Innovation in education is an important factor contributing to a better shared future for us all. Luckily, there is a healthy investment ecosystem feeding this important cause. Today, we are recognizing 45 investors, incubators and new school engines powering the learning revolution, and taking the opportunity to also highlight recent projects that we’ve been fortunate to work with some of these investors on.
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: With a focus on improving education through innovation, investments include building on and sharing effective tools, strategies, and standards with educators, school leaders, and nonprofit partners.
- Carnegie Corporation: A leader in innovation thought leadership and high school redesign.
- Donnell-Kay Foundation: Improving public education and driving systemic school reform in Colorado.
- The Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation: Initiatives range from scaling school networks like KIPP from 2-20 schools by 2020, to focusing on talent development.
- Fisher Fund & Silicon Schools: Providing funding for new blended and personalized learning schools.
- Ford Foundation: Supporters of YouthBuild USA that are transforming secondary and higher education for social justice.
- Imagination Foundation: Focuses on initiatives that foster creativity and entrepreneurship.
- J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation: Reinventing the way Idaho educates future generations.
- Kauffman Foundation: Working to advance entrepreneurialism and improve education.
- See our recent post of school visits
- The Kern Family Foundation: Focused on preparing the rising generation to meet future opportunities and challenges, with an emphasis on STEM and character education.
- KnowledgeWorks Foundation: Committed to providing every learner with meaningful personalized learning experiences that ensure success in college, career and civic life.
- Michael & Susan Dell Foundation: Focused on growing programs that enable data-driven education and access to high-quality public schools.
- See our data blog series
- Nellie Mae Education Foundation: Supporting efforts to re-shape our education system to be more student-centered.
- See our Smart Parents series and book
- Walton Family Foundation: Working to expand opportunities and empower children and families with choice.
- Schultz Family Foundation: Supporting students through Onward Youth initiative.
- Rogers Family Foundation: Making measurable changes in the lives of Oakland, California students.
- Raikes Foundation: Championing growth mindset.
- Overdeck Family Foundation: Focused on impact, scale and innovation with dedication to early impact, exceptional educators, innovative schools and inspired minds.
- The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: Focuses on deeper learning alongside inter- and intra- personal skills and open education resources for teachers and students.
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation: Grants focused on supporting thriving children, working families and equitable communities.
Incubators, Accelerators & New School Engines:
- 1776: Health, education, energy and transportation incubator in Washington, D.C.
- 4.0 Schools: A New Orleans nonprofit incubator training and investing in educators.
- Catapult: A new school developer in Denver that is focused on developing effective school leadership.
- Charter School Growth Fund: Nonprofit philanthropic venture capital fund that supports the growth of public charter schools in Broomfield, CO.
- EDGE: New York-based creators of the “Startup Generator.”
- Imagine K12: Serving as the education arm of infamous accelerator Y Combinator and based in Mountain View, CA.
- The Lean Lab: Launches transformational education innovations through an innovative partnership creation model.
- LearnLaunch: Both an accelerator program and co-working space serving Boston’s EdTech community.
- The Mind Trust: Education innovation network recruiting high quality talent and creating new schools in Indianapolis.
- New Schools for Chicago: A school developer that has “opened 81 schools, creating opportunities for nearly 65,000 students.”
- New Schools for New Orleans (& New Schools for Baton Rouge): School developer investing in local high-impact organizations.
- New Visions for Public Schools: New/improved school engine designing and sustaining schools in New York.
- Next Generation Learning Challenges: New school grants to support administrators and redesigning schools in Washington, D.C.
EdTech Venture Funders:
- Expansion Venture Capital: EdTech seed stage and early stage investments based out of New York.
- GSV Capital: Well known for hosting ASU/GSV, one of the best innovation conferences around and in their growth stage investments. They are based in Woodside, CA.
- Kapor Capital: Seed stage investments in information technology companies. Based in Oakland, CA.
- KPCB (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers): Early & growth stage investments, Menlo Park, CA.
- Learn Capital: Early stage investments, based in San Mateo, CA.
- Owl Ventures: Education venture fund spunout from Catamount Ventures leading Series A rounds and contributing to Series B rounds.
- Reach Capital: A venture spun out from NewSchool Venture Fund and based in Palo Alto, CA.
- Rethink Education: Primarily investing in growth stage companies in EdTech and based in New York.
- See Tom & Matt’s paper on Boosting Impact
- New Enterprise Associates (NEA): Early & growth stage investments, Menlo Park, CA.
- New Markets Venture Partners: Early & growth stage investments, Fulton, MD.
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This Smart List is sponsored by Getting Smart Services, Getting Smart’s consulting division that helps schools, districts, networks and impact-oriented partners create, implement and amplify thought leadership campaigns, education initiatives, powerful learning experiences and forward-leaning strategies. Learn more about what they can do to support your education initiatives here.
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