Philanthropy & Funding

New Approaches to Ed-Tech Funding

Until recently, both foundations and venture capital firms were wary of directing resources toward education technology startups. Yet alternative funding models and specialized funding groups are now emerging that combine elements of philanthropic and venture investing. Here’s how “blended capital” is expanding the ed-tech field.

Eric Westendorf is an unlikely tech entrepreneur. Back in 2011, he was chief academic officer of the E. L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Teachers at the school kept telling him that they needed better ways to help struggling students catch up on lessons that other students had mastered. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to meet every student’s individual needs, the teachers told him. So he created LearningMatch, a tool that allows teachers to record and share...

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