Sesame Workshop and the Collaborative Fund are launching a $10 million fund to invest in startups focused on technology that advances children’s education, health, nutrition and development.
Sesame Workshop is the not-for-profit behind the educational TV show and its many spinoffs and marketing arms. NYC-based Collaborative has invested in dozens of successful startups, including Kickstarter, Lyft and Good Eggs.
The fund, to be called Collab+Sesame, will be managed by Collaborative with input from Sesame on investment decisions. The fund will invest up to $1 million in each startup and will participate in future rounds from portfolio startups.
According to Collaborative founder Craig Shapiro, startups that take money from Collab+Sesame will also have the opportunity to work closely with Sesame Workshop, gaining expertise from the organization’s advanced research on children and families from the past five decades.
Founders will also get access Sesame executives and will potentially have the option to use Sesame Street characters and branding in their services, Shapiro said.
The funding effort comes as Sesame Workshop seeks to modernize its programming for a generation of tech-smart toddlers. Last month, Sesame Street moved from PBS, where it has been a mainstay since 1969, and began airing on HBO.
Many future segments of the show will air online only; a comprehensive library of 150 older Sesame Street episodes is also available.