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Announcing the Catapult 2015 Cohort

Earlier this summer, we launched NewSchools Catapult, the first endeavor of our new Innovative Schools strategy.  Its purpose is simple, yet bold: to create a bellwether for innovation in PreK-12 education by supporting the most promising school teams from around the country in creating the kinds of incredible, life-altering schools that our students deserve.This was a highly competitive selection process; we received over 80 applications for our two programs, Catapult Invent and Catapult […] Read more

NewSchools Catapult: 1 Week Countdown, Early Observations

Earlier this summer, we released NewSchools Catapult, an opportunity for innovative, new schools with plans to launch in Fall 2016 to apply for early-stage investment from us.  Its goal over the next several years is to propel successive waves of education entrepreneurs to launch new schools – the kinds of incredible, life-altering schools that can truly prepare our students to pursue their most ambitious dreams. In keeping with our mission and core values, our focus […] Read more

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

Educate78 Launches in Oakland

I am excited to introduce Educate78, an Oakland-based not-for-profit spin off from NewSchools Venture Fund.We chose the name “Educate78” because the city of Oakland is 78 square miles, and our mission is to ensure that every student, in every neighborhood of Oakland, has access to world-class public schools. We will do this through informed giving and strategic initiatives.The time is right to focus on Oakland. The city’s robust and vibrant community of […] Read more

Our Commitment to Diversifying Education

Many education reformers ask, “Why should we focus on closing the demographic gap between the children we serve and the leaders of the ed reform movement?”Our answer is simple. Research shows that diversity matters, and a sustainable education reform movement requires a community to participate in its own liberation to achieve the practice of freedom.  As the UNCF Done to Us, not With Us project reported, “the history of social change, like the […] Read more

New Talent to Support Our Strategy

A couple of weeks ago we shared an infographic about our strategic direction over the next few years.New folks are joining the team with the background and skills we need to invest in and support entrepreneurs in our priority areas. Here’s an up to date look at new members of our innovative schools and tools & services investment teams.Innovative Schools teamScott Benson joined us at the beginning of February to lead this […] 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

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