Although education is the second largest sector in the U.S. economy after healthcare, it is not commonly seen as an industry readily targeted by venture capital investments. The Venture Capital in Education Summit 2010 next week hopes to counter this.

The Summit, hosted by investment bankers Berkery Noyes, the edtech incubator Startl, and the law firm Hogan Lovells, will be attended by venture capitalists, angel investors, foundations, and social venture philanthropists.

Education Innovators Showcase

In preparation for the event, the Summit has announced the ten early-stage education companies selected to participate in the "Education Innovators Showcase" to be held on June 8 at Scholastic's New York City headquarters. This showcase offers innovative startups in the education sector the opportunity to present their businesses to the attendees at the Venture Capital in Education Summit.

The companies participating in the Education Innovators Showcase are pre-series A enterprises that are deploying innovative solutions into the K-20 and professional learning markets, including: Muzzy Lane, a developer of 3D Web-based multiplayer games that leverage its proprietary games as a service platform and authoring tools to power the next generation of immersive 3D Internet games; Presence Telecare, a Web-based technology to connect schools with specialized teaching professionals who are difficult to recruit and retain; and Notehall, an online academic marketplace enabling students to buy and sell study materials including lecture notes, class documents and study guides.

Why Invest in EdTech?

The effort to build stronger bridges across the education and investment communities is critical, according to Startl Co-Founders and Managing Directors Phoenix Wang and Diana Rhoten. "Private investment will capitalize on the unprecedented technical infrastructure and new empirical evidence around learning," explains Rhoten. Wang adds: "Stimulating a pipeline of deal flow is essential to bringing innovative learning and instructional products to market and driving the next generation of innovation in education."

The Venture Capital in Education Summit 2010 full-day event will be held on June 9 in New York City. The conference is designed to nurture innovation in education by connecting early-stage capital with innovative education companies.

"It is absolutely incumbent upon the private markets to drive the development of the next generation of K-20 learning technologies," notes Joe Berkery, CEO of Berkery Noyes. He adds that the Venture Capital in Education Summit 2010 seeks to educate prospective investors on emerging trends to "bolster the pipeline of knowledge fueling deal flow."