HundrED To Release The Education Funders Collection: A Step Towards Helping Innovations Scale


Bringing together inspiring education innovators with HundrED’s new Funders Collection

Earlier this year, HundrED released Innovators Funding Needs For Education Innovations, a research report giving insight into the various kinds of financial support that global education innovations need in order to survive and scale. The research, which was based on a survey conducted on 60 innovators from the HundrED 2019 Global Collection, revealed that the majority of innovators (61 percent) seek funding to scale their innovations while 12 percent would use the additional funding to continue to develop their initiatives. One key takeaway was how education innovators are committing their own resources to drive change: Lasse Leponiemi, Executive Director and Co-Founder of HundrED, says:

"It’s remarkable that the third biggest investment source for education innovations is self-funding. The innovators highlighted in our HundrED 2019 collection are so passionate about the future of education that they are willing to pay for their own efforts"

As a response to these insights, HundrED will release its first global Education Funders Collection at this year’s HundrED Innovation Summit. The Collection highlights both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that are investing in K12 education initiatives and demonstrate a shared passion for helping children flourish around the globe.

The collection features organisations who have been investing in K12 education for at least one year, and those who align with HundrED’s mission of investing in innovations that are impactful and scalable while supporting 21st-century skills. We considered the following factors in our selection process: funder’s engagement with their beneficiaries beyond financing, their role in strengthening infrastructure, and addressing pronounced needs or fundamental structural challenges in their target regions. The funders collection features 44% non-profit organisations, 20% corporate foundations, and 36% venture capitalists who are supporting education initiatives in over 120 countries. Lasse continued:

"We hope the first-ever Education Funders Collection will encourage more venture capital, grant-giving and donations to provide opportunities for these inspiring global innovations to scale up."

During our research, however, we found that the most prominent trend among the funders is that they usually invest within their region or network, but rarely outside both. Since most of the education funders are in the US or Europe, this creates a significant resource gap for many of HundrED’s innovators. These insights highlighted a need to go beyond the Funders' Collection and suggest that its necessary to continue to build a stronger and wider network of investors. We aim to do so by tapping into our global community to discover a more distributed group of like-minded funders around the globe.

But funding is not the only resource it takes to scale. We found that 96% of its 2020 Global Collection also requested community introductions, 86% wanted marketing or PR help, and 71% could deploy product development resources. 

At the Summit, we will also launch HundrED Connect, a new platform that will connect a network of like-minded and engaged innovators, implementers, advisors, educators, and funders. On the platform, selected global and spotlight innovators will have exclusive and complimentary access to seek out the help they need and create valuable connections to solve their unique challenges. Each funding organisation from the Funders Collection will be featured on the platform and will include information on target benefactors and regions, investment themes, support structures offered by funders, average grant amounts, and the eligibility criteria.

Danny Gilliland, Head of Growth and Impact at HundrED shares:

"Growing anything is difficult. It requires goals, time, and resources. Growing innovations in the field of education is especially difficult. Our innovators have already accomplished so much, and we want to accelerate their good work by helping take down their barriers. We have spent years highlighting quality education innovators, and now we’re starting the same process to build the most valuable global education network."


Since 2016, HundrED has conducted research on innovativeness, impact and scalability in education. For more information on our research and Global Collections, please visit: