Where We Are Investing Now: Market-Based Education

Education is part of health and happiness as a means of intellectual and financial empowerment and as a vector for delight. Happiness can be enhanced by the acquisition of new skills. Where education was once the province only of formal institutions and largely as part of long-term pedagogical programs, today education is becoming a pure consumer product. It is available by the course, by the class, or by the experience, whenever and wherever desired. Professional grade skills, and the certifications that come with them, can be obtained in the precise measures required by the market, and often at no immediate cost to the student.

At our funds, we invest only in education driven by market forces. We see populations of those with knowledge-seeking to share it with those who need that knowledge through the auspices of third-parties who see value in connecting those two groups. For instance, it could be musicians who seek extra income, students whose parents want them to acquire musical skills, and the PTO or school district looking to connect these two as part of their missions. Or it could be underpaid, under-utilized young workers seeking advancement and companies desperate for coders connected via no-pay, high-value coding schools. The students get higher-paying jobs, the companies get the workers they need, and the new-age school can get paid through the underwriting of a novel financial instrument based on a percentage of the future enhanced earnings of the students.

We see great opportunity in these areas specifically:

  • Alternative schools based on skills in high market demand (e.g., our current investments Lambda and Osmosis)

  • Higher Ed advancement and alternative college placement (e.g., our current investments Concourse and Edly)

  • Platforms enabling additive learning for K-12 (e.g., our current investment KidzToPros)

  • Tech-enabled homeschooling (e.g., our current investment Classkick)

  • Personalized learning/community-based programs outside traditional schools

  • Childcare/early childhood education extending down toward infancy (e.g., our current investments Monti Kids and Toybox Labs)

  • Uptraining/retraining of gig workers to extend their working life and increase their income

  • Novel financial mechanisms to cover the costs of skills acquisition

  • Transference of skills within remote work population

  • XR for skills development/transference (e.g., our current investment TransferVR)

Millions of people of every age and situation require education, and the pandemic has accelerated that need. Traditional education is on its way out. The companies that will succeed will embrace the current sea change and provide new and more effective ways of delivering educational services.

Reprinted by permission.