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Bringing the Early Childhood Conversation to SOCAP17


As part of our commitment to catalyzing early childhood innovation, Gary Community Investments is partnering with Social Capital Markets to curate the first-ever track of early childhood-focused sessions at SOCAP17, the largest annual social entrepreneurship and impact investing conference in the world that attracts entrepreneurs, academics, investors and foundations focused on using private capital to create impact.

Our SOCAP17 Spotlight sessions will explore the question, “For greatest impact on improving school success, increased earnings, and long-term health, what if the smartest and most significant investment is in young children?,” and the speakers and sessions will focus on introducing the latest in early childhood research, entrepreneurship and investment opportunities with the goal of sparking new thinking and increased collaboration within the sector.

Plenary speakers will include Satya Nitta of IBM Watson Internet of Things, who will paint a plausible vision for how disruptive technologies like machine learning are set to revolutionize the ways children play and learn. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions covering the following topics:

  • Early childhood leaders from Acelero Learning, Ready Nation, Omidyar Network and the University of Pittsburgh will provide insight into where early childhood innovation opportunities exist from the investor, science, business and implementation perspectives.

  • The CAPROCK Group’s Matthew Weatherly-White will moderate a session featuring economists and researchers who will make the case for why investors and entrepreneurs shouldn’t wait to take advantage of the $157 billion dollar early care and education market.

  • Early childhood investors from Learn Capital, Collaborative Fund, Omidyar Network and Gary Community Investments will share how they crafted their investment criterias, including traditional diligence and evidence-based knowledge, to evaluate investments in this nascent and promising sector.

  • Jim Sorenson of the Sorenson Impact Foundation, Antony Bugg-Levine of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and Deborah Kasemeyer of Northern Trust will discuss innovative work being done around the country to more thoughtfully invest resources in underprivileged children through models like pay for success, lending strategies and public-private-partnerships.

  • Representatives from IBM Watson Internet of Things, ABCMouse.com and the Weill Institute for Neuroscience will share how design thinking, technology and machine learning are being used within the early childhood sector and explore the potential technology has for creating opportunities for corporations, entrepreneurs and investors aiming to create impact for young children.

  • A panel that includes The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Early Learning Lab and WorkLife Partnership will speak about how cross-sector collaboration can help better support low-income families and drive more successful outcomes for communities.

  • Uncharted’s Teju Ravilochan will moderate a panel of successful entrepreneurs, including VersaMe’s Nicola Boyd, BabyCenter’s Matt Glickman and Teachstone’s Bob Pianta, who will share personal stories of designing successful early childhood ventures that are based on existing research.

Get your ticket to SOCAP17 to join in the early childhood conversation, and stay up-to-date on GCI’s efforts to catalyze early childhood innovation by signing up for the GCI newsletter, or following along on Twitter and Facebook.