NewSchools is Looking for Ideas for the Future of Work
(Oakland, CA, February 22, 2018) – This week we’re excited to announce the opening of NewSchools’ latest ed tech funding opportunity, the NewSchools Ignite: Future of Work Challenge. This opportunity is open to entrepreneurs developing technology-enabled learning experiences, instructional content, learning diagnostics, administrative tools and other products that help middle and high school students develop skills and knowledge to help them succeed in the jobs of tomorrow. Applications are open through March 18.
This challenge, the sixth in the NewSchools Ignite series, was informed by conversations with students, educators and researchers from across the country about students’ experience transitioning from high school to college and careers. Based on this market research, we believe there is an urgent opportunity to strengthen the connection between school and work so all students can cultivate knowledge and skills that will unlock the jobs of tomorrow. The most promising innovations will support emerging efforts in schools and districts to empower students by:
- Weaving exploration of college and career pathways into core academic experiences;
- Enabling experiential learning that authentically connects school and work;
- Increasing access to college and career guidance, mentorship and counseling resources; and
- Creating new opportunities to earn and utilize credits, badges and other signals of competence and achievement.
As with past Ignite challenges, the NewSchools Ignite Future of Work Challenge is open to for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations in both early and growth stages and will award a total of $1.5 million in funding to up to 15 ventures developing digital tools with the potential to strengthen the connection between school and work. Challenge winners will receive individual investments ranging from $50,000 to $150,000, management assistance and access to research expertise as part of the ed tech accelerator’s unique virtual program, with no equity asked in return.
In partnership with education research nonprofit WestEd, Future of Work Challenge ventures will have highly customized ongoing support and guidance through product development and growth. Access to valuable small-scale research studies, feedback from special education experts, and field testing opportunities and evaluations are all part of the virtual accelerator program.
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