EDGE takes an innovative approach to fostering early stage EdTech startups, what we call a "Startup Generator", that supports the entire value chain of EdTech company creation from ideation to Series A:

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Companies cheaper and faster to build
The average cost of developing web and mobile applications has fallen so low that many products can go from concept to trial in less than 90 days at a cost of less than $50,000. Successful companies can achieve scale rapidly, often in 12‒18 months. For example, Khan Academy reached 5 million users within 18 months and Coursera achieved 1 million in less than 6 months. Furthermore, there has been a codification of practices on how to reduce start-up risk with the “lean start-up/agile development” movements. 

New early stage funding models achieving impressive returns
These new models fill the gap between early company bootstrapping and ad hoc angels and later-stage venture capital (VC) funding. Ideation Labs like the MIT Media Lab have created the space for truly generative ideas for technology change and transformation.  “Accelerators” like Techstars and Y Combinator (YC) have pioneered seed-stage business funding by placing small bets, approximately $20,000, on lots of ideas for small-equity stakes, around 6%. Forbes estimates that companies in which YC has invested are valued in total at 10 times invested capital. The studio model is a more hands-on version of this early stage business-building approach. It places fewer bets and takes higher stakes on more selective opportunities. BetaWorks, a NYC-based studio focused on social media, and Science, an LA-based studio focused on ecommerce, have demonstrated Accelerator/YC like returns. 

Only EDGE applies the complete value chain of startup company creation for the vertical sector of education
EDGE’s deep domain expertise in education and decades of business-building experience ideally position it to bring the hands-on studio model to the tidal wave of change coming to the education sector. This studio model of in-house development puts us closer to the market, attracts deal flow, and makes us better value-added investors to external seed-stage companies that are complementary to our own businesses. EDGE will establish the most innovative network of edtech entrepreneurs, thought leaders, advisors and investors that will be leveraged for edtech startups and that will attract the best and brightest talent. 


Want more information about the incubator models and our process? Please contact us.


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When a business model/idea is beyond the initial feasibility and R&D stages and ready to be fully commercialized, the accelerator model incubator is the ideal fit. The Accelerator injects seed fund capital (eg $170K) into a company and then conducts a ninety day acceleration program. This incubator model focuses on building traction, building startup capabilities, ensuring product market fit, and validating customers. At the end of three months, the program culminates with Demo Day where companies will present to a room filled with VCs, angel investors and strategic partners., the ultimate goal for each startup is to ensure full funding. Under the accelerator model, EDGE would partner with established corporations as sponsors. For corporate partners, the accelerator is an organic source of PR coverage that also engages internal mentors/executives, brings startup speed and focus to the corporation, and engages a global community of entrepreneurs/investors around the corporate brand. For startup companies, the accelerator model not only condenses one year of work into 3 months, it also offers relationships with industry leaders, lifelong business networks, clear go-to-market opportunities, and unprecedented investor exposure.

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The EDGE-Alley Community provides a physical location and hub for thought leadership, classes, programming, meet-ups and co-working space for the NYC education technology community. This model is designed to inspire talent to come out of the woodworks, to provide space for the for the entire education community to convene, connect, learn and incubate.  Leaders from government, education, corporations, and technology companies will find common ground and propel the community and innovation forward.

Unlike the standard venture investing model of finding investments in already existing a well shopped startups, our model for the Fund focuses on follow-on investments into the "best of" startups from our "creation" portfolios in the Accelerator & Studio. This provides entrepreneurs with leverage as you approach the institutional investor market. The Fund can also offer venture debt opportunities in appropriate cases to fund receivables. 

For startup companies with product market fit and in the late stage of seed funding or early Series A, the EDGE Board Advisor Service is the ideal program. The program provides a customized set of consulting services that help scale the business and get to the next level -- and includes the option, but not the requirement, of residence in the NYC EDGE workspace. These services are generally provided over a 6 to 9 month period.

Unlike the standard venture investing model of finding investments in already existing a well shopped startups, our model for the Fund focuses on follow-on investments into the "best of" startups from our "creation" portfolios in the Accelerator & Studio. This provides entrepreneurs with leverage as you approach the institutional investor market. The Fund can also offer venture debt opportunities in appropriate cases to fund receivables. 

The Studio model starts at ideation, accelerates and scales over a longer period of time than any of the other incubator programs. Here the Studio acts as the Founder of the startup, recruits the very best talent to execute against the idea, accelerates and scales the business until it goes out for external financing.  This model involves very hands-on business building with more capital and resources allocated. The program takes startup concepts from idea and team formation to acceleration and growth following the more rigorous external venture financing process.