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.
We’ve missed you! As you’ll see in our current update, we’ve been busy. The demand for BenchK12 is growing and while we’re not happy that teacher shortages and burnout are the most dire that we’ve ever seen, we are hopeful that we can help and that our solution is resonating with K12 education leaders and partners.
Please take five minutes to read through our updates below. We have a lot of new team members who are the best at what they do and they are putting those skills and expertise to work on our solution. We also pulled a few highlights from recent press on how the teacher shortage is playing out in a few states where BenchK12 could help. As always, we need your support to keep helping us build broad awareness about the friction in teacher credentialing and the increasingly serious shortage. If you have school-aged children or friends and family with school-aged children, please help us reach them with BenchK12’s message. Together, this is one crisis we can solve!
Momentum & Progress
- Top Women-Founded Company in Minnesota. BenchK12 was awarded a $25k grant from the Carlson Family Foundation for being named the top women-founded company at this year’s Minnesota Cup. Given that 40% of the companies who participated this year were women-founded, this was truly an honor for our team.
- MN Cup Finalist. We were also named as a finalist in the Education and Training Division of the MN Cup after competing through various rounds with nearly 3000 Minnesota-based startups.
- SIX (!!) States. Our solution is resonating with state and local education leadership. We have six states on our waiting list for pilots for this school year.
- Growing our team. We’re so grateful to share that we’ve been busy growing our team of talented leaders who all want to be a part of solving the teacher shortage with BenchK12:
- VP, Technology: Daniel Glucksman has an amazing track record of success growing his previous company (Grocer Key) and product team from idea to exit. He also serves as the Technical Director for Gener8tor’s Venture Studio helping them build technical teams for their emerging startups.
- Director, Engagement: Yanique Taylor has worked across grassroots, community-based organizations, government agencies, and nonprofits in Newark, NJ, and her home country of Jamaica to engage with diverse audiences to ensure the successful development and implementation of a number of high-impact initiatives.
- Director, Product: Meg Rockman has an impressive background in marketing, project management, and as an entrepreneur, with previous leadership roles at Pearson, among others.
- Director, Design: Larissa McCartney’s artistic genius has helped the folks at the Gates Foundation, Carter Center, CA and WA state agencies, PayPal, Microsoft, HBO and more, tell their stories with compelling visuals.
- Legal Counsel: Daniel Barsky, Partner, Holland and Knight, is an IP and patent attorney specializing in licensing and transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures, and multinational licensing agreements, as well as information technology, data privacy, cyber fraud, and data breach matters.
- Accounting & Finance: Fine Point Consulting supports startups and nonprofits in the Upper Midwest by providing leadership and strategic direction, as well as ongoing transactional support to help them get more done, scale fast, and stay lean.
Expertise & Asks
- Commit to investing in BenchK12’s Community Round. We are taking commitments from our network of supporters now, with early incentives just for you. There’s a lot more coming your way soon about why this is the right investment and solution for our nation’s teacher shortage and we want you in on the ground floor.
- Spread the Word. If you can’t invest right now, help get the word out about BenchK12. You can start by forwarding this message to anyone in your network who might be eager to help solve the teacher shortage in K12 education. Sharing this with just three folks and your endorsement would be a tremendous start!
- Pilot Partners. Join our waitlist and bring BenchK12 to your state. We have some special incentives to share with the first five states that we work with.
- Get Social with Us Virtually: Twitter // Instagram // TikTok
- Did you know that there’s currently no data infrastructure for educator workforce data? (This is the best we’ve got right now.) BenchK12 is here to solve for this, too.
- Check out this Launch MN panel on Blockchain where our President and Founding Partner, Brooke Barrett, talked about verifiable credentials and use cases for blockchain technology beyond finance.
- What the heck is a verifiable credential or a non-fungible token (NFT), why should I care, and how are they different? Our friends over at Trinsic are here to break it down for you.
- Louisiana has a backlog of at least 7,400 teachers who are trying to get credentialed. BenchK12 could help them with the modern technology to clear it in a few days rather than months.
- In Oregon, it takes an average of 61 days for a teacher’s credentialing application to be approved. Guess who could help with that?
- Please join us in celebrating Jennifer MacDonald and her 1-year anniversary at BenchK12! Jen has had a tremendous impact since she joined the team and we’re thrilled to announce her promotion to VP, Brand. You’re getting a sneak peak at our brand refresh that Jen’s been leading with our updated logo in the header. Stay tuned for our site refresh coming soon…
- We’re grateful for our new partnership with the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE). We are attending and presenting at AAEE’s annual conference in Baltimore and making a big announcement with them soon…
- Thank *you*. Your reading these updates and sending us notes of encouragement, advice, connections, and opportunities makes our work possible. We know we can solve the teacher shortage with our community of supporters.
About BenchK12 and The Playbook
BenchK12 is the future of work for K12 educators, starting with substitute teachers. We remove the friction from the educator credentialing process to solve the teacher shortage and we support teachers once they are in the classroom with modern technology to help them advance their careers and ensure student success.
You’re receiving The Playbook because at some point you made an impression on one of the members of our founding team or our advisors.
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—we need a deep bench, with you on our team. Wanna be an official Day One supporter? Consider making a commitment to invest: www.wefunder.com/benchk12 and you can own your piece of solving the teacher shortage!
We promise to keep these quarterly communications brief, but rich. You’ll hear from not only us but our partners; firsthand insights into what we’re working on; milestones we’re reaching; asks for expertise; and shout outs of gratitude.