How can I get seed funding for an educational startup?


I have looked into Imagine k-12, and sadly they are closed to new applicants right now which I'm super bummed about, and NewSchools. How else can I get seed funding for an educational startup that is not necessarily a high tech educational product?

Also, what sort of models succeed in this atmosphere?

Investors Seed Funding Education

asked Dec 2 '12 at 19:18
Apis Girl
38 points
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  • Welcome to the site! In general, polling the community for a list of product, service, resource, etc. recommendations is not allowed on the Stack Exchange network. I edited your question to remove those parts of it in order to keep it open. – Zuly Gonzalez 11 years ago
  • Thanks. This is more like what I want to know anyhow. – Apis Girl 11 years ago

2 Answers


Without knowing the specifics of your product, or how much money you are seeking, here are some possibilities:

  • Crowdfunding: Depending on what your solution/product is, crowdfunding may be the best option for you. I think Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the biggest players in crowdfunding right now, but there are others.
  • AngelList: The goal of AngelList is to connect startups with investors, but I'm not sure how successful one would be on AngelList without a prior referral. They seem to have a large group of investors who have an interest in education. Currently there are 920 investors in the K-12 education market, and 909 investors in the broader education market. At the very least you can use this as a research tool to figure out which investors you want to reach out to personally.
  • Grants: Search on Google for federal and state government grants. There are a lot of grants for the education sector, you just have to look for them. You may even find some private grants.
  • Incubators and accelerators: Some incubators and accelerators have a broad focus, like Y Combinator and TechStars. But others focus on specific industries. Look for opportunities in both types. Note that not all of these programs will provide funding, but most will at least put you in front of investors.
  • Friends and family: This could be a way to get a small amount of seed capital.
  • Bank loan: If you have good credit and income, this may be another way to get a small amount of seed capital. You'll have to pay this back, so technically this isn't an investment, but it may give you a way to get started if you've exhausted other options.
answered Dec 3 '12 at 07:09
Zuly Gonzalez
9,194 points
  • This is really useful, another question (as you seem quite knowledgable), what sort of marketing resources would you suggest for educating folks like myself for crowdfunding and the like? – Apis Girl 11 years ago
  • @ApisGirl I've never ran a crowdfunding campaign, so I have limited experience there. Kickstarter has a nice [getting started guide]( on their site that provides a bit of marketing advice. Indiegogo has [one too](, though it's not as informative. My advice would be to find a few successful campaigns in your niche, figure out what made them successful, and copy those things. I've heard the most important thing to do is to get your friends/family involved and donating first. – Zuly Gonzalez 11 years ago
  • Leverage your current network via Facebook, blogs, etc. to get the ball rolling. No one wants to be the first to donate to a stranger's campaign, so you need to show some social proof before you'll get much traction from the masses. I suggest asking a question on this site about successful crowdfunding marketing strategies. Maybe someone with more experience can give you better guidance. Just make sure not to simply ask for links, but ask for the marketing advice itself. – Zuly Gonzalez 11 years ago


I agree with the above answer that you should look at a range of options, however there are a few other Education focused accelerators I am aware of if you are set on that. Many other incubators are open to edtech startups, especially if they are connected to universities. My startup is incubated by Isis (connected to Oxford University) at

answered Oct 15 '13 at 19:40
326 points

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