January 31, 2020
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN—To invest in the next generation of education & workforce technology and innovation, ECMC Group has joined forces with gener8tor, a nationally ranked startup accelerator, to establish the OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Accelerator.
Five startups will be accepted annually into the three-month, concierge accelerator program in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Each of the companies chosen will receive a cash investment of $100,000, office space and access to a network of education experts, mentors and investors provided by gener8tor and ECMC Group. Applications are now open for the first OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Accelerator cohort at www.onrampeducationaccelerator.com.
"Partnering with gener8tor provides a unique opportunity to bring awareness, connections and capital to the Twin Cities—an area with a robust history of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in education," said Josh Slayton, senior vice president of business development, research and innovation for ECMC Group. Slayton also oversees ECMC Group's Education Impact Fund, which invests in early-stage, mission-aligned, for-profit companies focused on postsecondary education and the future of work. "Given our organization's focus on positively impacting student outcomes through investments in innovation, we look forward to helping develop the next generation of education startups, so that together we can enhance the learner experience now and into the future."
The creation of the OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Accelerator builds off the success of gener8tor's OnRamp model designed to efficiently connect startups, corporations and capital. gener8tor also operates similar programs in insurance, manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare. ECMC Group, ECMC Foundation and gener8tor will sponsor an annual OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference, the first to be held June 24, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The conference is designed to connect education and workforce innovation startups and investors with education executives in corporate venture capital, innovation, M&A and strategy. More details are available at www.onrampeducationconference.com.
"As a Minneapolis-based, nonprofit company with more than two decades of experience working in postsecondary education, we understand the issues that learners, educators, employers and communities are facing and we are uniquely positioned to develop solutions to meet those challenges," said Jeremy Wheaton, president and CEO of ECMC Group. "This event will enhance our efforts as well as developments in the space by bringing together leading corporations and startups in education and workforce training to discuss, identify and invest in enabling a greater number of learners to succeed."
The conference will highlight innovations disrupting the education industry, the leaders making such innovations possible and how new technologies and business models will reinvent the industry. The one-day event includes a full day of conference programming as well as a "Startup Track" featuring curated, one-on-one pitch meetings between participating corporations, private equity and venture capital funds with participating startups.
"The OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference will bring hundreds of education executives, investors and startups to the Twin Cities," said Troy Vosseller, co-founder of gener8tor. "To build off those relationships, we are thrilled to team up with a seasoned group of leaders to invest in the best education and workforce innovation startups via the OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Accelerator."
About ECMC Foundation
ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation whose mission is to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation's vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential. Learn more about ECMC Foundation by visiting www.ecmcfoundation.org and ECMC Group by visiting www.ecmcgroup.org.
About OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Accelerator
Each year, the OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Accelerator, with ECMC Group, invests in five education & workforce innovation startups that participate in a three-month, concierge accelerator program in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Each startup receives a cash investment of $100,000, office space and access to gener8tor's global network of mentors and investors.
About OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference
The OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference brings together the education industry's leading corporations, investors and startups. The event specifically focuses on connecting education and workforce innovation startups and investors with education executives in corporate venture capital, innovation, M&A and strategy. The conference highlights innovations disrupting the education industry, the leaders making such innovations possible and how new technologies and business models will reinvent the industry.
gener8tor's turnkey platform for the creative economy connects startup founders, musicians, artists, investors, universities and corporations. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences and fellowships. For more information, visit www.gener8tor.com.