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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

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

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

Investment Approaches of the Seed Fund- Part I

Our Seed Fund supports high potential entrepreneurs developing technology solutions for the biggest challenges in K-12 education. We look for areas where the power of technology can improve our education system and its ability to maximize the learning potential of every child. We borrow our approach from venture capital¹ in that we develop investment theses informed by listening to educators, researching technology trends, studying student achievement data, and listening closely to the […] Read more