Sesame Street Establishes a Venture Capital Fund
Sesame Workshop is the creator of world-famous children television series. Sesame Street cooperates with Collaborative Fund to establish a $10 million new venture fund.
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that create Sesame Street and other child's programs. Collaborative Fund is an investment firm that provide seed fund and early venture investment on emerging technologies. Both are now creating Sesame Ventures that provide investment in startups focused on children's education, development, health, and nutrition.
Sesame Street CEO Jeffrey Dunn told Wired regarding the partnership, "If we only focus on doing everything ourselves, we can have an impact. But if we're partnering with others, we can have a much bigger impact."
While Craig Shapiro, Collaborative Fund CEO in an interview with Tech Crunch said, "I think that by bringing a strategic partner in like Sesame, a very focused subset group of companies, it's likely that they're a number one if not top three strategic partner out there, and the nice thing about Sesame Street is it's a nonprofit. It's non-threatening, it doesn't limit a company's options as it relates to exit opportunities,"
Sesame Ventures will launch Collab+Sesame Fund which will be managed by Collaborative Fund. Sesame Workshop wil involve in choosing the startups and offering insight based on its history and experience of working with children's programming. The ventures provide $1 million fund in early stage startup companies that focus on childhood development, including education, media, food and health.
Collaborative Fund, beside its investment in Lyft and Kickstarter tech startups, is also known to invest on socially-oriented companies. Collaborative Fund has provided a seed and angel investment on companies that focus on increasing social and children welfare, such as Good Eggs and Hoopscotch.
Hoopscotch is companies that teach kids how to program, and Collaborative Fund along with three other firms provided seed fund of around $1.2 million in May 2014. While for Good Eggs, Collaborative Fund has involved in three rounds of funding from seed, Series A and Series C. Good Eggs provided a groceries system that connect local farmers directly to customers.
Sesame Workshop has been creating children television program since 1970, with Sesame Street as its first ever program. Today, it still continues the mission to focus on helping kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Its program is still relevant and has now been aired in HBO along with PBS, its original network.
According to CNN Money, HBO last August has signed a five year distribution agreement with Sesame Workshop. In the agreement, a new spinoff series and an original educational series will be first aired on HBO before aired on PBS.
With this venture fund, Sesame Street demonstrated its deep commitment to enhance childhood development. Partnering with Collaborative Fund, the $10 million fund will provide seed funding for companies focus on child development.