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JFF Ventures Fund I

July 21, 2020

Practices & Centers

Our Opportunity

Millions of adults struggle to succeed in the American labor market.

For these individuals—many of whom are women, people of color, and/or immigrants—barriers to skills development and employment opportunities inhibit their economic security and mobility.

JFF Ventures Fund I, formerly the Employment Technology Fund (ETF@JFFLabs), supports promising entrepreneurs who are developing technology to train and upskill low-income and low- and middle-skill adults and connect them to employment opportunities.

JFF Ventures is committed to reimagining a more inclusive future of work—a future where technology is used to increase access to learning, employment, and economic mobility for all adults. We work closely with the companies in which we invest to offer them flexible capital tailored to their business models and objectives.

JFF Ventures is committed to reimagining a more inclusive future of work—a future where technology is used to increase access to learning, employment, and economic mobility for all adults. We work closely with the companies in which we invest to offer them flexible capital tailored to their business models and objectives.

 

Team

Our team has decades of experience in impact investing, entrepreneurship, and education and workforce technologies.

We are pleased to have been recognized as an emerging fund manager by ImpactAssets for three years in a row.

Yigal Kerszenbaum

Managing Partner

Yigal Kerszenbaum is the founding managing partner of JFFVentures. He oversees JFF’s finance and investment strategy and supports entrepreneurs who develop technology for training and upskilling workers in low-wage jobs. His skills and areas of…

Sabari Raja

Managing Partner

Sabari Raja is a managing partner of JFFVentures. She plays a key role in shaping the strategy of the fund, honing JFFVentures’ investment thesis, leading investments, and supporting the growth of the portfolio companies.  Her…

Priscilla Luu

Senior Associate

Priscilla Luu is a senior associate at JFFVentures, Jobs for the Future’s impact investing arm. As a core member of the Ventures team, she supports founders who are developing and scaling solutions designed to expand…

Progress

$11,000,000

Invested or granted

48%

Investment and grants made to companies founded or led by women

62%

Investment and grants made to companies founded or led by people of color

15,000,000

Workers reached

Fund I 2021 Impact Report
Read More

ETF [JFF Ventures] is seeding investments in companies that have the potential to tackle this challenge head-on, in ways that can help close persistent skill and talent gaps. They’ve found a great strategic partner in the team at JFF.

Ryan Craig, managing director at University Ventures

Portfolio

Whom we invest and partner with in Fund I

180 Skills*

Online career and technical education company focused on “building the next-generation manufacturing workforce”

@180skills

AdeptID

Machine learning aimed at promoting inclusive job mobility

@adept_id

Anthill

Mobile-based talent platform for the reskilling and development of the more than 80% of the global workforce that doesn’t work at a desk or computer

Beam

College financial and emergency aid platform for students

Bedu*

Company that offers training and upskilling programs for in-demand fields

@Bedu_Org

Care Academy*

Company offering smartphone-based training to upskill and certify individuals for in-demand careers in home health

@careacademyco

Cell-Ed

Platform for employers to deliver training to workers via cellphone, with an emphasis on matching users’ literacy level

@Cell_Ed

ChargerHelp

On-demand repair application for electric vehicle charging stations with a focus on job creation

@Chargerhelp

Climb Credit

Lender that seeks to ensure that students’ education is life-changing

@ClimbCredit

Clusiv

Helping companies provide flexible perks and rewards for their employees

@ClusivInc

Compt

Helping companies provide flexible perks and rewards for their employees

@ComptHQ

Craft

Company collects, analyzes, and acts on data to fill teacher vacancies and end the teacher shortage

@CraftEduSys

CreatorUp

Media production company that offers training and jobs designed to meet the needs of creative professionals

@creatorup

Embodied Labs

VR training for health care professionals

@embodiedLabs

FactoryFix

Online recruitment and hiring platform for the manufacturing sector

@factoryfix

Forage

Online mentoring platform that partners with corporations to design free virtual work experience programs for job seekers

@theforage_

Hireguide

A toolkit that lets hiring managers become expert interviewers in minutes

Honest Jobs

National job marketplace for people affected by the criminal justice system

@Honestjobsco

Korbit Technologies

Personalized AI trainng for learning data science and AI

@Korbit_tech

Level

Provider of flexible credit to help gig workers to build microbusinesses

@LevelGoals

Major League Hacking

Operates global student hackathons and project-based technology fellowship programs

@MLHHacks

MentorWorks

Non-loan financing (ISAs) for college & non-traditional students with career support

@MentorWorksISA

NewCampus

Education platform delivering business and leadership training

@newcampushq

NextStep*

A mobile, tuition-free training and job placement platform for certified nursing assistants (CNAs)

@NextStepTweets

Nucamp

Bringing the best of online and in-person learning together

Onramp

Workforce solutions company, offering custom-built talent pipelines to increase tech candidates from non-traditional and diverse backgrounds

Owners

Providing training, tools, and mentorship to entrepreneurs

@JoinOwners

PAIRIN

Using data to break down soft skill barriers to employment

@PairinInc

Pallet

Company addressing the homeless crisis with rapid-response shelter villages

@PalletShelter

Pathful Connect

A platform for bringing industry professionals into classrooms, virtually

@Pathfulinc

Plum

Provider of data-driven talent assessment for global enterprises

@Plum_io

Pursuit

Empower adults learners to become software developers and launch careers in tech

@joinpursuit

Ramped Careers

Job skilling platform for early career professionals

REDF

Investment fund providing loans with flexible terms to nonprofit and for-profit employment social enterprises

@REDFworks

SHARE Mobility

Technology platform helping organizations solve complex transportation problems

@ridewithshare

Signal Vine*

Provider of an intelligent, two-way text messaging platform that is proven to deliver high student engagement

@SignalVine

SkillSmart

Using skills to create pathways to employment

@SkillSmartUS

Sparkwise

Provider of multiplayer learning platform aimed at developing world-class teams and leaders

@BeSparkwise

Stride Funding

Stride Funding offers students flexible ways to fund their education with Income Share Agreements (ISAs)

@StrideFunding

Symba

Internship and apprenticeship management platform

@symba_io

Transcend Network

A fellowship for early-stage founders working in the field of education and the future of work

@transcendnet

Upduo

Peer-to-peer coaching for data-driven teams

@getupduo

Upswing

Student services platform that helps educators improve retention of nontraditional students

@upswing

WorkTorch

A career discovery platform for the service economy workforce

@worktorch_

* These companies have exited our portfolio.

Meet Our Advisors

Alison Ascher Webber

EdTech Center at World Education

Patti Constantakis

Walmart.org

Andrea Mainelli

Tyton Partners

Jess Hinkle

Strada Education Network

Jess Haselton

ECMC Foundation

Smitha Das

World Education Services

Jill Barkin

Beacon Fund

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