Blog

June 24, 2017

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May 8, 2017

Essential Information for International Partnerships

Arc has made several investments on an international level over the last two years. We often get questions about doing business in another country, whether from a company that is thinking about how to enter a market outside the U.S., or (more commonly) from a company that has been approached by a prospective international partner.…

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January 24, 2017

School Payment Schedules

"How do I get a school to pay in less than 60 days?" is a question we at Arc get asked all the time. The answer? You don't. It's best to assume it will take about 60 to 65 days. Schools have built-in procurement processes that need to be followed, but there are steps you…

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January 24, 2017

Harvard and MIT Research: Angel Investors Outperform Venture Capital

Leading alternative asset researchers Josh Lerner (Harvard) and Antoinette Schoar (MIT) have just published a report analyzing how the Angel Investor asset class in the U.S. compares to the VC asset class. During the period of the study, the angel group outperformed the VC group overall. They also found that "startups funded by angel investors…

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January 2, 2017

Year in Review – Special Edition

Florida This Week Year in Review - Special Edition Friday, December 23, 2016 Rita Ferrandino joins the guest panel to look back on the momentous year of 2016.   http://video.wedu.org/video/2365917845/

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December 6, 2016

Five Steps to Take Now to Build a Strategic Plan in a Changing Political Environment

As the dust continues to settle from the historic 2016 Presidential election, it's time to assess what you should do to prepare your company for the shifting political environment. Though uncertainty abounds about what direction the new administration will take in the education arena, there is no doubt that changes are coming. And while the…

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December 2, 2016

Twenty Percent to Improve Your Follow-Through

How often does the top of the hour roll around in a meeting or sales presentation, with everyone engaged but needing to run to their next meeting? The last few minutes are filled with vague statements to "follow up with this soon" - but too often, nothing happens. To avoid this, plan your meetings and…

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December 1, 2016

The Pitfalls of Too Much Capital

Too much capital may seem like a problem every company would like to have, but there can be drawbacks associated with a high level of capital. If your company only has a few hundred thousand in the bank, odds are that your company and leadership will be intensely focused on revenue. But if you raise…

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October 17, 2016

Could Field Sales Work for You?

For educational companies aiming for the best possible valuation, it is critical to demonstrate a sustainable income stream that is scalable, defensible and predictable. In fact, we see about a 30 to 50% premium on the valuation of companies that can sell in this way. How does a company show a scalable, defensible and predictable…

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May 17, 2016

Making the Most of Your Sales & Marketing Dollar

Arc is often asked our recommendations for best utilizing a limited marketing budget. When you have a limited sales and marketing budget (in the $4k range), it is critical to make sure you thoroughly understand your company's goals and how to direct that money to meet your goals.  With that said, here are a few…

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March 12, 2016

How to View this Crazy Market, Maintain Sanity, and Change the World

BY: P.H. MULLEN, JR.  Last week, I moderated an amazing edtech panel at the 2016 Venture Summit West at the Computer History Museum in Palo Alto. Here's what I said: We’re not in a bubble; we’re in a long-term business shift. It's a usage shift. It's a benefit shift. These adjustments are lasting and profound. Like…

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March 1, 2016

Magazine Feature: “ARC Bridges to Future of Learning”

SRQ Magazine catches up with Rita Ferrandino on her thoughts about edtech: Education Spotlight BY JACOB OGLES   |   SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION Innovations in the world of education mean growth opportunity for investors. While working in the traditional textbook industry, Rita Ferrandino saw opportunity for new resources and co-founded ARC Capital Development in 2003. Since…

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November 26, 2015

Our Newest Clients & Investments!

