EDSURGE: NewSchools Spins Off New, For-Profit Venture Fund

Career College Central Summary:

  • NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF) is not coy about its role in reforming education, starting with championing the charter school cause. “The charter school movement might look different today had it not been for NewSchools supporting these entrepreneurs,” says chief executive, Stacey Childress.
  • Since 1999, the Oakland, CA-based organization has directed over $150 million to more than 300 charter schools around the country, serving over 157,000 students.
  • Three years ago, NSVF catalyzed another movement: a boom in edtech investing. Led by Jennifer Carolan, it designated a $1 million “Seed Fund” for startup companies. Today it has invested nearly $12 million in small, but pivotal deals in 42 startups, including EdSurge. (Editor’s note: Carolan also serves on EdSurge’s board of directors.)
  • Now, like a teenager heading to college, the Seed Fund is leaving the non-profit nest.
  • On Jan. 30, Carolan, who joined NSVF in 2006, will officially leave the non-profit to establish a for-profit investing vehicle and raise funds to support that work. The separation will give the new organization a chance to raise more money than it could have under the banner of the non-profit. And growing its resources means the organization will no longer be strictly a “seed” fund, but also able to support startups as they mature.
  • Just how closely the two organizations will be affiliated is a work-in-progress.

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