GCI, ZOMA Foundation Invest in LearnStart to Support Early Childhood Startups
Early childhood-focused impact investors Gary Community Investments (GCI) and ZOMA Foundation, together with structuring partner and impact advisor Caprock, joined forces to co-anchor LearnStart, an innovative Edtech-focused seed fund that is part of Learn Capital. The capital will be directed toward supporting and accelerating early-stage entrepreneurs and ventures that are focused on early childhood development (ECD), filling a gap in the ECD sector for seed funding, mentorship and coaching. This $4 million commitment is part of LearnStart’s larger $25 million capital raise.
By investing in LearnStart to provide seed-stage funding and support to ECD companies, GCI and ZOMA aim to prove out ECD market viability while attracting additional market-rate capital to ECD companies, which include ventures that support the physical, social-emotional, cognitive and motor development of children prenatal through 8 years old.
The funds will be managed by Edtech acceleration leader and investor, Don Burton, who has decades of experience advancing early childhood causes through work with Disney, Kaplan and multiple startup ventures. Burton will leverage his strong VC experience to support ECD companies to grow and scale. In addition, GCI will provide early childhood content expertise and technical assistance to help ensure that ECD-focused ventures create positive social impact and that solutions reach all young children, particularly ones from low-income families.