What a busy, nonstop autumn here at Arc Capital Development! We engaged with four new companies. Welcome to Quantum Learning Network, Prometric, Kickboard, and Integrated Tracking.  Each is a market leader in its category. They are all passionate for success and led by great executive teams. Advisory Services Prometric Prometric is a wholly-owned subsidiary of…

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August 15, 2015

Tweaking Your Pricing Plan

Typically, you can have a fair amount of success in charging, (to simplify things), $1 a year for 5 years if you know they have $5 from the beginning. With stimulus funding, however, that $5 will not last. Though an initial thought might be to ask for the $5 upfront and hope you can get…

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June 24, 2015

Your Must-Do’s: Follow this 4-Step Marketing Checklist to Optimizing Summer

This week, I talked to five CEOs. I met another dozen at the GSV Investor Day. Everyone is juggling 10,001 summertime Must-Dos. It looks like chaos. But it's not. domain name test These priorities are the same for everyone, and somewhere on that priority whiteboard is “Marketing.” Based on company lifecycle, it’s either at the…

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March 25, 2015

Sales Pipeline Benchmarking

When you are assessing the overall health of your company, the sales pipeline is a critical place to start. When Arc looks at a sales pipeline, we measure two things. We look at each deal and where it is in relationship to the ability to close the deal - not the probability of closing, but…

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April 30, 2015

Rethinking the “Free to Teacher” Model

Over the last 24 months, it was hard to find an aspiring entrepreneur who did not start their pitch with "free to teacher" model. Unfortunately, it is also hard to find a company for which this model actually worked.  We can point to hundreds of casualties:  entrepreneurs who used their scarce resources to build free…

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April 2, 2015

Investing in Technology for Special Needs and Early Childhood Education

I recently spoke at a congressional briefing on technology in early education, focusing on the overall economic benefits of investing in technology for preK education and special needs. The panel also included Rhian Evans Allvin, Executive Director for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); Benjamin Heuston, Ph.D., President, Waterford Institute; Chip…

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December 21, 2015

2016 Education Trends

We can all agree that schools changed the day students started bringing their own devices with them. The educational experience of today's kids has shifted because of the ease of access to smartphones, tablets and less expensive computers. With this reshaping of the educational learning environment comes the opportunity for service and content providers to…

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December 5, 2015

Government Relations Update – December 2015

ED-Lection 2016 With the Presidential race gearing up, Arc will track candidates’ education policy positions. Stay tuned for more in the coming months and into next year. GOP Debate During the October 10 GOP debate, Marco Rubio called the nation’s higher education system “completely outdated” and advocated for additional vocational education stating America needs more…

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December 10, 2015

Edtech Investment Round-Up

U.S. edtech companies raised $350 million in Q3 2015, up 9% from Q3 2014. General Assembly's $70 million led all deals for Q3, followed by Civitas Learning's $60 million Series D. In August alone, U.S. education technology companies scored $91 million in venture capital, led by Coursera's $49.5 million Series C round (which will likely…

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December 18, 2015

Preparing for the 2016 Sales Year

With the last quarter of 2015 already here, it's time to turn thoughts toward 2016 and how to best control your sales process. Going into the new year, you need to ensure you have a solid pipeline of qualified leads. If you're selling a product or service for more than $5000, it's very likely that…

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June 24, 2015

Government Relations Update – June 2015

ED-Lection 2016 With the Presidential race gearing up, Arc will track candidates’ education policy positions. Stay tuned. DREAM-ers Donation Mark Zuckerberg announced that he and his wife Priscilla Chan are giving $5 million to TheDream.US as part of their commitment to supporting education in the Bay Area. They join philanthropists Don Graham, Amanda Bennett, and…

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April 30, 2015

Government Relations Update – April 2015

ED-lection 2016  As the Presidential race ramps up, Arc will track candidates' education positions and keep you posted. Utah Education Funding Increase Utah Gov. Gary Herbert gives final approval to the largest funding increase for schools in 25 years. California NCLB Waiver Extensions Six districts in California have applied for a three-year extension of their No…

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December 16, 2015

Global Economic Consequences

For companies doing business globally, recent world events are leading many to a serious third-party evaluation of their strategy. We at Arc fully understand the significant domestic and international economic impacts from the changes that are happening globally.  The economic consequences have already begun. These events serve as a stark reminder of the need to identify…

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January 14, 2015

The Importance of Board Diversity

In 2015, there is little argument about the merits of having a diverse board of directors - including the fact that companies with at least one woman on their board had better returns than companies with none, as this Bloomberg editorial points out. Yet the percentage of women on boards continues to lag significantly, with…

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January 14, 2015

Online Products: Adapting for Review Committees

As companies with digital and traditional products can attest, it can be much more difficult to get a balanced and thorough review of digital products by curriculum committees, whose processes continue to be geared heavily toward printed curriculum.  The committees are used to a rubric-based process, in which all of the curriculum and support materials…

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November 11, 2014

Is an Ed Tech Bubble Coming?

