ECMC Foundation’s program-related investment portfolio makes catalytic investments into non-profit and for-profit ventures that seek to generate both social impact and financial returns.
Complementing ECMC Foundation’s strategic grantmaking, the Education Innovation Ventures (EIV) program provides flexible, risk capital to early-stage ventures working to increase postsecondary educational outcomes and economic mobility for learners and jobseekers from underserved backgrounds. Through program-related investments, EIV’s capital generates impact alongside financial returns, which are recycled to fund further impact initiatives.
Education Innovation Ventures aims to address inequities for entrepreneurs, learners and jobseekers by utilizing a gender and equity lens across our program-related investments.
EIV Makes Catalytic Investments
Investment Strategy and Objectives
EIV provides patient risk capital to early-stage ventures and entrepreneurs working to seed innovations, prove new models and scale their impact. Our early-stage investments are designed to bear greater risk and signal to other investors the vast potential we see in postsecondary education. These investments can be transformative for young ventures, especially those led by women and people of color, which widely receive a disproportionate amount of funding.
Since launching in 2018, EIV’s investments have allowed the Foundation to tap into the creative power of the nonprofit and for-profit sectors through social enterprises working on postsecondary education and workforce development.
EIV invests using three models:
- Direct Investments: the Foundation invests capital into social enterprises that serve learners and jobseekers
- Fund Investments: capital is deployed to funds that reinvest capital into social ventures
- Donor Advised Funds (DAF) Investments: capital is sent through a donor advised fund and invested into social ventures
Education Innovation Venture’s Five-Point Model
EIV considers ventures that demonstrate a commitment to delivering intentional, sustained and measurable social impact, and align with the Foundation's mission of inspiring and facilitating improvements in postsecondary education for underserved learners. We look for the following criteria in our investments:
- Impact: A measurable strategy for driving educational outcomes and economic mobility for students from underserved backgrounds and markets; a commitment to sharing lessons learned with the greater education sector.
- Risk & Innovation: Early-stage ventures with transformative and disruptive products and services that address an unmet market need.
- Scalability: Ventures with sustainable business models using market-based approaches that need access to patient capital in order to achieve scale.
- Leverage: Ventures that test new and bold ideas with the potential to attract additional sources of capital to grow impact.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Intentionality around building a diverse and inclusive body of leadership and practicing strong internal social governance.
How to Connect
Education Innovation Ventures uses program-related investments to deploy capital to mission-aligned for-profit and non-profit ventures that have a scalable earned revenue stream. If you are incorporating an earned revenue stream and your venture aligns to EIV’s criteria above, please reach out to us.
If your team does not have a plan for earning revenue, please explore whether our grantmaking strategy is better aligned to your mission.