Welcome to BenchK12’s The Playbook
You’re reading a recent edition of The Playbook, a BenchK12 newsletter. Subscribe to receive updates and stay in touch with our team at benchk12.com/subscribe.
You are a great partner, colleague, friend, co-conspirator, inspiration, champion, or future collaborator and in order to build the best company — that truly empowers and serves the K12 educators and leaders who help our students realize their genius — and we need you on our team.
We promise to keep these quarterly communications brief, but rich. You’ll hear from not only us but our partners including firsthand insights into what we’re working on; milestones we’re reaching; asks for expertise and advice; and shoutouts of gratitude. If for any reason you aren’t interested in hearing from us, please accept our apologies, and feel free to unsubscribe.
BenchK12 is an empowering human capital platform designed specifically for K12 education, starting with substitute teachers. Why substitute teachers? We know that there is an immediate shortage and need for great substitute teachers and technology that helps schools and subs manage their entire career lifecycle. What’s out there today isn’t solving this problem.
So what does this actually look like in practice?
For our school partners, it means not just finding someone to fill a vacancy, but the *right* sub for your school, your classroom, and your students for 50% less than it costs today with a more streamlined vetting and onboarding process, AND smart analytics about how your subs are doing. For subs, it means one place to get licensed/certified to substitute teach, a more personalized sub experience where you get to show who you are, what you are great at teaching, find all of the details for your sub role before you arrive in the classroom, and the opportunity for higher pay, advancement, and recognition for the important role you play in K12 education.
Momentum & Progress
- 🏆 We finished in the top 10% of companies at YC’s Startup School!
- 🎓 We are an HMC Inq. company! In October, we graduated from our very first incubator, started pitching to investment partners, and built our MVP.
- 🐣 Yup. We have an MVP! Inspired by our mentors and peers at HMC Inq and YCs StartUp School, we built something. It’s our rough start to help you get an idea of the vision we are working towards. Ask us for an invite or demo on Android or iOS.
Expertise & Asks
- ✈️ Pilot partners. We’re seeking up to five pilot partners (SEAs, Regional Collaboratives, and LEAs are welcome!). We have two pathways they can choose from: equity (paid model) and non-equity (free model). Interested in learning more? Let’s talk!
- 🤝🏼 Investment partners. We have a number of wonderful partners who are interested investors who aren’t usually first money in. So if you are an angel investor or pre-seed investor, want to become one, know one, and are interested in enterprise SaaS, Future of Work, Edtech, Women-Founders, or Blockchain Beyond Crypto, let’s talk!
- 📢 Feedback. Whatever you have to give, we’ll take it. Brooke is a former educator and has been working in the classroom & c-suite with a variety of SEA & LEA school partners for her entire career, but we know that things are constantly changing for our school partners. What are we missing? How can we better serve you? Let us know.
- 👋 Get Social with Us (virtually, for now) Twitter // Instagram // TikTok
- ⚠️ COVID-19, quarantines, and an increase in sub shortages are forcing creativity and pushing schools to the brink (Pew Charitable Trusts)
- ⛓️ Blockchain is coming to U.S. K12 education, so what the heck is it, what does that mean for you, and what are some examples/pilots happening now? (…We’re really excited about the Broward County Equity Co-Lab)
- 🤷♀️ While we love our brothers, women-founded companies performed 63% better than those without a female founder, but still only received 2.2% of venture capital in 2020. So what gives? (Medium, Karen Cahn)
- 💡From Brooke: Forward in 2021: The promises of K12 education, tech, and America
- 🧭 From Shawn: Fearlessly Innovative: Navigating EdTech and Venture Capital
- 🙏🏻 More thanks than there are words to our amazing advisors who said “yes” to jumping on this ride with us in the middle of a pandemic. We’ll be sure to share more about them in future comms.
- 💌 All the founder love to Amanda DoAmaral (@AmandaDoAmanda), CEO @thinkfiveable. This first edition of The Playbook was inspired by her advice (& awesome updates) to reach out to everyone we know about what we’re doing at BenchK12. If you’re not yet familiar with Fiveable, check it out.
- 🦸🏻 A special word of thanks to my co-founder, Shawn Tamaribuchi. As any founders will tell you, this is a manic journey and I couldn’t be more grateful that Shawn said “yes” to doing this together.