Manchester, NH (USA), April 2017 - Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is teaming up with Rethink Education to create a new fifteen-million-dollar seed fund that will invest in ed-tech start-up companies that are tackling some of the most pressing challenges in education. As leaders in education innovation, SNHU and Rethink Education hope their partnership will encourage the nation's best education entrepreneurs, researchers, and technologists to explore new, innovative ways to improve access and affordability in the educational pipeline from K-12 into the workforce.
"Investing in this initiative with Rethink Education builds on SNHU's more than 85-year history of working to expand access to higher education for all students," said Paul LeBlanc, SNHU President. "We are looking forward to working with, and learning from, bright, passionate entrepreneurs working to solve problems in which we share an interest."
The $15 million investment will be allocated among more than two dozen companies at the seed stage. Together Rethink Education, which is co-managed by Rick Segal and Matt Greenfield, and SNHU will work with early stage ed-tech companies across the country that are using technology and data-driven models to tackle stubborn challenges in education to the workforce pipeline, including access and affordability.
Partnering with Rethink Education will give SNHU insight into the best ideas to increase affordability and access in education. SNHU hopes to help these seed-funding recipients incubate their ideas with SNHU's own education-innovation experts within Sandbox ColLABorative, SNHU's internal consultancy and incubator of new and alternative business models of higher education.
"Over the last decade, SNHU has proved to be a top innovator in making higher education more affordable and accessible to people around the globe," said Rick Segal, Managing Partner of Rethink Education. "We are proud to be working with SNHU as they double down on their commitment to invest in groundbreaking new ways to bring education within reach for more people."
Seed investments are made at the earliest stage in a company's development. Initial funding, typically about $250k to $750k, will be made available to promising seed-stage companies to help fund their preliminary operations, including research, development, prototyping, and market testing. The venture will specifically look for entrepreneurs in education who are mission driven, have early evidence of product-market fit, demonstrate an innovative and scalable approach, and show how their product can be distributed successfully.