Sesame’s mission of helping kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder is now competing in a very different media landscape than the one into which it was born.
Just as Sesame Street’s founders once saw an opening for education in television, Sesame Workshop now sees an untapped opportunity in smartphones and tablets.
“The kids who watch it, we can still have an impact with, but if we want to have an impact in the future to the same extent we had one in the past, we and others are going to have to make a much bigger foray into the digital world than has been made.”
That transition, however, is easier said than done for a nonprofit organization with limited resources.
And so, on Monday, Sesame Workshop announced Sesame Ventures, an internal team that will partner with venture capital firms to make investments in for-profit startups that support its mission. Its first partner is Collaborative Fund, an early stage investor in startups like Lyft and Kickstarter. Together they will manage a new $10 million fund called Collab+Sesame Fund.
Though Dunn said he had no specific startups in mind, he said examples he could imagine would be companies that encourage healthy habits related to eating and exercise, or companies that focus on the social and emotional development of kids, either through technology-based games or learning products.
Though Dunn said he had no specific startups in mind, he said examples he could imagine would be companies that encourage healthy habits related to eating and exercise, or companies that focus on the social and emotional development of kids, either through technology-based games or learning products. Craig Shapiro, the founder of the Collaborative Fund (which has more than $100 million in assets under management), was hopeful that Sesame Workshop’s involvement would be a draw for these companies. “The resources that the Workshop brings, whether around efficacy or research or distribution or marketing, I think is extremely compelling,” he said. Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms Shoes and an investor in the Collaborative Fund, says that Sesame Workshop offers its partners expertise in research, extensive media savvy, and global reach. “What really stands out is that their brand is trusted and also resonates with parents and kids around the world,” he says.
Since you are interested in Impact Investing, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Impact Investing?
Looking for a way to get involved?
A good way to complement your interest in Early Childhood Education is to connect with others. Check out these events, galas, conferences or volunteering opportunities related to Early Childhood Education.
Are you ready to give?
In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Early Childhood Education take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.