We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck that edtech startup Ignite! Reading used to raise $10 million from Rethink and Citadel founder Ken Griffin
As a 5th grade Teach for America teacher for a public school in the Bronx in 2004, Jessica Sliwerski saw firsthand how important the development of reading skills are at an early age. As she began her first week of classes with her students, she discovered that several of her students had not been taught basic reading skills. “I realized that I was utterly ill-equipped to teach them how to read,” she said. This gap in skills is what inspired Sliwerski to found Ignite! Reading, a virtual tutoring startup that helps children from grades K-8 learn how to read through targeted, one-on-one sessions with an online tutor. The startup’s results with students have attracted the attention of the investors at Rethink Education, and the fund ended up leading its $10 million Series A round. Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin and venture partners from Comcast Ventures, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Emergence Capital, Hellman & Friedman and Wing Venture Capital also participated in the round as individual investors.