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 Managing Director Jennifer Carolan and is supported by Shauntel Poulson (Principal), Eva Gonda Green (Director of Portfolio Development) and David Havens (Senior Analyst).
If you are an entrepreneur looking to apply to the Seed Fund please Submit Your Idea through our entrepreneur center.
To learn more about edtech innovation and what’s top of mind for the Seed team, check out their most recent blog posts:
- Socrates Meets Edtech: 51 Questions that Teach
- One Giant Step Forward for Education
- A closer look at K12 edtech venture funding in 2013
- Who’s Funding K-12 Edtech?
- ReimaginED: The Future of K12 Education
- The NewSchools Notebook: tech, teaching, and inspiration
- “Read, Write, Code” say CodeHS founders and winners of NBC Innovation challenge
- Beyond Data to Insights and Action
- Book Smarts vs Street Smarts: aka Edtech Founders as Action Researchers
Seed Fund’s office is located in Palo Alto at 532 Emerson Street on the 2nd Floor.
Seed Fund Donors & Advisory Board
Our work wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Seed Fund Advisory Board and Donors:
Seed Fund Donors
The Seed Fund Investment Philosophy
Our team seeks out investments in the that meet the following criteria:
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.