The education market continues to shift toward digital content and educational technology.  According to the newly released "Supplemental Products Market: 2014 Size, Growth and Trends" by Education Market Research, the emphasis on digital products continues to grow, with 45.9% of 86 companies saying their focus was 51% or more on digital, compared with 23.8% of…

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September 24, 2014

September 2014 Government Relations Update

Education and the Midterm Elections While many are focused on how control of the House and Senate could change during the upcoming midterm elections, from an education standpoint, governor's races across the country are the ones to watch. The single greatest influence on education in a given state is the governor, so it is critical…

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September 24, 2014

Back to School Relationship Building

With schools in session, companies are necessarily focused on implementing products for customers, but it's important to look beyond implementation and remember this is also a critical time to focus on extending your relationship with your customers for the entire year.   As you focus on delivering products for your customers during the back-to-school season,…

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June 26, 2014

Are You Growing Your Business Exponentially?

For most businesses, linear growth - maybe 10 or 15 percent annually, year in and year out - is certainly not a bad thing, but many companies do not take a step back to think about moving beyond linear growth to the next level of exponential growth of 30 percent or more. So what is…

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June 26, 2014

Arc’s Past 12 Months

Over the past 12 months, Arc has continued to make investments, including two additional investments in the mobile and special education space, deploying close to a million dollars. Arc also continues to advise some of the fastest growing companies in the country, including the SIIA Innovation Winner RoboKind for Robots for Autism. Arc continues to…

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May 6, 2014

Is Your Company Worth Investing In?

Of course your company is fantastic, but would anyone give you money for it? As investors, we see many companies who fail to ask themselves that question. If you are looking for investment, it is critical that you know what type of company it is that you are building. In general, there are three types…

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April 2, 2014

Why Invest in Special Education?

The CDC just released new numbers  showing the incidence of autism in 8 year olds has increased to 1 in 68. That means that 15 years ago a school district with 10,000 students might have had one child with autism in half of their schools. Today, that same district would have one child in every…

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February 5, 2014

Meeting Your Educational Sales Goal

Though 2014 is just getting underway, much of what goes into your meeting your yearly sales goal should already be completed. In fact, your sales will be 20 to 25 percent of your pipeline value as of the end of January. (The 20 to 25 percent figure is not weighted, i.e. a 10k deal with…

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January 31, 2014

Arc Adds Six Investments Raising More Than $5 Million

Arc Capital Development announced on January 30 that it made investments in six companies in 2013, which together raised more than $5 million. The education and special needs-focused global private equity and advisory firm assumed a majority position in one company and a minority position in the remainder of the companies. In most cases, Arc…

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December 20, 2013

Start the Year RIGHT!

In the midst of all the holiday festivities as 2013 draws to a close, it's important to take time out to ensure 2014 will start on the right track. We share some questions you should be asking now to lay the groundwork for success in 2014: What do we need to have in place now…

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November 5, 2013

The Benefits of Benefits Corporations

It can be difficult for executives and entrepreneurs to determine how they will balance the interests of stockholders with a desire to have a positive social impact. Incorporating as a "public benefit corporation" (or "P.B.C.") is one way to balance public benefits purposes with fiduciary responsibilities. On August 1, Delaware became the 19th state to…

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September 12, 2013

Education Investment – The Last Decade

Arc Capital Development will be celebrating its 10th Year Anniversary on Sunday, September 22nd in Denver.  In reflecting on our 10 years, we thought it might be interesting to look back at education investment over the past 10 years - view our new white paper here.

