July 09, 2020
gener8tor, in partnership with ECMC Group and ECMC Foundation will host the OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference virtually on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. This virtual conference will attract more than 300 startups to its virtual "Startup Track" – curated, one-on-one pitch sessions between selected startups and corporate venture capital & innovation executives, VCs and accelerators to discuss potential customer relationships, strategic partnerships and, if appropriate, investment opportunities.
The OnRamp Conference Series grew out of a desire to provide entrepreneurs at various stages of growth with access to high-level corporate leaders and investors. Started by gener8tor in 2013, OnRamp has evolved into vertical-specific events featuring conference programming and curated one-on-one pitch sessions between startups and corporate venture capital and innovation executives. OnRamp strives to be the premier gathering of corporate venture capital and innovation executives in each industry it serves.
The OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference brings together the education and workforce industries' leading corporations, investors and startups. The conference highlights innovations disrupting education and the future of work, the leaders making such innovations possible and how new technologies and business models will reinvent the industry.
Originally scheduled to take place in-person in Minneapolis at Target Field, the conference has pivoted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the health and safety of participants, startups, corporate venture capital & innovation executives, VCs and accelerators will convene virtually on July 21 for a full day of pitches, speakers, thought leadership and dealmaking.
More than 40 corporations and top-tier venture capital firms are confirmed to take meetings with startups, including ECMC Group, ECMC Foundation, GSV Ventures, SEI Ventures, Bloomberg BETA, Chloe Capital, American Family Institute, Guild Education and TASC Ventures, among many others.
"The implications of COVID-19 on the education and workforce landscape are profound, but more so they are accelerating trends already prevalent in the market. More than ever, it is critical for innovative startups to gain visibility, and more importantly, to access capital, to help scale positive impact," said Josh Slayton, senior vice president of business development, research and innovation for ECMC Group. Slayton also oversees ECMC Group's Education Impact Fund, which invests in early-stage, mission-aligned, for-profit companies focused on postsecondary education and the future of work. "Given our organization's focus on positively impacting student outcomes through investments in innovation, we look forward to connecting with the next generation of education startups at the OnRamp conference, so that together we can enhance the learner experience now and into the future."
The one-day, virtual conference will include a morning plenary session starting at 8:45 am CT featuring remarks by the conference hosts and a keynote presentation by Thomas C. Murray, author of Personal & Authentic, which hit #1 best seller for Education Leadership in 2020 and Jimmy Casas, best-selling author of Culturize, with over 100,000 copies sold.
Unique to OnRamp, the conference will also include its signature Startup Track, featuring curated, one-on-one pitch sessions between startups and participating organizations. OnRamp will match selected startups with corporate venture capital & innovation executives, VCs and accelerators from participating education & workforce innovation organizations to discuss potential customer relationships, strategic partnerships and, if appropriate, investment opportunities.
"We are pleased to be partnering with ECMC Group and ECMC Foundation to bring education and workforce innovation startups together with like-minded organizations for collaboration opportunities," said Danica Nilsestuen, lead organizer of the OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Conference. "gener8tor strives to ensure the inclusiveness of our events and programs. We are proud to say that nearly 45% of the startups that applied for the Startup Track are led by diverse founders."