Jessica Alter | August 1st, 2012
Back in March we started noticing a large percentage of applicants writing in an interest area that we didn’t have on the site – Education. We had made no attempt to reach out to entrepreneurs interested in education and learning, so the only logical conclusion we could come to was that Education was/is a huge area of interest for entrepreneurs and one where we can add a lot of value. Then we met with Teach for America’s Social Entrepreneurship team and they literally told us that, “How and where to find complimentary cofounders is one of the most frequently asked questions from our alumni entrepreneurs.” So, today we’re thrilled to announce the launch of FounderDating Education in partnership with Teach for America.
FounderDating Education will help the growing number of innovative education-focused entrepreneurs by connecting them with one another to find cofounders. It’s a direct expansion of the FounderDating platform (members will be a part of the same online network) and our first vertical-specific initiative. We decided to launch this not only because education one of the biggest challenges of our time, but also because:
- Bottom Up Demand – our applicants/members are demanding it as are the Teach for America alumni entrepreneurs
- Education/Industry crossover – education/learning is an area where individuals with subject matter experience and those with industry experience don’t naturally cross paths. Bringing them together to form strong teams is a key component to innovation. Working with Teach for America’s Social Entrepreneurship Initiative means we can truly help bridge this gap.
But don’t be confused by the name, the rest is the same FounderDating Network. Here’s what you need to know:
- Anyone can apply – from anywhere
- High quality and balance – and the same rigorous evaluation process will be used by its education initiative to ensure high quality and balance by skill sets. Teach for America’s Social Entrepreneurship Initiative will be lending their education expertise to the screening process.
- Interact online – once accepted, members will be part of the larger FounderDating Network, able to search (by interest area, skills, location, etc.) and interact with one another online.
- Not just tech – we love tech, and believe it’s a key component to improving education from K-12 to lifelong learning. But we know education and learning isn’t just about technology and we welcome entrepreneurs who want to build schools, community initiatives, etc.
- No idea necessary – as you know, we believe ideas change, people don’t so you don’t need to have THE idea, just be ready to at least work on a serious side-project.
- FounderDating Education entrepreneurs will also be invited to an offline kickoff on September 20th in San Francisco (not mandatory, but certainly awesome).
There’s an immense amount of interest and excitement around Edtech and education entrepreneurship in general, and we’re excited to help individuals at the earliest stage find the right people to get started.