Alex Hernandez on boosting education technology innovation

THE CIRCLE OF GROWTH: Here's a helpful primer, courtesy of Alex Hernandez of Charter School Growth Fund, on the typical development and investment phases required to turn edtech innovation into something tangible and scalable. (Interestingly enough, these are similar whether you're building online learning tools or an entire school model.) But what ultimately breathes life into this process--and sustains it--is a talent community, one "that builds the pipeline of edu-preneurs for 'downstream' incubation and launch." Education innovation occurs over decades, but ongoing efforts as global as Startup Weekend EDUs or localized like New Orlean's 4pt0 Schools can potentially accelerate it. Hernandez urges investors to play for the long-run by not only looking at companies and products, but also the ecosystems that will provide the human capital that will make up those teams, the teachers to put tools to use, and the schools that can drive scale and growth.

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