As part of our goal to support and attract both new and more diverse talent to the field — and convince them to stick with it — we aim to build the go-to place for all-things innovation and entrepreneurship in early childhood development (ECD). Our resources are intended to provide a comprehensive view of the field and help you navigate its many complexities and disparate stakeholders. We hope that they might also help you identify a next connection, deepen your knowledge and / or spark a new idea.
Keep in mind that we are a start-up too, and this is a work in progress. Our resources need to grow and evolve with your needs — and meet you where you are, whether you’re a social entrepreneur, an experienced ECD professional or brand new to the field.
In that spirit, if you have a question or are looking for information and don’t see it, don’t be shy and tell us. Chances are, if you have the question, someone else does too.
The Innovation Landscape
Our aim is to have a complete view of the key players in ECD, including: 1) ventures and existing organizations, 2) funders and 3) experts. These three core audiences make up the ECD innovation ecosystem needed to drive outcomes for the children, families and communities facing the greatest adversities.
Below you’ll find the sector’s most complete indices of 1) ventures and existing organizations and 2) funders. We’re working on 3) experts — it’s on our 2019 roadmap. You’ll also find 4) highlights from Early Futures, our inaugural field convening in November 2018 that featured 52 promising ECD ventures with 200 of the sector’s most influential leaders.
Promise ECD Venture Index — includes ventures bringing new innovations to market and organizations seeking to scale their current successful operation
You can sort this list by business model, domain and location.
To be added to the ECD Venture Index, please complete a venture profile.
Promise ECD Funder Index — includes funders who have directly invested in ECD or a related field
If you’re a funder and not on this list, please fill out this short form, and we’ll do the rest.
Promise ECD Experts Index: this is on our 2019 roadmap — please stay tuned.
Highlights from Early Futures
Full list of 52 selected ventures with direct links to individual demos and one-pagers and sortable by domain, business model and location
Keynote on the Science of ECD by Dr. Jack Shonkoff, Director, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
Keynote on the impact of toxic stress by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, CA's first Surgeon General and Founder of the Center for Youth Wellness
Entrepreneurial Insights, Nonprofit and For-Profit with Scott Cook, Founder, Intuit and Nancy Lublin, Founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line
For more on Early Futures go here.
Promise Venture Studio Resources
We have a saying, “build once, use many”, that applies to venture resource here. We’ve been told that they are useful at any stage.
Promise Venture Framework — provides a venture pitch outline that will help sharpen your thinking and how to communicate it
Promise Venture Profile — great forcing function to whittle down what you do and why it matters to one page. It also serves as an incredibly effective tool to introduce yourself, make connections and use as a leave-behind. Plus, you’ll be immediately added to our Promise ECD Venture Index once you’ve completed one, which gets regularly shared with leading funders and experts.
Additional Venture-Building Resources
Check these out as potential ways to help you take the next step towards scale and impact.
Brand New to ECD?
We’ve started to curate and develop content that will give you context into the field and why innovation and entrepreneurship are important and urgent. We will continue to evolve this content; in the meantime, please send questions and requests our way.
For the latest science in ECD — Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
For the ROI on ECD — The Heckman Equation
For the most recent stats on U.S. preschool and kindergarten enrollment — National Center for Education Statistics
Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends Report by Omidyar Network that showcases megatrends driving new demand and supply in early childhood education
Where are the Children? — a document we put together to provide a sense for the end-user landscape (i.e. children)
ECD Courses — initial compilation of academic ECD courses
Ideas to get you started — a list of ECD startup ideas that we crowdsourced with other entrepreneurs and brainstormed internally. Use it as an inspirational list or let us know if you’re interested in pursuing any of these!
Tell us what you think
Are these resources helpful? What else would you like to see and are there any topics that you'd like to help create? We both need and value your input, so please tell us what you think. Thanks!