ECMC Foundation’s program-related investment portfolio, Education Innovation Ventures (EIV), makes below-market-rate investments into nonprofit and for-profit ventures that seek to generate both social impact and financial returns.
Complementing ECMC Foundation’s strategic grantmaking, EIV uses a full spectrum of program-related investments—including debt and equity instruments—to improve educational outcomes and economic mobility among students from underserved backgrounds. These catalytic investments enable the Foundation to tap into the creative power of the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, unlock innovative ideas and build evidence-based practices.
EIV Makes Catalytic Investments
Fund History and Objectives
ECMC Foundation began making program-related investments through EIV in January 2018. EIV provides flexible, risk capital to early-stage ventures and entrepreneurs working to increase educational outcomes and economic mobility among underserved learners. Our investments seed, develop and help new ventures and entrepreneurs prove market viability in order to attract additional financing, grow and scale their work. Financial returns are reinvested into new program-related investments, allowing us to recycle investment dollars and generate further positive impact on learners' lives.
The Foundation uses program-related investments, instead of grants, for mission-aligned for-profit and non-profit ventures that have a scalable earned revenue stream. If your team does not have a plan for earning revenue, please explore whether the College Success or Career Readiness portfolios are better aligned to your mission. If you are incorporating an earned revenue stream and your venture aligns to EIV’s criteria below, please reach out to us.
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 education. We look for the following criteria in our investments:
- Risk: Early-stage ventures with transformative and disruptive products and services that address an unmet market need.
- Innovation: Ventures that test new and bold ideas, solutions and innovations and build an evidence base for impact.
- Scalability: Ventures with sustainable business models using market-based approaches that need access to patient capital in order to achieve scale.
- 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.
- Diversity: Intentionality around building a diverse and inclusive body of leadership.