News Release – NewSchools is Looking to Fund Up to $8 Million in New Investments

August 1, 2018

Starting an innovative school or supporting diverse education leaders?

(Oakland, CA, August 1, 2018) — NewSchools Venture Fund is excited to announce funding opportunities are now open for two investment areas: Innovative Schools and Diverse Leaders. For teams of educators and entrepreneurs who are either dreaming of opening a new innovative school or interested in growing, advancing and supporting Black and Latino leadership in education, this opportunity could provide the funding to launch a new venture. Up to $8 million in total funding is now available.

NewSchools supports innovators who are tackling the challenge of making sure every young person in America finishes high school prepared and inspired to create and live the life they want – a good life, full of opportunity, choices, connection and meaning. To reach this aspiration, students need a strong academic foundation and other important mindsets, habits and skills. NewSchools supports diverse teams of educators and entrepreneurs who are reimagining education so more students have learning opportunities designed for this purpose.

“This is a great opportunity for innovators with the vision and skills to reimagine learning. In addition to funding support, NewSchools provides management assistance to help entrepreneurs take their ideas from concepts to reality,” said Frances Messano, Senior Managing Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund. “Our team is looking for bold ideas from new voices because too often, education philanthropy goes to those who are already connected to funders or successful founders. We want to cast a broader net.”

While both the Innovative Schools and Diverse Leaders investment areas will launch new funding opportunities on August 1, the opportunities will close at different times. Diverse Leaders will close on Sept. 7, 2018 and Innovative Schools will close Nov. 26, 2018. In addition to funding, the selected ventures also receive management assistance and opportunities to collaborate within a cohort of other organizations selected for this round of funding.

For more information about these two funding opportunities, please visit the NewSchools website and see below.

Innovative Schools – NewSchools invests in innovative schools all over the country, within districts and charter networks, that embrace an expanded definition of student success, which we define as strong academics combined with important mindsets, habits and skills. These innovative schools are using new approaches to ensure students’ learning experiences are more personalized – tailored to their individual needs, skill levels and interests.

Regardless of what future a young person might plan to pursue, he or she needs a strong academic foundation. But it’s not enough. The schools we invest in also help students build mindsets, habits and skills like curiosity, growth mindset, perseverance, self-awareness, self-efficacy, self-regulation and social awareness/ social competence, which emerging research shows are correlated with long-term success.

Our investments in the Innovative Schools strategy include new schools through our Invent program and redesigned schools. However, this particular funding opportunity will focus only on new schools planning to launch in Fall 2020. Using a rigorous due diligence process, we will select the most promising teams of educators and support them through the critical planning and early implementation phases. Funding of $200,000 includes participation in a cohort experience to help teams refine their designs and prepare for launch in one year. Submissions are due Nov. 26, 2018, and ventures will be selected in March 2019.

Diverse Leaders – Investing in leadership has always been an important factor in reimagining education, and it has long been a part of the NewSchools strategy. A current talent challenge is diversifying the leadership ranks of education organizations.

Today’s young people are the most diverse generation in our nation’s history. In fact, 40 percent of PreK-12 students are Black or Latino and more than half identify as a person of color. If we are going to reimagine learning so it works better for every student, we need the best ideas from everyone.  Supporting diverse leadership is a priority in our Innovative Schools and Ed Tech investment areas. We also have a dedicated investment area, Diverse Leaders, to invest in organizations that are:

  • Recruiting new Black and Latino leaders into education
  • Accelerating the careers of Black and Latino leaders already working in education
  • Creating networks of Black and Latino leaders
  • Building the capacity of education organizations to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive
  • Influencing the field to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive in areas such as research, design, policy, and/or advocacy

Our aim is to see Black and Latino leaders represent at least 40 percent of PreK-12 education leadership, mirroring the racial and ethnic representation of U.S. students. This funding opportunity is open to entrepreneurs with ambitious ideas focused on growing, advancing and supporting Black and Latino leadership in education. Funding is in the range of $100,000-$200,000, and submissions are due by Sept. 7, 2018. Ventures will be selected in December 2018.


About NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund is a nonprofit venture philanthropy that invests in promising teams of educators and entrepreneurs with the vision and skills to reimagine learning. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the students, educators and schools they serve. We are committed to helping students finish high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investing, management assistance, network building and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine PreK-12 education.