Washington Post, NewSchools Venture Fund Back EdSurge
Strong journalism aims to spur great products and help educators share best practices
BURLINGAME, Calif., Aug. 29: EdSurge, the leading news source on education technology, announced that it has closed a $400,000 seed-funding round with leading institutional and angel investors in Washington D.C., New York and Silicon Valley. The funding will enable EdSurge to expand its coverage and to further develop independent reviews of educational technology products.
Over the past 18 months, education technology has emerged as a vibrant new industry. Through its website, newsletters and events, EdSurge provides timely, independent information to educators, entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers aimed at stimulating the growth of high quality products, while sharing best practices for how to use those technologies to foster learning.
EdSurge's institutional investors are led by the Washington Post Co. and NewSchools Venture Fund. Angel investors include Allen & Co. executives Nancy Peretsman and Gillian Munson, O'Reilly Media executive Dale Dougherty and noted Silicon Valley entrepreneur Judy Estrin. EdSurge has also received grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting its website.
EdSurge began operations in February 2011. Its founding team includes journalists, technologists and educators. Its CEO, Elizabeth Corcoran, previously was executive editor for technology at Forbes Media and a staff writer for the Washington Post. EdSurge's president, Nick Punt, has served as vice president of products at Inigral in San Francisco.
EdSurge has become known for its snappy weekly newsletters, designed to keep edtech entrepreneurs and educators up-to-speed on the latest key developments in the field. "We believe that great journalism has a big role to play in spurring companies to build the best products," says Don Graham, chairman of the Washington Post. "That's why we're supporting EdSurge."
The EdSurge website features independent reviews of leading education technology products as well as commentaries on best practices for using technology. "EdSurge is delivering to educators an independent perspective on what works--and a place where they can share their experiences," says Ted Mitchell, CEO of New School Ventures. "That's crucial for a healthy education technology ecosystem."
"Great technology can make an enormous difference for teachers and schools--and knowing the difference between effective and ineffective tools for learning is what EdSurge is all about," says Nancy Peretsman, managing director of Allen & Co. and a national board director for Teach For America.
EdSurge organized a pavilion on learning technology at the enormously popular Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., this past spring. On September 10, in partnership with O'Reilly Media, EdSurge is hosting an event to inaugurate the "MENTOR Makerspace” program, an effort to create environments where students can learn through building in high schools throughout the U.S. The event is part of the U.S. Department of Education's third annual back-to-school bus tour.