Venture Capital News: Fullbridge Snares $5.5M
CAMBRIDGE, MA, The funds will fuel the rapid expansion of Fullbridge's educational programs for college students and graduates in the U.S. and worldwide.
Fullbridge, Inc. (fullbridge.com) announced today that the company has raised a $5.5 million investment round through top investors, including GSV Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: GSVC), the investment fund headed by Michael Moe. Top education proponent and industry veteran, Moe, will also be joining Fullbridge's Board of Directors. The funds will fuel the rapid expansion of Fullbridge's educational programs for college students and graduates in the U.S. and worldwide. This news comes on the heels of the company's recent appointments of two seasoned executives to spearhead growth of its offerings among students and academic institutions.
In an age of persistent unemployment (up to 50 percent for recent graduates), research shows that employers find a number of critical skills missing even in top graduates. Fullbridge seeks to address this worldwide phenomenon through its accelerated boot camps that prepare motivated, talented college and graduate students for a successful transition between school and the complex demands of the modern workplace.
"There is a widening gap between what students learn in even the best schools and how they apply it in a professional setting," said Michael Moe, Chairman, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of GSV Capital. "Fullbridge is the first to tackle this challenge by complementing rather than competing with higher education. We believe they are leading an important new category in high-end education and offering a transformational experience that has global and game-changing potential. Every parent of a high school senior or college student should consider this program a wise investment."
The Fullbridge Program helps participants deepen career vision and focus, master the "real-world" skills and perspectives needed to succeed and sharpen their capacity to get a great first job. Participants leave prepared with the confidence to make important career transitions and a significant impact in their jobs from day one and beyond.
Said Harvard University junior and Fullbridge alumni Reid McCann: "I came away feeling like I can really do whatever it is I want, that I'm not stuck in a career box, that I can manufacture my career for myself. When the full-time job offers come and the long-term opportunities open up, the skill sets I learned here are really going to benefit me. I definitely have a head start."
Fast Track to Transforming Education
"GSV Capital has backed some of the world's fastest growing high potential companies, as well as the top start-ups in education - we're thrilled to have its support and confidence in our team," said Candice Carpenter Olson, Fullbridge founder and co-CEO. "The positive response from top investors like Michael Moe indicates that Fullbridge has global relevance and substantial growth potential."
Along with GSV Capital, Fullbridge's investors include: Tomorrow Ventures; an investment vehicle guided by David Wong, former partner at Brentwood Associates; an investment vehicle of Alan Quasha, managing partner at Vanterra Capital; and Harris Preston, a leading investor in education.
After the completion of its inaugural January term, which received a net promoter score of 76 percent among top Ivy League students, Fullbridge is preparing to double capacity for its two summer sessions this June and July, as well as a program offered during winter break next January.
"I have been inspired by my options and encouraged by my coaches and peers," said Brown University junior Anna Gaissert, who participated in Fullbridge's January 2012 term. "It feels like a world of possibility has been opened to me. I'm going back to school with a sense of excitement about my future instead of dread."
Added Carpenter Olson: "After speaking with more than 500 students at top 25 colleges, we developed an experience that both students and employers find transformational. The way it responds to their concerns, fears, confusions and aspirations, indicates that we are onto a significant opportunity to capture and develop a new market, with appeal well beyond the U.S. One of our graduates from Korea, a sophomore at Amherst, suggested the program would be of tremendous benefit to all international students studying here and back home. A large multinational company based in Korea recognized it for quickly turning engineering students into business people. Now that we have a proven program, we expect our momentum to intensify going into the fall season."
To meet rising market demand, the company is expanding to offer programs directly to universities and will also soon introduce a program tailored to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Along with the investment news, Fullbridge also announced additions to its Board of Directors. Ed Mathias, Managing Director of The Carlyle Group and John Katzman, founder and former CEO of Princeton Review, founder and Executive Chairman of 2tor and Chairman of Noodle, were named the newest members.
About GSV Capital Corp.
GSV Capital Corp. (Nasdaq: GSVC) is a publicly traded investment fund that seeks to invest in high-growth, venture-backed private companies. Led by industry veteran Michael Moe, the fund seeks to create a portfolio of high-growth companies via a repeatable and disciplined investment approach, as well as to provide investors with access to such companies through its publicly traded common stock. GSV Capital is headquartered in Woodside, CA.
Offering an accelerated high-end boot camp, Fullbridge enables students at top colleges and graduate schools to make a successful transition from high academic achievement to success in the global workplace in a range of careers. The Fullbridge Program provides the 10 key skills and eight habits top employers worldwide value - whether in business, non-profit or entrepreneurial environments - making Fullbridge the must-have experience and credential to top off a top-tier liberal arts, sciences, or law education for students worldwide. The Fullbridge Program provides career assessments and a personalized coaching model to help participants understand strengths, development areas and develop a clear sense of career direction, translate majors into actionable career options, and develop a plan for moving forward into internships and professional jobs.
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