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Innovators in Education

After 15 years of working to improve education by supporting and enabling the ideas and efforts of passionate innovators, instead of looking back, NewSchools Venture Fund is looking 15 years further down the road. We believe that looking toward the future is key to preparing for it. We also believe that the best way to understand the future is to listen to those creating it. Hear from NewSchools entrepreneurs about the challenges facing education, the solutions they are creating and the visions of the future informing and driving their work forward. Read more

Live from Summit 2013– Hour of Power One

Welcome to Summit 2013′s first Hour of Power networking session. As conference participants power network over a cup of coffee sharing business cards and discussing the ideas of “frustrated optimist” Thomas Friedman, we were privileged to visit with some of the innovative individuals, organizations and companies helping to usher in the next generation of education technology.Combining gaming with instruction, Sifteo provides a portable platform – the Sifteo cube – and new hands-on […] Read more

Please Touch the Technology

Some innovations just don’t make sense until you actually get your hands on them: Fun dip. Silly putty. Education technology. For this reason, Summit 2013 features 21 different education technology companies and their tools in one room on tablets, phones, laptops, and desktops. Participants can walk around the interactive exhibit, which we designed to mimic an expository museum aesthetic rather than a trade show, and play with digital content, tools, and platforms. The […] 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

Elevating the Educator Voice: Reflections on SXSWedu 2013

Now that I have recovered from the flurry of activity that took place at this year’s SXSWedu conference, I have started to reflect on what I hope to see at next year’s conference as well as what I personally would have done differently. I enjoyed hearing the latest on personalization, data analytics, game-based learning, and the Maker movement and was impressed with the passionate entrepreneurs who went through great lengths to pitch to me. However, I left the conference wishing I had built more connections with educators and school leaders. 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

Headphones on, heads up

Driving down 101 on the way to one of three Seed Fund events NewSchools hosted yesterday in the Bay Area, my colleague Michael Staton (@mpstaton) demystified the allure of start-up culture: “Caitlin, it’s 14-hour days staring at a Mac with headphones on.” There it is. And when you multiply those long days by the coefficients of persistence and grit seasoned entrepreneurs like Alex Grodd and Bill Jackson relied on to build BetterLesson and GreatSchools, that’s […] Read more

Towards a Better Place

I recently spoke with an administrator at a large urban school district and he expressed his frustration with the sheer number of education vendors he is charged with managing. He has no idea which teachers are using which technologies and what’s working. Similarly, the infographic below depicts the numerous technology applications a K–12 teacher might be tapping into throughout his/her day.No doubt, most schools are in an awkward stage of technology integration […] Read more

The NewSchools Seed Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund is excited to announce the launch of the Seed Fund, an initiative to support high-impact, K-12 education technology companies. We’ve been supporting education entrepreneurs for 13 years through four funds and have invested over $180 million dollars in some of the leading education organizations—including, Aspire, KIPP, BetterLesson, GreatSchools, Revolution Foods and Education Elements. We’ve had the great privilege of collaborating with many entrepreneurs during the earliest stages—including Don Shalvey […] Read more