Fresh Capital

Benchmark Invests $25 M. In Minerva Project to Build a Better Ivy League School at Half the Cost

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Earlier this week, New York-based online higher-ed startup 2tor raised a $26 million Series D. Just six months earlier, Knewton, another local online education startup, picked up $33 million Series D.

The “edutech” market, as the New York City Economic Development Corporation called it in a recent report suggesting we build a sector right here at home, may be well-funded, but most startups tend to work within the system–offering symbiotic solutions like Coursekit (a Blackboard alternative). Of course, there’s also the Peter Thiel approach, which pays you to bypass the entire enterprise.

Minerva Project takes a more audacious approach. Founder Ben Nelson calls his project “the first elite American University to be launched in a century.” If you’re looking at the Ivy League, it’s even longer than that. (Cornell, the most recent entry, was founded in 1865.) Read More