February 14, 2011

Gates Foundation Makes $2 Million Program-Related Investment in Inigral

Posted in Philanthropy at 4:08 pm by philanthropynews

Inigral, a for-profit education technology company, has announced a $2 million program-related investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop the Schools App, an educational social media application built on the Facebook platform.

The Schools App leverages Facebook to quickly create affinity groups and drive feelings of friendship and belonging among students during freshman orientation and the first year of college. The equity investment is part of its ongoing exploration of innovative approaches to education reform. The investment is part of a larger effort by the foundation to encourage education technology innovators to develop applications that enhance college and career readiness.

The Schools App seeks to address the low freshmen retention rates that plagues many colleges and universities — some of which lose as much as 50 percent of their first-year students by the end of the first year. The U.S. faces a growing employment problem as the graduation rate for colleges stagnates and the number of jobs requiring a postsecondary degree increases.

(Read more via Philanthropy News Digest.)