EdTech Product Developers Join Growing Venture Studio Reimagining Education and the Future of Work

New York-based ProjectEd joins Entangled Group; brings deep expertise in user experience and design to team building and investing in the next generation of great edtech companies.

Entangled Group, a Bay Area venture studio pioneering an entirely new approach to the development and scale of education and workforce technology, today announced its acquisition of education consulting and design firm ProjectEd. The New York-based firm will bring deep expertise in product design and user experience to the interdisciplinary team of advisors, educators, and entrepreneurs working to bridge the divide between practice and innovation across the education ecosystem.

"From designing a new educator platform for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to supporting the expansion of Southern New Hampshire University's College for America programs, the ProjectEd team has been at the leading edge of innovation in education," said Paul Freedman, CEO and Founder of Entangled Group. "Their expertise broadens and complements our team's capabilities for education, employers, and the startup ecosystem."

"Rather than let the traditional build vs. buy paradox constrain our vision and impact, our unique studio model enables us to both invest in and scale emerging technologies, while simultaneously responding to the sector's most pressing challenges as advisors," said Nick Hammerschlag, President of Entangled Group. "The addition of ProjectEd is an exciting example of how we can layer in capabilities to meet new market needs."

A spinoff founded by former employees of the curriculum and assessment company Amplify, ProjectEd specializes in providing learner experience, product and visual design, and consulting services for education-focused businesses and nonprofits. Since its launch in 2015, ProjectEd has partnered with more than 40 organizations, including the Walton Family Foundation and Flocabulary, the fast-growing company that harnesses the power of hip-hop music for K-12 online learning.

"What brings these teams together is our shared purpose: designing elegant solutions from the learner's point of view," said Kate Finnefrock, CEO of ProjectEd. "With our roots as education product designers, joining the Entangled team feels like a homecoming that, ultimately, enables us to make an even larger collective impact across education."

Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Contact: media@entangled.group

How A Cold Email Led To An MBA Internship

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Our team at ProjectEd is made up of teachers, designers, entrepreneurs, and life-long learners. Not only are we passionate about edtech, but we also believe in moving education forward in every sense of the word. Learning comes in all shapes and sizes, and it does not stop outside of the classroom. Whether you are in high school or just about to graduate into the “real world,” internships are a great way to learn on the job for the job you potentially aspire to have after school.

With concrete aspirations intact and a clear passion for edtech, Columbia Business School student Jessica Langman cold emailed us early in the spring, hoping we would have room for an MBA internship. Turns out, this wasn’t Jessica’s first rodeo in the tech industry. Before becoming a full-time MBA student to pivot into edtech, she’s held leadership positions at three innovative, fast-paced companies — from digital marketing at Rokkan, brand strategy at WeWork, to storytelling at WME | IMG. She tells us that she was impressed with our business model and our roster of edtech clients, but we were just as captivated by her resume. Our CTO, Gillian, reached out the very next day and after a week of interviews, the rest became history. We hired our very first MBA intern, assisting us with business development and project management.

You may be thinking that this was just a stroke of good luck, since most cold emails tend to go straight from the inbox to the trash — right? When you play your communication cards right, you may be surprised by how cold emails can help you in your career.

Here are some tips we’ve learned from Jessica about how to make the most of your network, when you are just starting out in your career.

1. Take advantage of your alma mater and alumni network — they are there to help!

While we may cringe at how The Office’s Andy Bernard eagerly represented his college alma mater, he may have been on to something. Jessica knew she wanted to work in edtech after graduating, so she took the time to reach out to alums who were already thriving in the industry:

“I was astonished and supremely grateful for the swift responses I received from CBS alums who work in edtech, all of whom were incredibly eager to offer insight into the industry and support during my internship search.”

Every university/college has an extensive alumni network you can tap into. The shared bond already puts you ahead of the game, and most alumni are always willing to lend a helping hand in the industry.
 

2. Birds of a feather flock together at meetups and events.

If you’re interested in something, chances are there are other people who share that interest in your local area as well. Jessica advises aspiring edtech students to join local edtech meetups. If you are in NYC, she recommends Built In NYC and filtering for local edtech startups.

Whether you’re interested in niche edtech technology such as VR/AR or the vast landscape of edtech conferences, there will always be something of interest to you (and people who want to help you move education forward, too)!

3. When finally reaching out, remember the 3 Ps.

If you’re Googling “cold email templates,” you may be going down the path of emails that go straight to junk. When you finally decide to reach out to your network, we recommend integrating 3 Ps in your message: make it Personal, show you’re Passionate, and have a Plan of action.

Here’s what we mean: When Jessica reached out to us, it was Personal — she let us know who she was and why she was interested in our work. She further showed that she was Passionate about edtech, so she wasn’t just looking for any MBA internship. Jessica wanted one that would specifically help her reach her edtech career aspirations and goals. Last, but not least, she had a Plan of action: she asked if we had any opportunities for her or if we could give her some time to learn more about us.

When you’re sending out a lot of cold emails, it can be easy to fall into the trap of sending a template that is “one size fits all” because it’s easier and less time-consuming. But if you do take a little time, who you are reaching out to will surely take notice of the effort.
 

After 6 months of interning with us, Jessica is back at Columbia Business School to finish her degree. When she graduates May 2019, she hopes to find “an awesome role in edtech in either growth or product marketing.” You’ll want to keep in touch with this future edtech rockstar — we know we will!

 

Interested in learning more about a career in edtech? Feel free to send us a message. We’ll be happy to guide you along the way!

4 Things Our Design Intern Actually Learned

4 Things Our Design Intern Actually Learned

Time really does fly when you’re enjoying yourself! It seems like yesterday we were just introducing our design intern, Ola Agunloye, to the rest of the team and the strange elevators in our lobby (trust us, it doesn’t work like a normal elevator). While we had plenty of things that we wanted Ola to take away from this internship, we wanted to get feedback on what she actually learned.

4 Things Interns Should Know In Order To Create Effective Design

4 Things Interns Should Know In Order To Create Effective Design

Meet our talented intern, Olabimpe Agunloye -- or Ola, for short. Ola is senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, studying graphic design. FIT is a SUNY school known for establishing innovative designers into an environment that helps push design forward. In fact, there are several FIT alumni within ProjectEd’s design team and solidified their love for design when embarking on their own internship experiences.

How To Start A High School Internship Program

How To Start A High School Internship Program

This is the first in a series of posts documenting our experience starting a high school internship program.

It’s Monday at 3:15pm, and in roll the newest members of our team: Michael and Erwin. They are our youngest team members and (technically) the least experienced, but they each carry a wealth of knowledge in a certain topic that none of us can match: What it’s like to be a high schooler in 2018.

The Ugly Truth About Play

The Ugly Truth About Play

What Happens When The ProjectEd Team Makes Ugly T-Shirts

In the fast-paced world of tech (and in our case, edtech), it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and adopt a “heads down” work culture. We work long, meticulous hours to ensure every word and pixel make up the best product possible. The ProjectEd team takes their work seriously, but when it comes to ourselves? Not so much. We love celebrating fun and building our team into a judgement-free space.