There's no shortage of start-ups in the education technology sector these days. Behind every good start-up, however, is an investor with the money and guidance to help turn it into a successful venture. These same investors and their firms can also be an invaluable source of industry information through their social media accounts.
To help ease the task of figuring out who to follow, we've compiled a list of 10 of the best education technology venture capitalists and firms worth following on Twitter.
1. GATES FOUNDATION
On Twitter: @gatesed
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s presence is felt in many industries, and its investments in education technology and education reform efforts are among its most publicized. Not only is the foundation a major supporter of the venture capital firm NewSchools Venture Fund, its own ed-tech grants and investments have gone to companies like Inigral, EdSurge and Startup Weekend EDU.
2. STEVE CASE
On Twitter: @SteveCase
As the co-founder of America Online, Steve Case was at the forefront of the Internet in the ‘90s. Since leaving AOL, Case has served as chairman of the Case Foundation and investment firm Revolution, which most notably invested in ZipCar and LivingSocial. His investments also extend to education, as he is a NewSchools Venture Fund partner.
3. LEARN CAPITAL
On Twitter: @LearnCap
Learn Capital is a venture investment firm boasting a portfolio containing names like Edmodo, Udemy and BloomBoard. Among its investors are Rob Hutter and Tom Vander Ark—who you may remember from our feature on 15 ed tech accounts to follow—as well as its largest limited partner, education publishing giant Pearson.
4. MICHAEL STATON
On Twitter: @mpstaton
5. FRED WILSON
On Twitter: @fredwilson
Venture capitalist Fred Wilson is the managing partner of Union Square Ventures, which counts Codecademy, Duolingo, Edmodo and Skillshare among its investments. He also has investments outside of education and blogs at AVC.com.
the vietnamese are making a push to get CS in their schools. i think we should too. neil.fraser.name/news/2013/03/1…— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) April 1, 2013
6. MITCHELL KAPOR
On Twitter: @mkapor
As the name suggests, Mitchell Kapor is a partner in Oakland, Calif.-based Kapor Capital. Among the firms education investments are Desmos, Inkling and New Charter University. He also founded the Lotus Development Corporation and The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding chair of The Mozilla Foundation.
Free Stanford Online course on Technology Entrepreneurship starts April 29 venture-lab.stanford.edu/venture— Mitch Kapor (@mkapor) April 23, 2013
7. FREADA KLEIN
On Twitter: @TheRealFreada
The other partner in Kapor Capital, Dr. Freada Klein is an organizational culture and diversity entrepreneur, activist and leader who served as the Lotus Development Corporation’s first Director of Organizational Development. She also runs the consulting firm Klein Associates and founded the nonprofit Level Playing Field Institute in 2001 with the goal of innovating new approaches to fairness in higher education and the workplace.
8. ADAM ENBAR
On Twitter: @aenbar
Since 2012, Adam Enbar has been a partner at Charles River Ventures, which has investments in Udemy. Enbar founded the Flatiron School and is a former real estate developer who previously helped several start-ups with sales and business development. His greatest areas of interest are education, connected hardware platforms, enterprise mobile and software-as-a-service.
9. JON SAKODA
On Twitter: @jonsakoda
Another New Enterprise Associates Partner, Jon Sakoda previously co-founded IMlogic, Inc., which was bought by Symantec Corporation. His interests are in software-as-a-service, infrastructure software and big data applications, and he currently serves on Desire2Learn's board.
10. FRANK BONSAL III
On Twitter: @FrankBonsal
Frank Bonsal III joined New Market Venture Partners in 2007 and has over 25 years of experience in and around education, during which he has invested in over 20 private education companies across the country. For New Markets, he has served on Moodlerooms’ board and currently serves on boards for Better Lesson, Calvert Education, Kickboard, Questar Assessment, Starfish Retention Solutions and Think Through Learning. Additionally, he serves on nonprofit K-12 boards including The Center For Education Reform.
Why VCs cannot afford to ignore EdTech any longer venturebeat.com/2013/04/26/why…— Frank Bonsal (@FrankBonsal) April 26, 2013
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