Education / Resources / Startups / Venture capital

Resource Roundup: The ED opened a $2.5M challenge for work-based learning

Plus, NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers is launching an investment network and the Lightship startup train heads to DC in May.

Apprenticeships allow people to learn while earning. (Photo by Pexels user Sora Shimazaki, used under a Creative Commons license)
Full disclosure: This editorial article references NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers, a Ecosystem Builder client. That relationship has no influence on this report.

Starting this month, the Department of Education (ED) will offer a new education path to explore.

The ED’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education has officially opened entries for its “Career Z Challenge: Expanding Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Gen Z.” The department, which is headquartered in DC, hopes to find new, unique solutions for expanding high school students’ work-based learning options.

The challenge has $2.5 million in prizes for entrants with top solutions. Both semi-finalists and finalists will receive professional development support and access to webinars, training and networking on top of the cash prize. The challenge is open nationwide.

The department declined to comment about the challenge on the record regarding the challenge. It instead pointed to a blog post statement from US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, in which he highlighted the economic issues underscoring this initiative’s importance.

“Employers are struggling to fill open positions. In 2022, there were more than 11 million job openings and only 6 million unemployed workers,” Cardona wrote. “Work-based learning increases opportunities and access for students to explore and develop skills to become contributing members of today’s workforce and succeed in their future careers.”

Apply here by May 24

NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers launches an investment platform for startups

With NEXT RAISE, the startup-focused legal services provider aims to connect funding-ready founders with funders seeking investments. The platform is designed for seed- and Series A- level startups.

To launch the platform, NEXT is hosting an investor showcase event on June 1 at Park Potomac, in partnership with Carl Grant, Capital Raise and Deloitte. Investor-ready startups can apply by May 5 and will be notified by May 17 if they are selected to attend or take part in one-on-one investor meetings at the event. The event will also feature two panels from VCs and angel groups.

Apply here by May 5

Catch the Startup Train

Following stops in Providence, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore, a so-called “startup train” heads to DC on May 5.

Lightship, a midwestern startup organization, will embark on a train tour of mid-Atlantic cities to help underrepresented founders. Lightship leaders will chat with ecosystem builders, host office hours and hold a networking event. The five-day tour culminates in DC at a to-be-determined location.

Lightship, leadership said, helps educate founders on building and growing a venture-backed startup.

“What we’ve recognized over the years is that there are people who are kind of missing from ecosystems or overlooked in ecosystems, even if they’re really big ones,” CEO Candice Matthews Brackeen told earlier this month.

Register here

Companies: NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers
Series: How to Get a Tech Job Month 2023

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