Before NewSchools invests, we rigorously evaluate all potential ventures in the following areas:

ALIGNMENT: We invest in ventures with a mission grounded in transforming PK-12 public education, with a special focus on underserved students, including:

  •     African-American/Black students
  •     Hispanic/Latino students
  •     Students from low-income families
  •     Students with individualized education plans
  •     English Language Learners

Ventures must also align with one of our active investment strategies (Innovative Schools, Tools & Services, Leaders, DC Schools Fund II).

IDEA: We partner with entrepreneurs in the early stages of developing ambitious ideas with potential to dramatically improve student learning. Our long-term goal is to have a catalytic impact on student success nationally, so we focus on ventures with aspirations to expand their impact significantly over time by growing their organizations and/or influencing the work of others.

TEAM: We seek new and existing ventures led by mission-driven entrepreneurs who demonstrate passion, personal integrity and the ability to execute and get results. We expect our entrepreneurs to build high-functioning teams at all levels, particularly at the board and senior leadership levels, to ensure they are surrounded by individuals with the range of skills and backgrounds necessary to deliver on their venture’s vision. Ventures should be open to working closely with us and being an active member of learning networks with fellow portfolio members.

DIVERSITY: Our ventures must demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, specifically closing racial/ethnic demographic gaps between the students they serve and their senior leadership teams and boards. Given the demographics of the students we aim to serve, we are focusing our efforts on increasing the number of African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latino leaders.

FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY: We are ultimately interested in achieving impact at scale and it is impossible to scale models that rely on philanthropy to close a structural deficit. To that end, we look for ventures with a plan for achieving sustainability at scale through public or earned revenue.

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