By Jennifer Carolan
Today, Reach Capital, the education technology VC firm I co-founded with Shauntel, Wayee & Esteban, launched our third fund. At $165 million, it’s more than double our previous fund. But it’s not the size of the fund that matters. It’s the aspiration.
Since our inception, we’ve set out to do two things well: to deliver excellent financial returns by building excellent companies, and to deliver a benefit to society by backing companies that help people improve their lives through learning. …
by Jennifer Carolan
Reach is investing in Sketchy’s $30M round led by TCG. Sketchy fits neatly into our digital curriculum thesis: bottoms-up, freemium, digital curriculums based on timeless pedagogy that wins the hearts of users. Our investments in Mystery Science, Newsela, Nearpod, and Desmos are other examples of this thesis at work.
Sketchy was founded by medical students Saud Siddiqui, Andrew Berg, Bryan Lemieux and Aaron Lemieux who wanted a better way to learn the vast amount of content needed to prepare for their careers as physicians. …
by Wayee Chu
Today, I am privileged to announce the promotion of James Kim to Principal at Reach Capital. From the minute I met James in 2018 during an interview for our Associate role, I knew James was a standout candidate. What resonated deeply for me was his life journey to date, overcoming personal odds and defying external expectations, even those set by his own family, which is testament to the bold and principled approach in how James has paved his own path forward.
by Jennifer Carolan
In 2020, the year that challenged us with the largest racial justice protests in our country’s history, the top high school in New York City Public Schools, Stuyvesant, admitted just ten Black students out of a freshman class of 760. Black students comprise 25 percent of the district’s population.
This blog post provides a high-level narrative and overview of higher education trends and the Work-Integrated Learning space. For a deep dive into our analysis, including specific investment theses, please view our full report here.
For decades, “higher education” was synonymous with career advancement. Higher education represented a platform for socioeconomic mobility, growth, and employment opportunity. Enrollment peaked in 2010, with over 21 million students at degree-granting institutions in the US alone.
by Jennifer Carolan
“Get Ready for a Teacher Shortage Like We’ve Never Seen Before.” The New York Times is right — it’s happening. A school district outside of Phoenix canceled classes on Monday because they didn’t have enough teachers to staff the classrooms. Utah teachers are resigning in droves, and a New Jersey superintendent recently said “schools will be brought to their knees with staffing needs.”
Our public schools have operated in a precarious, neglected state for decades. Like so many of our underinvested institutions, COVID-19 has pulled back the veil on a crumbling system whose cracks have deepened into…
by Jen Wu
The team at Reach Capital has been investing for educational impact for over 11 years. We make bold bets on founders who tackle challenges that are among the most pressing of our times, e.g. economic and education inequality, staying relevant in a rapidly-changing economy, and trauma and mental health. The global pandemic has exposed and amplified these pre-existing challenges like never before. What we believed were forward-looking bets at the time, turned into an urgent here-and-now, as demand for these solutions moved beyond early adopters to the global masses overnight.
This dynamic we’re witnessing confirms why we…
by Taylor Stockton, Reach Fellow and Shauntel Garvey
Reach’s interest in the middle skills sector initially emerged from our broader focus on career pathways. But as we now grapple with the disproportionate impact of the COVID crisis on frontline workers, questions around accessible pathways to middle skills jobs (those that require more education than a high school diploma, but less than a four year bachelor’s degree) have been given new meaning and importance.
Over the course of only two months, over 35 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment, and tens of millions more saw lost hours or income. As…
Chian Gong is being promoted to Partner at Reach Capital. She is the first investment partner we’ve added since we began working together in 2011. She will join Jennifer, Shauntel, Esteban and Wayee on the investment team.
Chian first joined our team during the summer of 2014 when she interned while finishing her MBA/MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School and Wharton. She was so exceptional that summer that we were ready to hire her on the spot; her graduation couldn’t come soon enough.
by Jen Wu, Venture Partner Reach Capital
My level of anxiety has risen steadily as the coronavirus crisis has unfolded in China, around the world, and now in my local community. I worry about my 87-year-old father who struggles fighting a common cold. I stare at empty shelves in Costco and Trader Joe’s. I wonder how our daily lives will be affected by this marathon through uncharted territory that we’ve only just begun. With my limited understanding about this pandemic, I can’t help but feel that we as a country are woefully unprepared for what’s about to hit us.
Closing the Opportunity Gap. Empowering educators and families. Inspiring children.