New Markets Venture Partners, a Fulton, Maryland-based venture capital firm focused on investing in high impact education companies, held the $30m initial closing of its second fund.
The firm has also added Jason Palmer, former Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as a General Partner. At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Palmer led the Postsecondary Discovery team, investing in early-stage, evidence-based strategies designed to improve the outcomes for low-income, minority and first-generation college students. During his nearly three years as Deputy Director, the Gates Foundation higher education team invested more than $200m into colleges, universities and entrepreneurs pursuing institutional transformation, digital and adaptive learning, integrated planning and advising, predictive analytics, financial aid, competency-based learning, credit transfer, marketable credentials and employer pathways.
Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, he founded and grew three investor-backed technology companies before holding a series of executive positions at Microsoft, SchoolNet (acquired by Pearson), Kaplan and StraighterLine.
At Microsoft, Palmer served as product manager for the world’s first tablet-based learning platform. At SchoolNet, he led the company’s business development team, negotiating and growing key partnerships with Scantron, Kaplan and Princeton Review. At Kaplan, Palmer led three education businesses as general manager or president, in addition to founding and leading the company’s venture capital effort.
Founded in 2003 by Mark Grovic, Robb Doub, and Don Spero, New Markets Venture Partners is an early and growth stage venture capital firm that invests in impact-oriented education, information technology and business services companies.
Over the past few years, the firm New Markets Venture Partners has invested in a number of education companies, including Moodlerooms, American Honors, Noodle Partners, Calvert Education, Civitas Learning, Fishtree, Graduation Alliance, Credly, Kickboard, Presence Learning, Questar Assessment, StraighterLine Regent Education and Think Through Learning.
New Markets Venture Partners’ team also includes Partner Elizabeth Chou, and Senior Advisors Jim Shelton, Brit Kirwan, Josh Reibel, Russell Greiff and Ben Wallerstein.