282 - Shauntel Garvey on Edtech Impact Investing

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In this episode, Tom is talking education venture funding with Shauntel Garvey!

Shauntel is a partner and co-founder of Reach Capital, an impact-focused edtech venture fund that was spun out of non-profit NewSchools Venture Fund, in 2015. Since then, they have deployed about $95 million in 61 investments, including some well-known startups such as ClassDojo, Ellevation, NearPod, and Newsela — all while maintaining a focus on education and workplace innovations.

Join the conversation to learn more about Reach Capital, how they have evolved since branching out from NewSchools, the amazing companies in their portfolio, what a typical investment process looks like, and all about return, growth, and impact when it comes to venture funding.

Key Takeaways:

[:10] About today’s episode.

[:45] Tom welcomes Shauntel Garvey to the podcast.

[:53] How did Shauntel get to MIT?

[2:50] Why did Shauntel decide to go to Stanford and pursue a dual education MBA?

[4:01] Was Shauntel aware of how many extraordinary people have gone through this same program when she was going through it herself?

[4:49] Shauntel shares about when she first learned about NewSchools Venture Fund and what led her to become involved.

[6:35] How and when Shauntel and her co-founder (of Reach Capital) decided to branch out from NewSchools and start their own venture fund.

[8:22] About the second fund they’re currently investing in with Reach Capital.

[9:04] How Reach Capital has evolved from NewSchools, going beyond K-12 funding.

[9:55] Can you run a viable venture fund, looking for both impact and return? How does Reach Capital try to maximize both of those?

[11:38] The meaning behind the name “Reach Capital.”

[12:08] How Reach Capital is looking to bring more diverse founders into edtech and why Shauntal believes it is so incredibly important.

[14:40] Shauntel walks listeners through the venture process in a typical investment.

[18:26] What does it mean to lead deals? And do they like to lead deals at Reach Capital?

[19:00] After making the investment with a company, what does their relationship look like going forward? How do they continue to support them?

[20:54] How many companies in Reach Capital’s portfolio is Shauntel actively involved in?

[21:26] The hardest part of Shauntel’s job currently.

[21:50] Lightning round of the cool companies in Reach Capital’s portfolio! Shauntel speaks about the incredible work of Abl, BetterLesson, ClassDojo, AdmitHub, Desmos, Ellevation, Hone, Newsela, PeopleGrove, Schoolzilla, Tynker, Nearpod, Outschool, Epic!, and Riipen.

[32:12] The gaps Shauntel is currently seeing in education where there’s an opportunity to make a big difference.

[35:34] With Reach Capital, do they try to create spaces that can bring together public and philanthropic investments as well as private investments?

[37:29] Infrastructure challenges and the inequities that have been amplified during the pandemic.

[38:30] Tom thanks Shauntel for joining the Getting Smart Podcast!

Mentioned in This Episode:

Shauntel Garvey

Reach Capital

NewSchools Venture Fund

ClassDojo

Ellevation

Nearpod

Newsela

Abl

BetterLesson

AdmitHub

Desmos

Hone

PeopleGrove

SchoolMint

Schoolzilla WriteLab

Julia Freeland Fisher

Tynker

Outschool

Epic!

Riipen

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Get Involved:

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269 episodes