NewSchools Venture Funds Invites Proposals for PreK-12 Learning Initiatives

NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit that supports and invests in promising entrepreneurs and teams of educators who want to reimagine learning and achieve outstanding results for schools, students, and educators. It is also committed to helping students graduate high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans.

To help advance this mission, the fund is accepting applications from teams of educators and entrepreneurs with bold ideas for reimagining pre-K-12 learning. The fund will award grants totaling up to $8 million for programs focused on creating innovative district and charter schools; building technology tools to better support student learning; and/or cultivating pipelines of diverse leaders in education.

1) Innovative Schools: The fund will invest in new and redesigned pre-K-12 public schools across the country, in both school districts and charter networks. Priority will be given to schools that prepare students — regardless of the future they might want to pursue — with everything they need to be successful in college, career, and life. NewSchools is seeking teams of educators that begin with a clear definition of student success as their guide and can design a school that meets the full range of students' needs. Investments include new schools, redesigned schools, and partnerships with model providers. However, this particular funding opportunity will focus only on teams planning to launch a new school in the next one to three years. NewSchools will select the most promising teams of educators for investments in the planning phase. Funding will range between $50,000 and $200,000 and include participation in a cohort experience to help teams refine their designs and prepare for launch within the next one to two years. Initial submissions are due by January 2018, and ventures will be selected later in the spring.

2) Tools & Services: Through this category, the fund is seeking companies and nonprofits working to create innovative education tech products and services and provide them with the risk capital and support they need to make those concepts a reality. Tools for early learning is one of those areas, and the current funding challenge will specifically focus on that market gap. Previous grant challenges have focused on science learning, middle and high school math, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Through this category, NewSchools will award grants of up to $150,000 to a diverse set of entrepreneurs to create exceptional tools and services that support early learning (pre-K-2). Proposals for this category must be received no later than August 31, 2017.

3) Diverse Leaders: NewSchools provides funding and management assistance to organizations that are working to strengthen the pipelines of black and Latino leaders in education. To that end, the fund invests in ventures focused on diversifying the education sector at all levels of leadership. it also supports entrepreneurs working to strengthen capacity for education leaders and organizations and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. The diverse leaders team has set a goal of having black and Latino leaders represent at least 40 percent of all education leadership by 2020. This funding opportunity is open to entrepreneurs with ambitious ideas focused on advancing black and Latino leadership in education. Ideas may include efforts to attract, recruit, develop, retain, and/or place diverse leaders. Grant amounts will range between $75,000 and $150,000, and submissions must be received no later than September 15, 2017.

See the NewSchools Venture Fund for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

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