University Ventures launches $5M seed fund for higher ed innovators
- New York City-based investment fund University Ventures has set aside $5 million to invest in startups serving colleges and universities, especially in their career services efforts.
- Three of the four startups already funded fall into this category — Entangled Ventures helps universities connect with startups, ProSky offers training for in-demand skills, and Portfolium provides a platform for students’ digital portfolios.
- The fourth startup, CampusLogic, supports colleges in the financial aid process, and reflects the second priority of University Ventures, which is to support innovation that reduces operating costs for institutions.
University Ventures’ managing director, Ryan Craig, has written that massive open online courses that got so much attention for their disruptive power in higher education are already fighting to stay relevant. Instead of funding new MOOC platforms, University Ventures wants to help traditional institutions better serve students and reduce overhead.
Investment in the education technology realm is breaking records this year. But investors are quicker to fund consumer-facing companies than those serving colleges and universities directly. In many ways, the University Ventures fund is filling investment gaps to the benefit of traditional higher education.
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