At Imagine K12, our goal is to improve your company’s chances of success. We do this through a combination of strategic advice and mentorship, a series of speakers and seminars designed to help founders make better decisions, value-added networks of entrepreneurs and educators, and $100,000 of initial funding.
We invest in up to 20 early-stage education technology startups per year. Selected startups move to Silicon Valley for an intensive three-month program in the fall.
Imagine K12 has a rolling admission process that runs from February through August. Companies begin receiving support from Imagine K12 immediately upon their acceptance, including $20k of funding. In September, all accepted startups are required to move to Silicon Valley for an intensive three-month program.
Each startup meets with the Imagine K12 team and our Teachers in Residence in one-on-one meetings every week. In preparation for Demo Day, each startup is matched with pitch mentors.
Office Hours: The Imagine K12 team meets with each startup weekly to discuss whatever needs discussing at that time: business strategy, product design, technical advice, recruiting advice, and so on. The meetings will vary in length from ten-minute check-ins to hour-long product walkthroughs. If we don't know how to help you on a certain issue, chances are we can introduce you to someone who does.
Teachers in Residence: Each Imagine K12 cohort includes one or more Teachers in Residence (TIRs) who hold office hours, provide insight into the workings of the US educational system, and generally vet ideas and company direction.
Pitch Mentors: As teams enter the latter stages of the program, we pair each startup with one or more outside pitch mentors who offer a fresh perspective to help the founders refine their product strategy and their pitch. These mentors are thoughtful, experienced investors from all areas of the Silicon Valley ecosystem and often build lasting relationships with the companies they mentor through Imagine K12.
Educator Network: We have built up a network of hundreds of educators, including classroom teachers and administrators at all levels, who work with Imagine K12 startups as beta testers, early adopters, and tech evangelists. We also have relationships with innovative local schools that open their doors to Imagine K12 entrepreneurs. If you are an educator who is interested in joining our network, please let us know.
Every week during the program, we host prominent speakers and tactical seminars for our startups.
Speakers: Every week during the program we host a dinner for all of the founders in the cohort. We invite compelling speakers to these dinners to tell the stories behind their successes and dispense hard-earned advice for startup companies. Here is a list of our past speakers.
Seminars: We bring in experts to advise founders on the basics of starting a company: legal incorporation, accounting and finance, COPPA compliance, sales, product development, public relations, product design, marketing, fundraising, etc.
We also host two major events during the program, introducing our startups to both educator and investor audiences.
Educator Day: Each team presents its product on-stage and then offers one-on-one demos to interested educators. The goal of Educator Day is to match startup companies with the educators who are most excited about getting involved as alpha testers, early adopters, or informal advisors. Getting product feedback from educators early and often is a critical component of building a successful edtech business.
Demo Day: Imagine K12’s program culminates with a Demo Day where founders pitch their companies to a large number of seed investors and venture capitalists. This is an extraordinary opportunity to reach many investors in a single day, generate interest, and arrange meetings.
Each startup that participates in Imagine K12’s program receives $100,000 of funding, which comes from two separate investments.
Imagine K12 investment: Immediately upon acceptance, Imagine K12 invests $20k in each selected company, depending on the number of founders. In exchange for that funding and participation in the program, we ask for equity in each company, usually 6% of the company’s common stock. If the company is not incorporated at the time of acceptance (which is the norm and is preferred), then we will first guide the founders through the process of incorporating the company and securing founder shares before proceeding with Imagine K12’s investment.
Start Fund: At Demo Day each company will receive an additional $80,000 investment from our Start Fund in exchange for an uncapped Safe. This additional funding is intended to give companies plenty of runway to gain traction and raise financing.
Imagine K12 continues to support alumni as they work on raising capital and scaling their businesses.
Following Demo Day, and for as long as the founders are building their companies, we continue to meet with founders as needed while they work on raising capital, building their teams, and growing their businesses. Alums are invited to attend all seminars and dinners planned for subsequent cohorts, and the Imagine K12 team hold office hours for alums throughout the year. Naturally, the Imagine K12 networks of companies, mentors, founders, and educators are always available to Imagine K12 companies.
One of the most important advantages Imagine K12 offers is an alumni network of edtech entrepreneurs. We currently have a network of almost 200 founders who act as resources for one another. Looking for advice on networking with superintendents, calculating your TAM, or whether that edtech conference is worth the trip? Ask the people who’ve been through it before.
New companies connect with alums through our:
Perks: All Imagine K12 startups receive special perks that we have specifically negotiated with different services, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform for Startups, Mixpanel, Intercom, and more.
Imagine K12 Manuals: Folks at Imagine K12 have written down some of the key things founders need to know to be successful. This collection of material is available on our Manuals page.