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Maximizing the Impact of the Ed-Tech Industry

This report, published by Bellwether Education Partners (a nonprofit education research organization) as part of its Innovation for Public Good series, investigates how to optimize funding for education technology in order to improve student achievement.

Most funding for ed tech comes from either philanthropic donations from nonprofit organizations or through individual donors and investors for for-profit companies, the report says. But finding ways to combine those types of funding (both philanthropic and individual investors) could help successful education technology companies scale their efforts, the report finds.

However, there is a disconnect between the alignment of capital and the solutions that provide greater student achievement and equity, the report claims. "Though there is significant entrepreneurial and funding activity in education today, there is little coherence or alignment to our ambitious public goals for increased outcomes and productivity in our under-served communities," says the report.

To overcome some of these obstacles, the report outlines three primary suggestions:

• Help investors align to common goals and ventures by making data about ed-tech organizations, companies, and projects more transparent. That data should also be enhanced by expert opinion about what projects are best suited to make an impact on education.

• Provide support for those ed-tech ventures that seek to partner with multiple investors and donors. Technology should be used to connect investors and foster face-to-face relationships with each other.

• Make it easier and more efficient to receive and evaluate business plans and grant proposals, and come up with better ways to track the performance of ed-tech projects, nonprofits, and companies. Technology can play a role in providing rigorous data to be used in investors' decisions.

The report concludes with specific suggestions for how government, foundations, and platform developers can work together toward implementing these suggestions. Check out the report for detailed information about how capital is used in funding ed-tech projects and ideas, as well how funding may be enhanced for such projects in the future.

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