Education Innovation Ventures

Strategic investments that catalyze promising, scalable and innovative education ventures


Complementing ECMC Foundation's strategic grantmaking, ECMC Foundation uses a spectrum of program-related investments—including loans, deposits, equity and guarantees—to improve educational and career outcomes among traditionally underserved students.

Through our program-related investment portfolio, Education Innovation Ventures (EIV) makes below market-rate investments to nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that seek to generate both social impact and financial returns. These catalytic investments enable the Foundation to tap into the creative power of both sectors and advance our mission of improving educational outcomes for underserved populations through innovation and evidence-based practices. Financial returns are reinvested into additional program-related investments, allowing us to recycle investment dollars and generate further positive impact in learners' lives.


ECMC Foundation began making program-related investments through EIV in January 2018. EIV provides flexible, risk capital to ventures with innovative and scalable solutions that increase educational and career attainment among underserved students.

Our goals are twofold: We aim to seed, grow and sustain education-focused ventures, as well as leverage our funding to help early-stage ventures prove market viability and subsequently attract additional funding opportunities.

EIV considers ventures that demonstrate a commitment to delivering intentional, sustained and measurable social impact, and align with ECMC Foundation's mission of inspiring and facilitating improvements in educational outcomes.

Objectives of EIV are:

  1. De-risk new, bold ideas and innovations that improve educational and career outcomes for underserved students;
  2. Catalyze investment in scalable, promising market-based solutions;
  3. Expand and deepen social and financial impact; and
  4. Strengthen organizational learning and inform the education sector.


Employment Technology Fund: ECMC Foundation made a $1,000,000 investment in the Employment Technology Fund (ETF) in January 2018. ETF is a U.S.-focused impact fund committed to supporting social enterprises working to remove barriers to employment and enhancing opportunities for millions of underemployed adults in the U.S. labor market. Through ETF, ECMC Foundation invests in social entrepreneurs and early-stage ventures that use promising market-based and tech-enabled solutions to help close the education and employment gap for low-income adults.

Venn Foundation: ECMC Foundation joined the Venn Foundation in February 2018, a Minneapolis-based foundation that manages donor-advised accounts for funders interested in making, joining and syndicating program-related investments.


Jessica Haselton
Director of Grants Management and Strategic Initiatives

Press Release
ECMC Foundation Expands Funding to For-Profit Sector

A Message from the President
Engaging the For-Profit Sector to Help Revolutionize Education for All Learners