Meet some of our amazing entrepreneurs: 

NewSchools Seed Fund invests in entrepreneurs developing education technology tools, applications, content, and services to improve education opportunities for all children. The Seed Fund also acts as a catalyst, inspiring and enabling traditional and non-traditional tech investors to provide capital to the fast-growing ed tech market.

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), David Havens (Senior Analyst) and Vivek Murali (Associate).

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to apply to the Seed Fund please Submit Your Idea through our entrepreneur center.

If you’re an angel or investor looking for information on and introductions to exciting education and edtech startups take a minute to fill out our AngelEd Form.

To learn more about edtech innovation and what’s top of mind for the Seed team, check out their most recent blog posts:

Seed Fund’s office is located in Palo Alto at 532 Emerson Street on the 2nd Floor.

Learn more about Seed Fund investments.

Locomotive LabsMytonomyNearpodNewsela

Learn more about all NewSchools edtech investments.

Seed Fund Donors & Advisory Board

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Seed Fund Advisory Board and Donors:

Advisory Board

            Seed Fund Donors

  • Ron Beller
  • Allison Bhusri
  • Wayee Chu
  • Emily-Dalton Smith
  • John Danner
  • Joe Gleberman
  • Ted Mitchell
  • Jen Moses
  • Micah Sagabiel
  • Lisa and Matt Sonsini
  • Rick Williams
  • Shawn and Brook Byers
  • Laura DeBonis and Scott Nathan
  • Patience and John Yi
  • J.A. and Katheryn Albertson Foundation
  • The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The Sobrato Family Foundation
  • The Wasserman Foundation
  • NewSchools and all of our generous 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.

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