Beats | November 10, 2017

The impact opportunity in edtech

The team at


U.S. education-tech startups are set to raise $2.9 billion this year from investors including Mark Zuckerberg, TPG’s The Rise Fund and Owl Ventures.

Whether the startups and tools these dollars are backing serve the students who need them most is a matter of debate.

Now, early-stage venture fund Impact Engine has identified three edtech sub-sectors with both investment opportunities and potential for impact.

  • Teacher empowerment and personalized learning: The key is finding tools that support teachers in delivering more personalized learning, Impact Engine writes, pointing to “Edtech solutions that empower teachers rather than replace them.” Impact Engine invested in ThinkCERCA, a literacy platform that develops critical thinking skills at each student’s reading level.
  • Student persistence: Nearly half of all post-secondary students and two-thirds of minority post-secondary students don’t finish their degrees. Startups like ReUp Education aim to help students re-enroll and stay enrolled. (Upswing, CampusLogic and Examity are on affordability and time-management.)
  • Lifelong learning: Viridis, for example, connects community college students to prospective employers, and in turn, helps community colleges understand where the employment opportunities are so they can tailor their programs.

“Education” is the third segment of Impact Engine’s Impact Tech Opportunity Series.

Read our coverage of the two previous segments: “Resource Efficiency”…

Tech-driven water, energy and waste efficiency opportunities

… and “Economic Opportunity.”

The landscape of tech solutions creating economic opportunity