Venture Capital for Education

Published September 1, 1999

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have formed The New Schools Fund to apply the venture capital model to the K-12 education industry. With $20 million in initial funding, New Schools will be looking for as many as a dozen projects focused on disadvantaged youth, offering them business expertise and management advice as well as financing.

Tim Mott, founder of Electronic Arts, says the Fund’s aim is to apply the principles driving the microchip industry–such as choice, options, competition, speed, and entrepreneurship–to improving K-12 education.

Executive Director Kim Smith told the San Jose Mercury News that the first question the Fund would ask about any project would be, “Can this substantially improve education?” If so, the issue then would be to “figure out the best way to support it.”

More information about The New Schools Fund is available at its Web site,