This September, the Tuck Social Venture Fund (TSVF) made its first-ever follow-on investment in Education Modified, an education technology company built to support special education teachers in managing their student populations.
The TSVF’s follow-on investment will support EdMod’s continued expansion in school districts across the U.S. as administrators look to identify digital solutions for their student populations.
“We are thrilled to support CEO Melissa Corto and the EdMod team especially during this challenging time,” says Madeleine Livingston T’21, co-director of the TSVF. “While all students have struggled with the adjustment to remote learning, students with thinking and learning differences are particularly disadvantaged. We are proud to partner with the EdMod team to enhance the educational experience of children and teachers in the special education community. It is critically important for teachers to be able to access individualized education plans to better track their students’ progress and adapt their teaching to children’s needs.”
COVID-19, while bringing the country to a halt in some sectors, has accelerated investment interest in edtech. While the edtech market has historically been challenging given the long sales cycles typically associated with school districts, EdMod’s value proposition is increasingly clear to administrators.
While all students have struggled with the adjustment to remote learning, students with thinking and learning differences are particularly disadvantaged. We are proud to partner with the Ed Mod team to enhance the educational experience of children and teachers in the special education community.
“The need to be able to share and communicate information in real time is more important than ever, and schools are not able to sustain paper-based, email, or even GSuite systems to communicate and share information during the pandemic,” says EdMod CEO Melissa Corto.
Throughout the pandemic, special education has emerged as an equity issue in the era of remote schooling. The special education population stands to be hit the hardest by the challenges of remote learning given the additional care that they require, health vulnerabilities, the number of care providers they interact with in a school setting, and the difficulty of translating services like speech therapy into the virtual setting.
“Students who need the most instructional and social-emotional support are taught by professionals who have the least access to technology and are actually stymied by administrative tasks that need to be completed to satisfy compliance requirements,” says Corto. “Part of EdMod’s mission is to provide special education professionals with tools to relieve them of administrative burdens and create efficient communication systems that enhance collaboration.”
Upon meeting with EdMod in early June to discuss a follow-on investment, the TSVF was impressed by EdMod’s sales momentum in 2020 despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. Corto has been focused on executing a “Land and Expand” strategy within districts, where they look to convert additional schools within that district upon renewing an existing school’s contract. So far, for every 1 school renewed, 3.5 new schools are onboarded. There has also been a positive trend towards multi-year contracts, enabling EdMod to deploy sales talent more efficiently and to build longer term relationships that support co-creation of product functionality. As of early September 2020, EdMod is also in the nascent stages of international expansion, with a recent pilot launch in the Philippines.
As EdMod looks to the future, their plans are to continue developing an edtech platform that provides a best in class experience for teachers, students, and parents. EdMod prides itself on seamless integration with existing behemoths of the edtech space that facilitate classroom learning across the U.S.
As current students in a remote learning environment, the TSVF team feels a special connection to Ed Mod and the edtech space. We hope to closely partner with Melissa and her team as they build out and scale their digital platform for collaboration between teachers, parents, and students.
“Learning management systems have made huge strides in the past 10 years to support teachers with instruction, and EdMod integrates with those platforms to meet teachers where they are, provide more than a single-sign-on experience, and allow them to streamline their work within one system.”
As the EdMod team prepares for a whirlwind few months of sales conversations, their goal is to see EdMod grow to 200 more schools in the next 12 months, positively impacting thousands of students. The TSVF looks forward to partnering with EdMod as they continue to grow.
“As current students in a remote learning environment, the TSVF team feels a special connection to EdMod and the edtech space,” says Livingston. “We hope to closely partner with Melissa and her team as they build out and scale their digital platform for collaboration between teachers, parents, and students. We look forward to leveraging the Dartmouth and Tuck communities to help Melissa and her team achieve the best possible outcomes for students.”
Based out of Tuck Business School at Dartmouth, TSVF is a student-run, early-stage investment fund that invests in for-profit social enterprises that deliver a measurable social impact and financial return. The fund is also aimed at facilitating experiential learning opportunities for the next generation of leaders in impact investing.
TSVF is overseen by the Center for Business, Government & Society and the Center for Entrepreneurship. The fund’s advisers who work closely with the students include John McKinley, executive director of the Center for Business, Government & Society; Curt Welling D’71, T’77, Clinical Professor of Business; and Daniella Reichstetter T’07, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Adjunct Professor.