NewSchools Venture Fund Launches Education Technology Seed Fund

The NewSchools Venture Fund in San Francisco has announced the launch of a fund that will provide support to entrepreneurs working to develop education technology tools, applications, content, and services designed to improve opportunities for children from low-income communities.

Unlike NewSchools's Innovation Fund, which invests in organizations based on their potential to influence broader systems, the Education Technology Seed Fund will provide money, guidance, and advice to early stage companies in the educational tools marketplace.

In conjunction with its launch, the Seed Fund, which plans to invest in up to companies in 2012, announced its first two investments: Goalbook, a social and mobile solution that helps school districts manage Individual Education Plans (IEP) for special education students; and Engrade, which offers educators a suite of free Web-based tools that enables them to manage their classes online while providing parents and students with round-the-clock real-time access.

"NewSchools has been a leader in making impact-driven investments in companies that have changed the way we teach and learn," said Wayee Chu, who will lead the new initiative with Jennifer Carolan. "The Seed Fund provides a specific focus on the next wave of innovators building the tools with the greatest potential to improve education for children from low-income communities."