Applying the venture model to education

AT&T Aspire launched in 2008 with an initial $100 million pledge to address the high school drop-out crisis. Today, AT&T has committed a total of $350 million as part of AT&T Aspire and continues to expand the program’s scope.

For example, in early 2015, AT&T launched AT&T Aspire Accelerator to search for game-changing solutions to real-world education problems.

“We’re applying a model we’ve successfully used in AT&T Foundry,” says John Donovan, senior executive vice president, AT&T Technology and Operations. “So we’re providing capital and other resources to back technologies that can improve education outcomes for American youth.”

“We’re focused on driving students’ educational and career success. And we have the support of some of the leading innovators in education and philanthropy. We really think this program will take our investment in education to new heights.” – John Donovan, Senior Executive Vice President, AT&T Technology and Operations

AT&T began taking applications from non-profit and for-profit organizations in early 2015 and will provide successful applicants with funds to support their programs, along with access to mentors and opportunities to expand the educational opportunities.