Foundry College Secures $1MM from Zanichelli Venture To Empower Students With In-demand 21st Century Skills

U.S. Based Foundry College recently announced raising additional funding of $1MM, led by Zanichelli Venture, into its open convertible note.

Founded by Stephen Kosslyn, Foundry College is one of a kind as it works on building future-ready skills and knowledge by offering adults an education that combines the durable professional skills that employers seek with in-demand, job-relevant qualifications to align with the jobs of present and future. 

The lead investor, Zanichelli Venture, is an Italian fund that focuses on investing in companies that are creating radical power-ups for the learner to experience within the already existing educational systems and companies that have envisioned bold alternatives to current systems with the potential to move from niche to dominant. Zanichelli Venture's investment is in line with the financing cycle initiated by Ulu VenturesLearn Capital and Learn Start. Zanichelli Venture was associated with this investment by Brahma AG, a Swiss holding company. 

Dr Akiba J. Covitz, President and CEO of Foundry College, stated, "We are honoured 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." "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 this, Foundry College is poised to become a national learning and development force." 

Foundry College is designed to disrupt the traditional two-year college model by providing learners with the 21st-century skills and knowledge they require to get employed today and in the future. The core courses provide students with the soft skills that employers say they lack and need most, including oral and written communication, collaboration and problem-solving. 

With Foundry College's stackable model, learners can master knowledge specific to job pathways in high demand and grow rapidly, including project management and Salesforce administration. At the same time, they earn recognized, third-party credentials that reflect 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 step down from the stacked education and enter the workforce at that point, others may continue to pursue an associate degree, even while working. Several studies have shown that the associate degree and job-directed credentials offer more job opportunities and open doors to various jobs in well-paying sectors than a high school diploma. Foundry College provides the full ladder of value: learners may choose to climb to the top or step off and continue later. 

"Over the past decade, MOOCs became proficient in scaling the lecture online effectively, which ultimately created unprecedented opportunities for confident, well-educated, self-directed adult learners," said Enrico Poli, director of Zanichelli Venture. He added, "And yet, during the pandemic, it became definitively clear to all 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."  

Foundry College has had over three rounds of funding where it secured a total of $8M. Zanichelli Venture and Ulu Ventures are the last to invest. As per the PrivCo. report, as of Oct 11 2018, Foundry College has a post-money valuation in the range of $10M to $50M. 

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About the Author
Author: Saniya Khan
Saniya Khan I am Saniya Khan, Copy-Editor at EdTechReview - India’s leading edtech media. As a part of the group, my aim is to spread awareness on the growing edtech market by guiding all educational stakeholders on latest and quality news, information and resources. A voraciously curious writer with a dedication to excellence creates interesting yet informational pieces, playing with words since 2016.

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