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'I' Is for Investment: Sesame Street Now Has a Venture Capital Arm

by Marcia Breen /

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Since 1969, parents have trusted the lovable, fury characters on Sesame Street to teach their children important skills and life lessons ranging from counting and spelling to loving and sharing. Now, the show is broadening its reach and investing in technology aimed at kids.

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Sesame Street’s nonprofit parent organization, Sesame Workshop, has launched a venture capital arm called, what else, Sesame Ventures.

According to an announcement this week on the organization’s website, Sesame Ventures will invest in start-ups that focus on children’s education, development, health and nutrition.

The organization has partnered with established VC firm Collaborative Fund which has backed companies like AltSchool and Lyft. Together, they have launched a $10 million Collab+Sesame Fund to help entrepreneurs fund their startups.

So why would Sesame Street want to get into VC funding?

Calling Sesame Street “an original disruptor” for its use of television as a tool to educate children, Jeff Dunn, CEO of Sesame Workshop said children are eager adopters of new technologies and that “Sesame has always leveraged that fascination to educate.”

“As a non-profit, our success is measured by our global impact on kids’ lives,” Dunn said on the organization’s website. “We are in the midst of an extraordinary time in the history of how digital technology can change the education, health and welfare of kids around the world. History suggests that much of that change will spring from new companies. By partnering with some of these startups, Sesame Workshop can help grow the next wave of kid-focused innovation and improve the lives of children everywhere.”

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