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August 19, 2013

Common Core – For Our Kids

Note: This column ran in the August 16, 2013 edition of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune: What do economic development, better jobs, and our kids’ future all have in common? Good schools. In a few days schools will be back in session. But are those schools good enough? The education our kids get will determine how well…

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August 15, 2013

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?       While few would question the need for most businesses to have some sort of online presence, it is still wise to question exactly who should shape your company's official social networking presence. In particular, you need to decide whether social networking will be left to your communications…

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June 20, 2013

Build a Better Website

If you have not built or updated your website in the last year or two, it’s past time to take a long look at your web presence. As you evaluate whether you should update your site, you should also be evaluating how your site fits into your sales process. Your web site should be more…

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June 10, 2013

Restructuring Federal STEM Funding

Under President Obama’s FY2014 funding request, federal STEM funding could be substantially restructured and streamlined, part of a broader goal to create a “cohesive national STEM education strategy” at every level – K-12, undergraduate, graduate and informal education. The $3.1 billion total request for STEM education is 6.7 percent increase from the FY2012 funded level.…

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June 5, 2013

Rita Keynote at AEP June 2013

Rita Slides Our industry prides itself on the quality of our content—no matter the media, audience, or delivery format. But with changing expectations about what schools will pay for, will there still be profit in selling content? Does the future lie somewhere else, such as in professional development or content management? Listen to experts debate…

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June 5, 2013

SIIA Keynote Session, Kevin Comments

Comments start about 15 min into the video.   SIIA ETIS May 2013 My comments at the following markers   15 min, 34 Min, 46 min, 56.45 min, 61.30 min TOPIC/ SESSION: What IS coming next within education technology? In this opening session, we'll hear from key thought leaders representing education institutions, Ed Tech companies,…

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May 3, 2013

Next Generation Science Standards Released

The final Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released on Tuesday, April 9th and they call for some dramatic changes to the way science is taught in the United States. The NGSS guidelines are rigorous:  they are intended to combat widespread scientific ignorance, provide a set of internationally benchmarked standards for K-12 science education and…

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May 1, 2013

May Government Relations Update

Education Funding Update This year, a 15% carryover of Title 1 funds are allowed, so there is still some money to be spent. However, under sequestration, federal education funds will be cut around 5 to 7 percent; as these funds are often used by districts for content purchasing, the publishing industry will be hit harder.…

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April 16, 2013

“Raising the Bar: Reviewing STEM Education in America”

On April 10, I attended a Hearing of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), where they reviewed the need to evaluate the federal government's STEM investment to ensure it is helping students complete for jobs in these high-demand STEM fields. By 2018 the United States will…

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March 13, 2013

Creating Your Business Breakthrough

All too often, executives get focused on the day-to-day or short-term plans plan of their business, looking at what they are going to do rather than what they should be doing and what would create the biggest breakthrough for their company. They fail to work with intentionality and instead just get swept along with the…

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March 13, 2013

March Government Relations Update

The Impact of Sequestration Over the past few months, school funding has slowed down in fear of sequestration. School districts have realized that while they may not have discretionary funds federally, they do have discretionary timing with their Title I funding. At the SIIA member breakfast, Charles Blaschke, of Education Turnkey Systems, noted that there…

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January 15, 2013

How Much Capital You Need

CEOs and founders often say they need is $5 million to bring their company to market. In many cases, this is true, but raising that much capital for a young company is often difficult and very expensive. So, how much capital do you need to get your company to the next level?  Frequently, founders’ initial…

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January 14, 2013

January 2013 Government Relations Updates

Bennett Appointed as Florida Education Commissioner  After losing his re-election bid as Indiana superintendent of public instruction, Tony Bennett won appointment as Florida's education commissioner.  Arc worked with Tony Bennett's administration in Indiana and we will be watching closely as he looks to bring reform to Florida.  If you need government relations lobbying guidance in…

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December 21, 2012

One of 29 Votes

In Tallahassee this week I had the great honor of casting one of Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes to re-elect Barack Obama as President of the United States. It was a simple procedure – almost mundane – as we signed our names to the ballots. But my thoughts were not mundane, and they echoed what…

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December 3, 2012

What Investors Are Looking For Now

As 2012 draws to a close, education companies have seen record investments. In the first five months of 2012, more dollars were invested in the education business than in all of 2011, which was a record year itself. The first five months of 2012 saw $500 million investment, compared to $429 million in 2011 (and…

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December 3, 2012

December 2012 Government Relations Update

Arc and Education Policy Arc's expertise in education is widely recognized with policy makers as well as business leaders. Arc's strong relationships allow for successful advocacy at the federal and state levels.  If you want to optimize your government relations strategy for selling education products at the national level or into the Florida market, contact…

