[Irtalk] Capital Flows to Education Innovation

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Sun Jul 28 08:44:53 SAST 2013


Approximately a year ago, GSV Advisors set out to analyze whether there is
adequate innovation and
entrepreneurialism in the education sector and, if not, whether a lack of
capital was constraining
education innovation
! Our observations from research, interviews, and collective experience
indicate that there is great energy
and enthusiasm around the PreK-12, Post Secondary and Adult (“PreK to
Gray”) education markets as
they relate to innovation and the opportunity to invest in emerging
companies at all stages
! Investment volume in 2011 exceeded peak 1999 – 2000 levels, but is
differentiated from this earlier
period by entrepreneurial leaders with a breadth of experience including
education, social media and
technology; companies with vastly lower cost structures; improved education
market receptivity to
innovation, and elevated investor sophistication. In the words of Matt
Pittinsky, Co-founder of Blackboard
Inc. and CEO of Parchment, there is a newfound “breadth and depth of
investor knowledge”
! In the words of one prominent investor, “I see more and more capital
moving to the area and for two
primary reasons: anytime large, broken industries exist, significant
opportunities for start-ups are
created. Additionally, the millennial generation is learning in different
ways, which has been driven by
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