The NewSchools Seed Fund
Meet some of our amazing entrepreneurs:
Through the Seed Fund, NewSchools invests in entrepreneurs developing education technology tools, applications, content, and services that will significantly improve education opportunities for children from low-income communities. The Seed Fund was created to make investments in early-stage, pre-Series A education technology companies often overlooked by, or too early for, the traditional investing community. The Seed Fund is led by NewSchools Partner Jennifer Carolan and is supported by Shauntel Poulson (Associate Partner), Eva Gonda Green (Strategic Initiatives) and David Havens (Analyst).
Seed Fund Core Investment Values
Impact – This venture has potential to disrupt existing, entrenched systems; transform the economics of education and/or elevate student achievement, ultimately impacting underserved student populations.
Uniqueness – The product or service is unique (via technology, partnerships or approach) in the marketplace giving it a competitive advantage.
Team – The founder has infectious passion and is intensely driven to solve a problem. The founding team is “hybrid” and possesses appropriate multi-discipline expertise to execute the project. Founder has demonstrated ability to attract talent and team is fast-moving.
Market – Market has been clearly defined, sizable and growing. A bottoms-up market analysis reveals overall potential market with staged, customer acquisition. Federal or state categorical funding possibilities have been researched and figured into model.
Stage – We invest early but want to see success on a micro-scale. Data from pilots or early adopters shows product is solving a problem. Venture may be developing customer partnerships or already have paying customers.
Funding Visibility – This venture is aligned with a category of potential follow-on investors (e.g. foundation mission driven investing, venture capital angel investors, etc) and may even be considered a pipeline investment for this particular group.
Capital Efficiency – The venture is capital efficient in both approach and business model. The venture has already demonstrated exceptional capital efficiency through an iterative and agile approach to building their product/service. Burn rate is kept low as they engage with their user/environment to validate impact. Business model leverages commodity technology with minimal customization between customers to enable a capital efficient product/service and sales model. Capital needs to reach sustainability or profitability are between $1-5m.
Connections Across the Portfolio – Company may have integrations with others in the portfolio and/or may be addressing a gap in the emerging API-based network.