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September 27, 2012

Building a Sales Pipeline to Meet Your Targets – And Making Sure It Succeeds

[caption id="attachment_713" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Click here for a closer view."][/caption] With school back in session and fall in the air, most companies have turned (or should be turning) their attention to building leads and getting people engaged so that you can close deals in the winter and the spring, as our sales cycle chart to…

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September 24, 2012

September Government Relations Update

Education Highlights from Democratic and GOP Platforms With the nominating conventions behind us, both the Republican and Democratic parties laid out further their stances on education in their respective party platforms: Democratic Party – The 2012 Democratic platform emphasized the importance of education throughout the document, echoed by President Obama’s acceptance speech. Education was cited…

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August 21, 2012

Five Questions You Should Answer About Your Top Accounts

With the start of the school year just around the corner (or already underway in a few states), CEOs are most likely focused on delivery during this crucial time of year. While successful back-to-school delivery is important, what companies should really be focused on is ensuring strong implementations that will lead to renewals. Now is…

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August 20, 2012

August Government Relations Update

Federal FY13 Budget With Congress on its August recess, the FY13 budget and potential cuts to education programs will not be hammered out until next month at the earliest, though it is entirely possible that a continuing resolution (or a series of them) will keep the government funded through 2013, as both parties hope to…

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July 24, 2012

Increasing Your Profit – Without Changing Your Product

In this economy, the idea of increasing your prices may seem suicidal – and indeed, raising them indiscriminately will probably backfire. However, it is possible to set your prices in such a way that you can increase your profits without changing your product or tinkering with your overhead. Traditionally, setting a price for a product…

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July 23, 2012

July Government Relations Update

[caption id="attachment_1393" align="alignright" width="210" caption="Rita and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa"][/caption] Mayors Endorse “Parent-Trigger” Efforts Nationwide At their annual conference last month, the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorsed so-called “parent-trigger” laws that enable parents to take over failing schools to implement personnel and program changes. Though the laws are opposed by teachers’ unions, support for the…

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June 22, 2012

The Dual Benefit of Targeting End-of-Year Budgets

While the fiscal climate for school budgets next year remains unclear, you can be sure that every superintendent and administrator knows that their budget needs to be completely spent down by the end of this month.  Of course, many districts have long ago accounted for every penny in their FY12 budgets, but the last week…

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June 21, 2012

June Government Relations Update

FY13 Education Budget and STEM Funding On June 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its version of the FY13 education budget. (As of this writing, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies had yet to finish its version of the bill). Under the Senate version, the Department of Education would receive…

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May 24, 2012

Working With Arc Pays Off

At the recent SIIA Ed Tech Industry Summit’s Innovation Incubator Program, we were thrilled when Arc client Language Express was selected as the winner in the Most Likely to Succeed category and the runner-up in the Most Innovative category.  Language Express was honored for its software product, The Social Express™, which is designed to give children with autism and…

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May 22, 2012

The “Rising Billion” and Your Business Model

What would your company look like if your content or app could reach 1 billion more people than you are reaching today? And what if that group was a self-driven, DIY-inclined audience who are not only consumers of your product, but potential improvers and collaborators? A new book, “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You…

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May 21, 2012

May Government Relations Update

Your Ticket to the 2012 Elections With another election season in full swing, Rita Ferrandino will be in the middle of all the excitement. In addition to her work with Arc and as the CEO of Chicago Educational Publishing Company and as a founding partner of Arc Capital Development, Rita also serves as the Chair of…

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April 27, 2012

Why Education CEOs Need to Care About Autism

With April marking Autism Awareness Month, a new Centers for Disease Control study shows that the prevalence of autism continues to increase significantly, from less than 100,000 children in 2002 to a projected million-plus children by 2014. The CDC first released a study in 2007 (using numbers from 2002), which estimated that less than 100,000…

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April 25, 2012

April Government Relations Update

Education Cuts in the Florida Budget Rita Ferrandino authored a blog post for Sarasota Patch examining education spending in the recently signed $70 billion Florida state budget. Rita notes that while the budget “ostensibly provides a $1 billion funding “increase” for K-12 education, that hardly offsets last year’s cut of $1.3 billion, let alone provides…

