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Founded Year

2012

Stage

Series C | Alive

Total Raised

$165M

Last Raised

$57M | 2 yrs ago

About The Minerva Project

Minerva Project provides higher education offerings to the Minerva Schools at KGI and other educational partners. Minerva draws on traditions of a research-based university education while leveraging technologies and harvesting decades of research on student learning and success. Student receive a mix of online and experiential education.

The Minerva Project Headquarter Location

1145 Market Street 9th Floor

San Francisco, California, 94103,

United States

415-734-1019

Latest The Minerva Project News

Minerva University’s Plan To Out-Elite Harvard

Jul 29, 2021

Google Not many people are up for the task of ‘out-eliting’ Harvard. But that’s exactly the shorthand that Ben Nelson, founder and chancellor of Minerva University, uses to describe his mission. Nelson decided more than 10 years ago that the best solution for the disturbing disparities among college graduates when they entered – or tried to enter – the workforce would require ‘going first’. He would create a totally new approach to teaching and learning, and establish it as the most elite form of higher education. It has become widely accepted that the world is changing at an incredible rate, faster than ever before. Our personal and professional realities transform every day, in terms of the workplace, economic, social, political, health, and environmental factors affecting our wellbeing and success. While it’s easy to see the risk of doing things differently, in this fast-changing context, the greatest risk is continuing to do things the way we have always done them. We need to adapt the ways we live and work, and have the courage to go first—stepping out with innovative ideas and processes that fit our shifting world. In that spirit, Nelson’s objective was to radically and completely reinvent, reform, and restructure higher education. In 2011, Nelson founded the Minerva Schools at KGI, which was incubated at the Keck Graduate Institute, with the objective of recentering education on nurturing wisdom and in the process changing who we teach, where we teach, how we teach, and what we teach. In July 2021, Minerva was granted accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and became Minerva University. Minerva Project Logo Minerva Project You might ask, “Was it really necessary to start a new university?” Nelson says it was absolutely necessary. “Elite higher education,” he says, “has degraded education for the last 50 years, primarily because elite universities don’t serve the elites—that is, not the intellectual elites. These are not educational institutions, they're certification institutions. Universities don't certify true education, they certify that you can recall some information that you crammed the week before the test.” MORE FOR YOU Almost 60% of Minerva’s students are from families whose annual incomes are less than $50,000. They receive needs-based financial aid for up to 95% of their educational costs. Minerva currently has more than 600 students from more than 80 countries. It has 400 alumni who have graduated with undergraduate and graduate degrees. Minerva is different from the established Harvards, Yales, and Stanfords. Its main focus is not information gathering but rather building cognitive skills to solve complex problems and foster constructive decision-making. “Other institutions are providing bad pedagogy and siloed education, not systematic thinking,” Nelson says. Those institutions “should start educating students with the science of learning and transferable skills.” He describes the education students get at Minerva as “focused on student outcomes.” He believes that if higher education is restructured to focus on transferable skills in an environment that promotes actual learning, paired with the development of global and cultural competency then “we have a shot at fixing this world.” With 2020 behind us, businesses are seeing some of the damaging effects of the pandemic. College graduates are no exception and are entering the workforce lacking people skills and collaboration strategies. Mursion, a startup that blends AI with human guidance to teach people skills, surveyed more than 400 recent college graduates in May 2021 to discuss the significance of people skills in the workplace. Employers are disappointed in graduates’ lack of people skills. A whopping 93% of graduates surveyed and 74% of HR people said higher education should formalize opportunities to practice people skills. Minerva graduates are reversing the curve and entering the workforce with astounding success, in spite of the pandemic. Currently, 88% of Minerva graduates have landed full-time professional jobs or entered highly respected graduate programs within six months of graduation. With an emphasis on solving problems over knowledge reiteration, these new hires are making a difference and building awareness of how critical wisdom and formal training in people skills can prepare you for the realities of the working world. Nelson doesn’t mince words when he talks about the imperfections in our educational system. “It turns out that traditional institutions educate less effectively than placebos cure disease. It’s actually three times more effective to cure bacterial disease with a sugar pill than it is to get an education at a typical test and lecture-based class that is prevalent from typical high schools to elite universities. It’s an astonishing fact, but it’s based on forty years of proven scientific research.” Students writing tasks on whiteboard in class, laughing with classmates getty Ben Nelson and Minerva University are changing education and the workplace one student at a time. What else needs to change and who else needs to step up and have the audacity to “go first” and do things differently in these changing times? When asked about his inspiration to start Minerva, Nelson said, “If you’ve seen a core truth about something that's meaningful to you, pushing on isn't particularly difficult. You can have confidence even when you get that resistance from everywhere, including your family, your loved ones and your friends. Almost 11 years ago, I realized I could build something substantial and meaningful out of nothing. So I set off on this journey to effectively reform global education, and the only way to do that was to first actually have an alternative model to reform the current meaningfully.”  Upon receiving accreditation, Nelson said, “Today we have realized the dream of becoming Minerva University . . . a validation of the groundbreaking innovations we have delivered over the past decade. Nothing speaks louder for its success than the outcomes our students have achieved.” Gain more insights into how Minerva University is changing the educational landscape here . Learn more about my new book, Going First: Find the Courage to lead Purposefully and Inspire Action, here . Follow me on  Twitter  or  LinkedIn . Check out my  website .

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Expert Collections containing The Minerva Project

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

The Minerva Project is included in 2 Expert Collections, including Smart Money VCs (2017-2019).

S

Smart Money VCs (2017-2019)

6,297 items

We crunched the data to identify the 24 VC firms with the best combination of portfolio valuations and investment outcomes.

E

Education Technology (Edtech)

2,288 items

The Minerva Project Patents

The Minerva Project has filed 11 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Teleconferencing
  • Videotelephony
  • Web conferencing
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10/22/2018

10/13/2020

Videotelephony, Web conferencing, Teleconferencing, Educational technology, Remote desktop

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Videotelephony, Web conferencing, Teleconferencing, Educational technology, Remote desktop

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Grant

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