Nepris recently closed a seed round of funding totaling $1 million, led by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF).
Nepris brings together educators and industry professionals in an easy-to-use online community to collaborate and connect through live online interactive sessions where students get to see what they’re learning in the classroom applied to the working world.
MSDF invested in Nepris for its ability to make a positive social impact in students’ lives by preparing them for college and career. While Nepris connections do bring classroom lessons to life and add relevance, the greater impact is often inspiration students find in the professionals and experts whom they meet. These experts encourage students to dream big or to consider careers they may never have known about, like being an aerospace engineer or speech therapist or amusement park designer. Frequently, students ask questions about what college was like or what classes they should take now to help them prepare for college. Many students who previously felt college was unattainable begin to see greater possibilities for higher education and new career paths after a Nepris session.
Nepris co-founder and CEO, Sabari Raja, says this round of funding will be used to achieve the following:
1. Redesign the Nepris site to simplify the connection process for teachers and professionals
2. Expand Nepris’ work with Economic Development Councils and Workforce Boards giving them a platform to scale industry and education connections at a regional level
3. Boost the number of industry offered sessions, known as Industry Chats, which often attract multiple classrooms from across the country
4. Reach more rural and lower socio-economic school districts where students have the greatest need
“We have had overwhelming success bringing industry exposure to thousands of students and we are especially excited about having prominent investors like MSDF who will help us achieve our goal of reaching more underserved students in lower socio-economic communities,” said Raja.
A demographic study sponsored by New Schools Venture Fund and conducted by Empirical Education found that 55 percent of students reached through Nepris are from underserved and lower socio-economic school districts.
Additional funders include Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), Investor’s Circle Patient Capital Collaborative, Voqal and other angel investors.