Education Technology Pioneer and University Chancellor Join Education Venture Fund

New Markets Venture Partners Announces Former University of Maryland Chancellor, Brit Kirwan and Wireless Generation executive, Josh Reibel as Advisors

New Markets Venture Partners, a venture capital fund focused on investing in high impact education companies, today announced that Josh Reibel and Dr. Brit Kirwan will serve as Senior Advisors to their second education fund, New Markets Education Partners II.  With decades of management, technology and education experience, Dr. Kirwan and Reibel will bring unparalleled expertise to inform fund strategy and support portfolio companies.

“Josh and Brit are among a very small handful of leaders that have a real understanding of the historic context for recent trends in education technology, and a deep commitment to improving student outcomes at scale,” said New Markets’ General Partner Mark Grovic. “Their deep experience over decades of policy and industry shifts will add immeasurable value to our team and portfolio.”

Josh Reibel, who began his career as a classroom teacher, served as COO and then President and CEO of Wireless Generation.  Josh joined Wireless Generation, which pioneered the use of mobile assessments in schools across the country, when it was pre-revenue with 6 employees, and piloted its growth to over $95M in annual revenue, 1,100 employees and ultimate acquisition by News Corporation.  A proponent of applying technology in support of great teaching to close persistent achievement gaps in early literacy, Josh was early to identify the potential for technology to inform instructional strategy.  He went on to serve as CEO of Amplify Learning before leaving News Corp in 2015.

Dr. Kirwan has had a long and distinguished career in higher education, serving as president of both the University of Maryland (1988-98) and The Ohio State University (1998-2002).  He served as Chancellor of the University System of Maryland for over a decade, where his commitment to diversity, access and affordability earned him global recognition.  Dr. Kirwan currently chairs the National Research Council’s Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW), and is the past chair of the American Council for Higher Education, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, and the Business Higher Education Forum.

“New Markets Venture Partners’ focus and success is directly aligned with our commitment to Completion with a Purpose,” said limited partner and USA Funds President and CEO Bill Hansen, who previously served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education.  “Josh and Brit bring a set of experiences to bear that will greatly extend the reach and social impact of their portfolio.”

New Markets Venture Partners’ investments and exits include a diverse portfolio of impact-oriented education technology companies including Starfish Retention, which has pioneered the use of retention analytics for colleges and universities, and Think Through Learning, which brings high quality, interactive math instruction to over 3,000,000 students who have completed over 1 billion Think Through Math problems across K12 schools and districts.

Reibel and Dr. Kirwan join 2U President and Former Deputy Secretary of Education, Jim Shelton, Whiteboard Advisors co-Founder and CEO, Ben Wallerstein, and Rusty Greiff, Managing Director of Education at 1776, as Advisors to the fund.

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