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April 2, 2012

The Value of Spending More

As business owners, we are always looking for ways to make our companies more efficient and cost-effective. However, as any successful owner or CEO knows, “most cost-effective” does not necessarily translate to “cheapest.” This is particularly true when thinking about the professional services that any small (or large) business needs.  Certainly, you can make low…

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March 30, 2012

March Government Relations Update

Tracking State Legislation Many state legislatures are currently in session, which means it is an important time to stay abreast of legislative developments in states in which you do business. Whether you have a lobbyist who is tracking proposals for you or you are monitoring the news on your own through local Web sites (such…

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February 14, 2012

What to Expect in 2012

With 2012 well underway, predictions for what the year will bring – whether politically, economically or culturally – are already being put to the test. Before too many more weeks pass us by, we wanted to find out what predictions our colleagues and friends in the education business are making for 2012. Comment below with…

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February 13, 2012

February Government Relations Update

State of the Union During his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama made education one of the focuses, looking specifically at four issues: college affordability, teachers, dropouts and job training. College Affordability: The President urged Congress to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling in July, to extend the college tuition tax…

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February 1, 2012

Welcoming the First Lady to Sarasota

[caption id="attachment_1190" align="alignleft" width="222" caption="The First Lady speaks in Sarasota on January 26, 2012."][/caption] On January 26, I had the pleasure and honor of welcoming First Lady Michelle Obama to Sarasota as part of the Host Committee, as she continued her efforts to promote health and wellness among children.  Mrs. Obama's visit to Sarasota was…

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January 24, 2012

January Government Relations Update

Making It Easier to Do Business in America Entrepreneurs who want to do business with the government are often all too familiar with competing bureaucracies, overlapping agencies and other red tape. On January 13, President Obama announced a plan to streamline business in America by merging six departments: the U.S. Department of Commerce’s core business…

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January 24, 2012

The Power of Data

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article (“So, What’s Your Algorithm?”) focusing on the growing use of data in business and even personal decisions - “playing ‘Moneyball’ at life,” as the author summarized it. While the article looked at using data on a scale that requires sophisticated analytic software, there are also ways to…

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December 23, 2011

December Government Relations Update

Impact of the American Jobs Act on Education The Department of Education released two interactive maps that display the American Jobs Act’s estimated impact on every state and school district in the nation. These maps and the downloadable dataset behind them can be found here, while the full report, which includes a state-by-state appendix that…

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December 21, 2011

Talking to Your Board, Investors and Key Stakeholders in 2012

As this year comes to an end, next year’s sales numbers and January board presentations are looming large for many company leaders. In the midst of all the holiday festivities, now is an important time to consider what and how to communicate to your board, investors and key stakeholders, particularly when the economic picture may…

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December 5, 2011

Reinventing American Education

Last year’s documentary “Waiting for Superman” helped to refocus attention on our country’s education system, which, for too long, has been widely (and often correctly) perceived as falling behind the rest of the world.  But instead of focusing on just “catching up,” we should turn our attention to once again being a leader – leadership…

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November 29, 2011

Funding Growth with Equity: Raising Capital and Your Company Valuation

In this session we showed how to maximize your valuation to secure outside investment at each stage of the company life-cycle, from development/pre-revenue and early revenue, to cash flow positive and rapid growth. For each stage, people learned which investors to target, the key benchmarks they want to see and the valuation criteria they will use.  Click here to download…

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November 28, 2011

Working with a Board of Directors

At its most fundamental level, a board of directors provides stewardship for shareholder interests, including governance, oversight and approval of major corporate decisions.  In our experience in serving on the boards of many companies, we have found that board members should provide at least one of three things: connections, wisdom or capital. But to get…

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November 21, 2011

November Government Relations Update

Broadband Access in Schools The government recently released a report on broadband access in schools. View the data map here and find more information here. Early Learning Thirty-five states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico submitted applications in October for $500 million in competitive grants under the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge.…

