Creatively Focused, an educational technology company dedicated to helping keep special education teachers in the classroom and reducing burnout, has announced that it has raised $3 million in seed funding led by York IE. Mairs & Power Venture Capital, Groove Capital, and Gopher Angels also backed the round.
The Minnesota-based startup intends to use this funding to expand its impact on the national extraordinary education shortage crisis by focusing on teachers’ and paraprofessionals’ learning and development needs as they navigate the daily demands of working in a passionate and highly regulated field. It also intends to expand in public K12 school systems throughout all 50 states, adding to the 1,000+ special educators now sponsored by axis3.
Creatively Focused, founded by Elizabeth Orme, automates workflows and improves training, education, and professional development for special education teams. The platform works with school districts to empower teachers, paraprofessionals, and administrators to recapture necessary time and create connections in a lively professional community through axis3, its human-centred SaaS platform, personalised services, and a curated resource library. This approach strengthens the resilience of special educators and administrators by providing the essential support needed to stay dedicated to their chosen career path and allocate more time to their core focus – the student.
Speaking on the fundraising, Founder & CEO of Creatively Focused, Elizabeth Orme, said:
We’re thrilled to have closed this round with investors who see the great opportunity we have to impact education. Every special educator who chooses this work deserves to feel like it can be their career, and students deserve passionate, committed, and supported educators. This funding positions Creatively Focused to ensure all school districts across the U.S. know there is a solution to increasing the retention and recruitment of these valued educators.
School districts nationwide are collaborating with Creatively Focused to enhance retention and give special educators the resources they require. Because of the technology and extensive understanding of the practitioners who comprise the Creatively Focused team, leaders in these districts have experienced fast uptake.
Vice President of Investments & Strategy, York IE, added:
There is a significant retention problem that exists in the educator ecosystem today. Elizabeth and her team are helping bridge this gap with technology and professional development – making these educators’ jobs more sustainable. We envision a world where Creatively Focused powers every classroom.
Marshall Everson, Vice President of Investments & Strategy at York IE, has joined the Creatively Focused Board of Directors as part of the investment. Everson will work with existing board members Orme and Keeley to further the company’s vision and objectives.
This round of funding follows the company’s sustained development and momentum.
Joe Keeley, CEO of JustiFi Technologies and Creatively Focused board member, commented:
As the former CEO of a leading childcare and education platform, the Creatively Focused vision is one I genuinely believe in. Unfortunately, many leaders are forced to put a bandaid on the retention issues plaguing our school systems today. Elizabeth and her team are getting to the root of the problem with technology and resources, allowing educators to focus on what matters most – their students.