech and Strategies for Impact

Although “Record Levels of Edtech Funding” has been a recurring headline, there hasn’t been a focus on the role of philanthropy as the majority of funding is coming from the private sector. From our front line view as an active edtech seed investor, we see the need for diverse forms of capital to realize the full potential of technology to differentiate instruction and drive improved learning outcomes. With their long view of the market […] Read more

Data Analytics Tools in U.S. K-12

The use of data to influence decision-making isn’t new to K-12 education.  In fact, given the sheer amount of paperwork, surveys and test scores generated, education has the potential to be one of, if not the, most data-driven sector in the U.S., but too often the data that teachers and administrators are saddled with is untimely or inactionable. We’re excited to see that change.Over recent years, a slew of next generation data […] Read more

Investment Approaches of the Seed Fund – Part III

Tools to Differentiate Instruction in a One-Size-Fits-All Education SystemLast weekend, I sat in a sewing class with my ten year old daughter and was surprised to learn that ⅓ of our day would be dedicated to programming our sewing machines. The room full of women, most over sixty years old, happily embraced the automation of tasks like embroidery now possible thanks to the software running their machines. Marc Andreesen is right – Software […] Read more

Where are K-12 Edtech Venture Backed Startups Based?

This is the first post in a series to spotlight trends in K-12 edtech venture funding data.Advantageous location of a startup is no substitute for a great product or entrepreneur, but it may increase the odds of success. In edtech, early success for a startup often hinges on access to talent, early-stage funding, high-quality accelerators, research partnerships and innovation-friendly school districts.According to year-to-date K-12 edtech venture funding data provided by EdSurge, the […] Read more

Investment Approaches of the Seed Fund- Part II

Last week I shared some of our thinking behind our investments in STEM, relevance and communication, found here. With this post, I’ll share our approach for investing in special education and english language learning.Specialized Tools Can Better Reach Children Outside of the Mainstream While traditional venture capital has backed consumer-oriented english language learning tools like Rosetta Stone, Livemocha and more recently, mobile apps like Duolingo, we take a very different approach. We target tools for […] Read more