The ideas, people and companies that inspire us.  Thought leaders and change makers.  Our take on education technology.

Curated by Matt Greenfield



Scaling EdTech: A Fireside Chat

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in News, Rethink Education Portfolio, Startup, Venture Capital | Comments Off

The following is what we call in the blogging business a bit of a “long read.” For a condensed version of the report, please see Tom’s post in Edsurge titled “Michael Moe’s Keys to Scaling Edtech”   Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending a gathering of edtech minds cohosted by GSV and Kaplan TechStars called “Scaling EdTech: What’s Working, Why Now?” As he is wont to do, Tony asked me if I would be up for transcribing a summary of the lessons learned and ideas propogated. Being the...

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Smarterer Sells To Pluralsight

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in News, Rethink Education Portfolio | Comments Off

Proud to announce the sale of Smarterer!

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So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodnight (Closing of Reimagining K-12)

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dear EdWeek community, This post will mark the final contribution to Reimagining K-12. For the past year and a half, Matt and I have relished the opportunity to engage with you, our loyal readers, and share our experiences from inside the blossoming world of EdTech investing (did you hear that half a billion dollars was invested in Q1 alone?). We’ve come a long way from our humble roots. Since the launch of this blog, we have tried our darnedest to provide you with a holistic view of the start-up scene that is driving advances in both...

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The Billionaire’s Club: Minecraft as a Beacon of Edtech M&A

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in News, Startup, Venture Capital | Comments Off

Originally posted on on September 10, 2014 In the wake of announcements that Microsoft will be acquiring the Swedish game developer Mojang, otherwise known as the maker of the phenomenon Minecraft, for a rumored $2.5 billion (otherwise known as a casual weekend for Mark Zuckerberg), I have a question to pose to the greater venture and education communities: What counts as edtech? I should add a quick preface here, in case you are unfamiliar with this Minecraft of which I speak (unlikely, given that it has sold over 50...

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Applying Technology to Educate and Stimulate the Developing World

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Rethink Education Portfolio, Technology, Venture Capital | Comments Off

Applying Technology to Educate and Stimulate the Developing World On my commute to the office this morning, I caught the tail end of a report on NPR chronicling the struggles of a small town in Northern Spain that was coming to grips with the loss of its coal industry: the singular good that had employed residents for generations and brought legitimate economic activity to a previously dormant and isolated population. However, as tends to happen in under-educated, blue collar local economies, instead of accepting the reality of the situation,...

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Innovation Ecosystems: The Role of Impact Investing

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Guest Post by Matt Greenfield for the EdWeek Blog: Vander Ark on Innovation I am going to approach this topic in an oblique manner; bear with me. In the late eighties I was the youngest employee of ABS Ventures, which at the time was affiliated with Alex. Brown and Sons, a tech-oriented investment bank now owned by Deutsche Bank. This was before Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley came to dominate technology investment banking, and the valley was ruled by boutique firms. Alex. Brown was one of the four tech IPO leaders. The other three, Hambrecht...

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Why Every Venture Capitalist Should Focus On Social Impact

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

My partners and I intend to change the world. We invest only in companies whose employees have a burning desire to solve a large social problem (in our case, a social problem related to learning and teaching). We turn down many potential investments that we think will make a lot of money because we don’t think the company is committed enough to doing something genuinely transformative. It is sometimes hard for us to explain why we do this. Some potential investors in our fund ask us what sort of trade-off we make between social impact...

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There Is No Bubble in Educational Technology: Not For Businesses That Actually Make Sense

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Venture Capital | Comments Off

Many people are wondering whether there is a bubble in educational technology. Has too much venture capital been invested in the sector? Have valuations gotten too high?   My answer is that there is a bubble in ideas that won’t work and a dearth of capital for ideas that can work. Let’s start with the ideas that won’t work. What type of ed tech have venture capitalists approached with the greatest enthusiasm and the largest piles of cash? The answer is new textbook solutions, including digital textbook platforms like...

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Datapalooza: How the Federal Government is Easing the College Process

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in News | Comments Off

According to a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, an estimated one third of all college students will transfer at least once before graduating. That is not particularly efficient. I was applying for college myself about a decade ago. I basically knew where I wanted to go to school for years, applied there early, thankfully got in, and that was that. Literally as easy an application process as one could imagine (#humblebrag), and it was still an utter pain in the ass. The process was not unlike a part-time job,...

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A Critical Transition Period for Edtech Venture Capital

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Venture Capital | 0 comments

Originally posted on on 1/10/14 Two-thousand thirteen was an exciting year for the progress of the edtech venture industry, one where money poured into LMS integrations, Common Core alignment, accelerator programs, big data platforms, and MOOCs galore. But that’s so last year. Here’s what I have my eyes on as 2014 rolls around. The Public Markets The public markets are a leading indicator of an industry’s economic impact, and if we are truly hitting a maturation period of edtech, it will ultimately be reflected in the...

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