4.0 Schools Eyes Kansas City as the Next Hub for Education Innovation

Organization will partner with The Lean Lab to expand, train more education entrepreneurs to solve problems facing public schools

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 28, 2016) New Orleans-based 4.0 Schools has helped hundreds of education entrepreneurs take their ideas from prototype to pilot. Now, a $2.3 million grant from the Kauffman Foundation will help the organization expand its highly successful training programs and establish Kansas City as a key player in a national education innovation network.

“The Kauffman Foundation is excited to support the dynamic programming 4.0 Schools brings to education innovation,” said Aaron North, vice president of Education at the Kauffman Foundation. “Kansas City has an emerging community exploring creative approaches to persistent challenges in education, and having a 4.0 Schools presence with local partners will help channel that energy into improved opportunities for Kansas City students and families.”

Over the past five years, 4.0 Schools has trained 750 people through a range of programming from early-stage idea development to an accelerator to launch new innovations. Those alumni have collectively started 52 schools and education support organizations serving more than 250,000 students, teachers and families nationwide.

The Kauffman grant will help 4.0 Schools expand those programs to more education entrepreneurs across the country as well as establish a “Community Catalyst” in Kansas City—a resident partner to 4.0 that will build a vibrant, innovative, local education startup community. The Lean Lab, which has worked with education entrepreneurs in Kansas City since 2014, has been chosen as the local Community Catalyst partner.

“To succeed as a 4.0 community there must be a climate of entrepreneurship and citizens who are engaged and willing to create solutions,” said Matt Candler, CEO of 4.0 Schools. “The Lean Lab’s work over the past few years has ignited a spark in Kansas City and established a platform from which to launch 4.0’s entrepreneurial training sequence. As partners, we will prepare local entrepreneurs to bring to life the world-class schools and learning tools that will transform education for the students, teachers and families of Kansas City.”