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November 14, 2011

Building Value in Your Business Through Incentives

As we have all learned in today’s precarious economy, measuring a company’s value only in dollars is not enough.  Instead, look at the company Steve Jobs left behind. By concentrating on creativity, innovation, aesthetics and customer loyalty, Apple is now worth more than Microsoft, though reaching today’s revenue levels took many years of putting value…

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November 7, 2011

Why Your Company Doesn’t Need Employee Stock Options

Something many companies struggle with, particularly as they transition between growth stages, is how to structure compensation in a way that attracts top talent at all levels. Though figuring out salary and bonuses can be difficult, it’s usually the long-term incentives that take the longest to figure out. Long-term incentives, which align personal outcomes with…

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October 31, 2011

Autism and Training Educators

As I noted in an earlier post, the autism services industry is looking at unprecedented growth in the coming years. A recent CDC finding that 1 in every 100 American children has autism only underscores the growing need for autism services. Within the next 5 years, there could be as many as 1 million children…

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October 24, 2011

Creating and Managing an Advisory Board

Every entrepreneur remembers the days of doing it all (perhaps because some of you are still in that phase!) Negotiating contracts, pursuing early adopters and emptying out the coffee pot at the end of the day was (or is) all in day’s work.  But there comes a time in all early-stage companies when you need…

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October 17, 2011

October Government Relations Update

Administration Overrides No Child Left Behind On September 23, President Obama announced that the administration would allow states to request waivers on No Child Left Behind regulations. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that the administration was acting because of Congress’s failure to rewrite the law. The administration will waive the law’s proficiency requirements for…

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October 10, 2011

Staying Close to Your Capital Sources

As we have talked about in the past, it is critically important to stay as close as possible to your customers, through frequent, meaningful conversations that give you a pulse on their coming initiatives, needs and wants, and give you an advantage in meeting those needs and wants. However, in today’s economy, just as important…

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October 3, 2011

Investment Potential in the Growing Autism Industry

One of the biggest areas of growth in the education industry right now is for companies offering services to the autism community. In 2000, there were 100,000 cases of autism in the United States –  today, that number is estimated to be 500,000. Of course, in a pure business sense, 100,000 cases spread across the…

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September 26, 2011

The Silver Lining for Our Educational Economic Downturn

Last year, Rita and I attended SIIA’s Ed Tech business forum in New York at the end of November, where I moderated an extremely interesting panel on “Post-Stimulus Funding Sources for Schools.” Though the economy has fluctuated somewhat in the months since, I think a lot of the take-home points from the panel are still…

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September 19, 2011

September Government Relations Update

American Jobs Act President Obama’s September 8 address to Congress laying out the details of his American Jobs Act proposal included information on $60 billion in funding for teachers and schools. Under the proposal, $30 billion would be allocated to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers. Under the legislation, another $30 billion would be…

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September 12, 2011

Do I Need an App for That?

As schools and teachers continue to shift demand to software and online products, you may be looking at your products and asking, “Do I need an app for that?” With today’s students using games and educational apps on iPads and smartphones, mobile applications are becoming even more commonplace in the classroom, as this AP story…

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September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

The country stands together to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, said President Obama in a recent radio address. "We were united after 9/11, and the outpouring of generosity and compassion reminded us that in times of challenge, we Americans move forward together, as one people." We'll remember the innocent lives lost…

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September 6, 2011

STEM Education at the White House

I recently had the incredible opportunity to attend a session of the Community Leaders Briefing Series at the White House on July 15th, along with about 150 other community leaders from Florida. The Briefing Series is sponsored by the White House Office of Public Engagement, and gives grassroots leaders the opportunity to hear directly from…

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January 21, 2011

Race to the Top

[caption id="attachment_681" align="alignright" width="300" caption="NYC Pasta Dinner"][/caption] On August 24, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that nine states and the District of Columbia had won grants in Phase 2 of the Race to the Top competition. Along with Phase 1 winners Delaware and Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,…

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January 21, 2011

Get Creative with Your Products

When looking at ways to position your products to go beyond one-time infusion of monies (stimulus funding or grants, for instance) to become a long-term “must-have” for your customers, one option is to sell a long-term 'subscription' service that is paid for upfront. Create a "maintenance and support" product that includes things such as software, content, material upgrades…

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