HundrED’s Global Funding Research: Identifying Needs and Opportunities to Scale Innovations in K12 Education


Today HundrED announced the release of Innovators Funding Needs For Education Innovations; research which reveals the various kinds of financial support that global education innovations need in order to flourish. In addition to insights on the financial needs of innovators, the report includes frameworks to help organizations plan for funding. 

Innovators Funding Needs For Education Innovations highlights the perspectives of over 60 of the innovators from the 2019 collection that includes not-for-profit organizations, educator-led practices, whole school models, and for-profit organizations. Most notably, the findings reveal that 62 percent of the organizations were not profitable at the time of the survey.

Additional findings include:

  • Thirty-eight percent of the innovations surveyed have been profitable for five years at the most. None have been profitable for over five years.
  • Forty percent of all innovators are actively seeking both venture capital, grant funding and donations within the next six months. 
  • More than half (51 percent) of the innovators combine donations and grants, 26 percent see revenue from service or product-related income, and 23 percent rely on self-financing to remain operational. 
  • The majority of innovators (61 percent) seek funding to scale their innovations and 12 percent would use the additional funding to continue to develop their initiatives.
  • Thirteen percent of innovations are funded by a parent organization, 7 percent use venture capital investments and 5 percent receive government funding.

As Lasse Leponiemi, Executive Director and Co-Founder of HundrED noted:

It’s remarkable that the third biggest investment source for education innovations is self-funding. The innovators highlighted in our Global Collection are so passionate about the future of education that they are willing to pay for their own efforts. We hope this report will encourage more venture capital, grant-giving and donations to provide opportunities for these inspiring global innovations to scale up.

In addition to producing findings related to specific funding levels and needs, the report surfaced three main themes: 

  • Scaling up is the primary need of K12 innovations;
  • For-profits cope with a short runway; and
  • Educator-led classroom practices differ from others

“Innovative practices, products, and models in education have the potential to enhance learning for all students,” said Saku Tuominen, Founder of HundrED. “If we can help innovators find ways to scale up and overcome financial barriers, we can help them create a world where every child flourishes.”

HundrED will also debut the “Global Education Funders Collection”, a list of the leading investors and grant givers worldwide during its annual Innovation Summit. The Summit will take place during the city of Helsinki’s Education Week, which runs on the week of November 4, 2019.  By identifying the leading education funders around the world, we are able to help scale the innovations which are bringing the most impact to children around the world. Additionally, funding organizations are better able to attract innovators and innovation programs whose activities are aligned with their core values and business strategies. In an effort to bridge the funding divide between global K12 innovations with potential venture capitalists and foundations, HundrED will offer a matchmaking opportunity for attendees of the summit to connect and to pitch their innovations.  

Here is a full report of the  Innovators Funding Needs For Education Innovations.