February 17, 2021
OnRamp Press Release
Minneapolis—gener8tor, in partnership with ECMC Group and ECMC Foundation will host their second annual OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference on Thursday, June 17, 2021. The conference will highlight innovations disrupting the education & future of employment, as well as the leaders making such innovations possible.
The event will attract hundreds of education and workforce innovation startups to its “Startup Track” – curated, one-on-one pitch sessions between selected startups and corporate venture capital & innovation executives, VCs and accelerators to discuss potential customer relationships, strategic partnerships and, if appropriate, investment opportunities.
Last year’s inaugural event was attended virtually by 49 corporate partners and over 250 startups. The conference facilitated nearly 450 one-on-one pitch meetings and nearly 300 attendees participated in the plenary session.
The OnRamp Conference Series grew out of a desire to provide entrepreneurs at various stages of growth with access to high-level corporate leaders and investors. Started by gener8tor in 2013, OnRamp has evolved into vertical-specific events featuring conference programming and curated one-on-one pitch sessions between startups and corporate venture capital and innovation executives. OnRamp strives to be the premier gathering of corporate venture capital and innovation executives in each industry it serves.
“COVID-19 has exposed haves and have-nots across so many aspects of our society – healthcare, education, housing, and the workforce. Access to capital markets is no different. While overall venture funding rose to new highs in the last year, start-ups at the earliest stages are finding it harder to secure funding. We view OnRamp as a critical forum for connecting edtech and workforce startups to providers of capital – potential investors, grantmakers, customers – during a time when many similar venues have disappeared,” said Josh Slayton, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Impact Investing for ECMC Group. Slayton, along with Joe Watt, Senior Director at ECMC Group, oversee the non-profit’s Education Impact Fund, which invests in early-stage, mission-driven, for-profit companies focused on postsecondary education and employment. "ECMC Group’s impact investment focus is all about improving accessibility and outcomes for students,” said Watt. “The past year has only highlighted the need to drive towards this impact, and we are excited to connect with a diverse group of startups at the OnRamp conference so that together we can work together to achieve it."
The one-day conference will include keynote speakers, fireside chats and panel discussions with industry leaders.
Unique to OnRamp, the conference will also include its signature Startup Track, featuring curated, one-on-one pitch sessions between startups and participating organizations. OnRamp will match selected startups with corporate venture capital & innovation executives, VCs and accelerators from participating education & workforce innovation organizations to discuss potential customer relationships, strategic partnerships and, if appropriate, investment opportunities.
At gener8tor, our mission is to be the best partner for a community to invest in its best and brightest. Access to quality education and career pathways are the foundations of a healthy community,” said Danica Nilsestuen, lead organizer of the OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference. “We are excited to continue our partnership with ECMC Group and ECMC Foundation that focuses on bringing together thought leaders, founders, investors, and innovation teams again in 2021 to continue meaningful conversations and collaborations.
Applications are currently being accepted through April 12th, 2021 for the 2021 OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference. Interested startups may learn more and apply at www.onrampeducation.com.
About OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation:
The OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference brings together education & workforce industry’s leading corporations, investors and startups. The conference highlights innovations disrupting the industry, spotlights the policymakers and leaders making such innovations possible, and forecasts how new technologies and business models will transform the burgeoning industry. The daylong conference includes a Startup Track, featuring curated, one-on-one pitch sessions between selected startups and corporate venture capital and innovation executives from participating agriculture corporations.
About ECMC Group:
ECMC Group is a nonprofit corporation focused on helping students succeed by creating, providing and investing in innovative educational opportunities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, ECMC Group and its family of companies are focused on advancing educational opportunities through financial tools and services; nonprofit career education and workforce training; and innovative, impactful and mission-aligned funding for innovative programs to help students achieve their academic and professional goals and to address the future of work. For more information about ECMC Group’s Education Impact Fund, visit www.ecmcgroup.org/education.impact.fund.html.
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.
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.