May 7, 2008 – Santa Clara, CA – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and NewSchools Venture Fund today announced the creation of a multi-million dollar philanthropic venture fund focused on improving education in the United States. The NVCA-NewSchools K-12 Education Infrastructure Fund will invest in start-up organizations aiming to build high-performing public schools by developing innovative human capital solutions and performance tools. The Fund was officially opened at the NVCA Annual Meeting in Santa Clara before an audience of more than 700 venture capitalists.
“The K-12 Education Infrastructure Fund offers a meaningful way in which the venture capital community can engage in the critical process of improving education in our country in a manner that is highly relevant to our business,” said Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA. “We are very enthusiastic about partnering with NewSchools, an organization that has a proven track record of identifying and investing in education entrepreneurs who can make a real difference. We believe the NVCA membership will bring their strong ideals and commitment to success to this exciting project.”
Members of the NVCA can now contribute to The Fund as individuals or on a firm basis. NVCA members will not only have the opportunity to contribute financial resources to The Fund, but will also be in a position to mentor the young companies in which The Fund invests.
For every company in which The Fund invests, NVCA/NewSchools will hold a board seat and work actively with the management team to create a scalable, high-quality, and sustainable enterprise that has a demonstrable positive effect on student outcomes in areas of great need. These investments might include, but are not limited to, new recruitment training programs for teachers and principals, assessments and data systems to guide instruction and inform parents, and open-source solutions for curriculum and assessment.
Over the last ten years, NewSchools has managed three funds, totaling $125 million to date, and has used these funds to help grow more than 40 high-performing organizations, including Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools, Revolution Foods , and sixteen charter school management organizations that, at scale, will operate more than 300 schools and serve more than 100,000 children.
“Entrepreneurs backed by NewSchools are proving that all children can meet high standards if given the right tools and the right environment,” said Ted Mitchell, CEO of NewSchools. “We are thrilled to partner with NVCA, which has been a hub of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity across the economic spectrum.”
The NVCA-NewSchools K-12 Education Infrastructure Fund effort advances further the goals of the NVCA MAGNET USA Program, an initiative to promote U.S. competitiveness through improvements to education, immigration, research and development, and the US capital markets. Announced in 2006, MAGNET USA remains a cornerstone of the public policy and communications activities of the Association.
The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) represents approximately 480 venture capital and private equity firms. NVCA’s mission is to foster greater understanding of the importance of venture capital to the U.S. economy, and support entrepreneurial activity and innovation. According to a 2007 Global Insight study, venture-backed companies accounted for 10.4 million jobs and $2.3 trillion in revenue in the United States in 2006. The NVCA represents the public policy interests of the venture capital community, strives to maintain high professional standards, provides reliable industry data, sponsors professional development, and facilitates interaction among its members. For more information about the NVCA, please visit http://www.nvca.org.
About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that has been working since 1998 to transform public education for underserved children by supporting education entrepreneurs who create nonprofit and for-profit organizations that have the power to catalyze system-wide change. Its current investment strategy focuses on increasing the supply of high-quality public schools for underserved students, enabling traditional and charter school systems to become performance-driven in their practices, and enhancing the pipeline of talented people into and across the public school system. Its investments are designed to make a significant systemic impact in some of the nation’s most challenged urban communities, including New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Oakland, California. For more information, see https://www.newschools.org.
Communications Director, NewSchools Venture Fund
Director of Strategic Affairs, National Venture Capital Association