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Launching NewSchools Catapult: Invent 2015

At NewSchools Venture Fund, we have always had a great affection for early-stage school entrepreneurs who are (re)imagining, (re)designing, and (re)creating the student experience and we are truly excited by all the school leaders realizing these visions in schools and getting great results for students.One of the more famous early innovators, Leonardo daVinci, not only excelled at painting and sculpture, but was also skilled in science, mathematics, engineering, inventing, and architecture, among […] Read more

Tell Us Your Big Idea! Launching Pre-Application Surveys to Gather Info on Innovative Schools

Earlier this year we shared our strategy for 2015 and beyond.  A major pillar of our strategy is to invest in teams of educators across the U.S. who are designing schools that prepare and inspire each and every student to reach his or her most ambitious dreams and plans.  We aim to support schools that set bold goals for their students and embrace an expanded definition of student success that includes high academic […] Read more

DC Education Innovation Fellowship: Teachers as Innovators

Together with the CityBridge Foundation in Washington, DC, NewSchools launched the Education Innovation Fellowship program in 2013.  This yearlong program introduces teacher leaders to the most promising innovations in personalized learning and offers them opportunities to pilot personalized learning models in their schools.  The Fellowship program includes local and national school visits, workshops, seminars, guest speakers, and technology demonstrations.  Fellows design and lead personalized learning pilot programs during the summer and expand […] Read more

Trip Notes: SXSWedu 2015

Last week I was in Austin for SXSWedu, which I’ve attended every year since its launch. I thought I’d share some excerpts from my trip notes:Shark tank has jumped the shark at South-By. Several sessions used the popular television show for inspiration. Here’s a rundown on three of them:Teachers could pitch their classroom innovation ideas to judges and a studio audience in a shark tank edu session, followed by a shark-tank themed […] Read more

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

Redesigning Schools for Today’s Students and Beyond

Over the last few years, the education community has heard plenty of buzz about the growth in education technology and digital learning. For instance, as New Schools’ Seed Fund team highlighted in a December blog, overall investment in ed tech companies once again rose significantly in 2014. And since last October when the White House launched Future Ready, an effort to support school districts and charter networks as they incorporate more digital […] 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