Investment accelerates growth strategies in stackable education model
SAN FRANCISCO — Foundry College today announced additional funding of $1MM, led by Zanichelli Venture, into its open convertible note. Foundry College is a new kind of college that builds future-ready skills and knowledge by providing adults with an education that combines the durable professional skills that employers seek with in-demand, job-relevant credentials to align with the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Zanichelli Venture is an Italian fund that focuses their investments on companies who are creating radical power-ups for the learner experience within existing educational systems, as well as in companies that have envisioned bold alternatives to current systems with the potential to move from niche to dominant. Zanichelli Venture’s investment continues the funding round begun by Ulu Ventures, Learn Capital, and Learn Start. Zanichelli Venture was joined in this investment by the Swiss Holding Company, Brahma AG.
“We are honored and excited to be partnering with Zanichelli Venture and Brahma as Foundry College continues to execute on our founding vision of creating a stackable educational value proposition for adult learners of all ages and at all stages of life,” said Dr. Akiba J. Covitz, president and CEO of Foundry College. “With this new investment, Foundry will be able to build on our recent successes, which include the American Council on Education’s (ACE) recommendation for credits for our six Professional Skills courses, the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education’s (BPPE) approval of our credentialed certificate programs in Salesforce Administration and Project Management, as well as provisional approval of our associate degree program. With these achievements, Foundry College is poised to grow rapidly into a national force in learning and upskilling.”
Foundry College aims to disrupt the traditional two-year college model by providing learners with the 21st century skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Foundational courses provide students with the broad skills that employers say are lacking and needed most: oral and written communication, collaboration, and problem solving, among others. Using Foundry College’s stackable model, learners can then master knowledge specific to job pathways that are in high-demand and growing rapidly, including project management and Salesforce administration, while they earn a recognized, third-party credential that signals their mastery of industry-specific skills. These credentialed certificates prepare learners to excel in the workforce in entry-level roles with salaries starting at $50K.
While many learners may choose to exit the stacked education and enter the workforce at that point, others may continue on to pursue an associate degree, even while working. Numerous studies over many years have shown that the associate degree and job-directed credentials offer more job opportunities and open doors to a range of jobs in well-paying sectors than a high school diploma. Foundry College provides the full ladder of value: learners can choose to climb to the top or step off and continue later.
“Over the past ten years, MOOCs became adept in scaling the lecture online effectively, and this created unprecedented opportunities for confident, well-educated, self-directed adult learners,” said Enrico Poli, director of Zanichelli Venture. “And yet, during the pandemic, it became definitively clear to all of us that learning needs more than asynchronous, mostly solitary, passive classes, especially for learners who are still refining their skills and strengthening their executive functions and confidence. Foundry College is showing us how to successfully scale online synchronous, active, experiential, social learning, and one can’t overstate the impact this will have on millions of lives.”
To learn more about Foundry College’s programs, visit https://foundrycollege.org/programs.
About Foundry College
Foundry College is a new kind of college that offers live, face-to-face classes in an online environment that promotes the community of a traditional classroom experience. Every class combines live, instructor-led lectures with small-group active learning sessions to ensure that new skills and knowledge are effectively integrated, retained, and can be put into immediate practice. Foundry College’s proprietary learning management system, the Forge, can host up to 200 students per session and uses performance data to facilitate student learning and success. Created by a team led by President Emeritus and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Stephen M. Kosslyn, Foundry College launched in 2018 and is headquartered in San Francisco. Foundry College was recently named a Top 100 Ed Tech company in North America by HolonIQ. www.foundrycollege.org.
About Zanichelli Venture
Zanichelli Venture is the leading Italian textbook publisher Zanichelli Editore’s investment initiative, focusing on early-stage EdTech startups. The fund co-invests globally, following trusted, local lead investors in seed, pre-A, and A rounds, ready to keep supporting its portfolio companies with follow-ons in later rounds. Zanichelli Venture finances ideas with the potential to have a positive impact on our future through education at every stage of a learner’s life.
Zanichelli Editore has been in the textbook business in Italy for more than a hundred and fifty years. It has published the first Italian translation of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species back in 1864, Einstein’s Relativity: The Special and the General Theory in 1921, and is the market leader for most scientific subjects in middle and high school textbooks. It has been developing digital educational products since the late 1990s. www.zanichelliventure.it
About Brahma AG
Established in 1996, Brahma AG is a Swiss holding company owned by the Colussi family, former media research entrepreneurs. Brahma holds a diversified portfolio of investments spanning multiple geographies. Biotech, education, and technology are the key investment themes. Following the family spirit and a long-term approach to investments, Brahma aims to embrace innovation, diversity, and to foster talent.