Encore Career Institute (Encore) has recently announced the establishment of a new online educational company for which they have received $15 million in Series A venture capital funding. This round of investment for Encore came from InterWest Partners and Granite Ventures.
Their CEO Steve Poizner gives us a glimpse and more about their newly-acquired funding in this recent e-interview with Lead411:
Who are your competitors and how are you different from them?
Unlike any other online education program, Encore Career Institute will offer end-to-end career counseling. Upon entering the full Encore certificate program, students will have access to a career assessment that would provide individuals a method to accurately assess their skills, identify what jobs are needed in the marketplace, determine the potential matches for these skills, and how to increase a person’s education to make themselves more competitive in that new industry or field. In addition, following course completion, Encore students would be provided guidance during the employment search process.
What do you plan to spend your new funding on? Product
Encore will be building a next-generation learning platform which will leverage web development tools, social networking technology, mobile devices and new multimedia technology to improve the online classroom experience, offering boomers the opportunity to complete a comprehensive certificate program in just one year and providing them with the skills needed to pursue careers in many fields, including finance, education, health care and environmental sustainability, among others.
If this is your first round of financing and you’re the CEO, how
many hours did you put into working on getting your financing? Was that taking up the most of your day?
Everyone involved realized very quickly that Encore has huge potential. I worked closely with InterWest Partners and Granite Ventures for several weeks. We were all excited about the new venture because it is far more than just a business opportunity. This company has a chance to do a lot of good by empowering people who are out of work or struggling in their current jobs. We knew early on that this was a unique opportunity and that has helped streamline the funding process.
If you are the CEO, what are your biggest challenges?
Our biggest challenge is to change the way employers think of baby boomers. Boomers have a lot to offer – wisdom and experience – and we need to alter misconceptions of what people feel boomers can offer to a company.
How many employees do you have?
We are rapidly growing, adding people on nearly a daily basis, and are always in need of new talent. So, we encourage anyone interested in joining our company – either on the marketing, engineering, or the academic side – to please contact us at www.encoreci.com
Encore was formed earlier this year as the result of combining the complementary visions of passionate executives in the technology, education, and entertainment sectors to address the needs of baby boomers, while improving online education. The Sherry Lansing Foundation, which has pioneered work in late-career job training, conceptualized Encore with Creative Artists Agency. Together with myself, we formed a partnership with online learning leader UCLA Extension to provide program content.
Want to read more about their recent funding? You can check their press release here.