Investment Criteria

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

ALIGNMENT: We invest in ventures with  missions grounded in reimagining PreK-12 public education, with a special focus on students from underserved communities, 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, Ed Tech, Diverse Leaders).

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, EQUITY AND INCLUSION: We believe teams that are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are better equipped to meet the needs of the students and communities they serve. We seek teams that embrace this commitment by developing comprehensive strategies to prioritize DEI in their organizations, confronting issues of race, class and privilege, and recruiting racially and ethnically diverse board members, leadership teams and staff to reflect the students they serve.

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.