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This article was published on February 1, 2016

Elmo, Big Bird and the Cookie Monster get into venture capital

Elmo, Big Bird and the Cookie Monster get into venture capital
Kirsty Styles
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Kirsty Styles

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Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She l Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She loves tech for good, cleantech, edtech, assistive tech, politech (?), diversity in tech.

The not-for-profit behind Sesame Street has unveiled a new investment arm dedicated to exploring tech innovation for learning, called Sesame Ventures.

Sesame Workshop, which has been producing the show since 1969, has announced an initial $10 million partnership with early Kickstarter backer Craig Shapiro’s Collaborative Fund to create the Collab+Sesame Fund.

Sesame Workshop launched in the US but now has a presence in more than 150 countries and typically partners with educators to ensure its resources are relevant to school curriculums.

Although a non-profit, the company has made significant money through partnerships with companies like HBO, which signed a five-year exclusive deal to on-demand Sesame Street last year, and so is now looking to reinvest that money in future platforms.

Jeffrey Dunn, Sesame Workshop’s CEO, says he’s looking to partner with startups that are using digital tools to change the lives of kids across education, health and welfare.

If appropriate, the startups will be able to use Sesame Street characters in their work, as well as getting access to staff resources, including executive mentoring.

A dedicated application website hasn’t yet gone live but companies can contact the organization direct to express an early interest.

Sesame Ventures to help launch mission-aligned startups [Sesame Workshop via Wired]