Education Nonprofit Launches Seed Fund in Workforce Development for Adult Learners

Strada Education Network invests $1.5 million to support mission-aligned ventures and entrepreneurs working at the intersection of education and employment for working learners

INDIANAPOLIS, March 29, 2018 — Strada Education NetworkSM, a national nonprofit united to strengthen America’s pathways between education and employment, today announced a new $1.5 million seed investment fund to back ventures focused on creating solutions that will serve working learners and help define the learning ecosystem of the future.

Through early-stage investment, the Strada Education Innovation Fund (SEIF) will support emerging organizations working to improve the lives of adult learners by creating more direct, seamless, flexible and promising education-to-employment pathways. The SEIF expects to support up to 20 commitments by the end of 2020.

“Innovations at the intersection of education and employment are necessary to help learners navigate an increasingly complex labor market—and realize the promise and potential of their investment in education,” said Andre Bennin, managing director of corporate development for Strada Education Network and SEIF manager. “This fund is about supporting entrepreneurs who need early-stage capital to scale their work in connecting adult learners with economic opportunity.”

“The future of work will demand educational models vastly different from today’s system of higher education. We have to begin seeding innovations that do the hard work of anticipating the learning ecosystem of the future—flexible enough for all people, especially working adults, to move consistently in and out of learning and work,” said Michelle Weise, Strada’s senior vice president for workforce strategies and chief innovation officer. “We won’t be able to retreat to old solutions, which is why we’re ensuring that our investment strategy includes a focus on emerging organizations that, though not yet at scale, show creativity and innovation in educating today’s working learners for tomorrow’s jobs.”

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