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1776 Announces Rusty Greiff as New Managing Director to Lead Education Ventures

Greiff will lead global edtech initiatives, investments, and partnerships to launch and scale solution companies in and outside the classroom


March 25, 2015


Washington, D.C. 1776 announced today that Rusty Greiff will join 1776 leadership team as Managing Director to oversee all efforts in the EdTech sector for the global seed fund and incubator. As the senior executive overseeing all education ventures, Greiff will work cross-functionally across all of 1776’s efforts to infuse his start-up, policy, large-company and venture expertise in the education industry and ensure 1776 is providing the best resources and channel institutional, academic and consumer networks to build sustainable education companies.

“Navigating a highly-regulated industry like education is difficult for any company, but Rusty brings a set of unusual operational and proven start-up experiences to the table that will benefit our startups from Day One,” said Donna Harris, cofounder of 1776. “Rusty’s experience with disruptive early stage and large-scale education, social entrepreneurship and interactive tech companies, as well as foundations, governments, school districts and post-secondary institutions makes him uniquely qualified to advise startups who are looking to transform education for students, teachers, consumers and learners alike.”

“I’m excited to join an incredible team and bring new energy, focus, funding and leadership to 1776’s global network of edtech entrepreneurs, education channel influencers, accelerators, and K-12 and post-secondary partners,” said Greiff. This is hard/complicated work – but 1776 offers a dynamic global platform to drive collaboration across government, non-profit, education, academic, and corporate sectors to improve the chance of sustainable and effective edtech solutions.”

As 1776’s education ventures lead, Greiff will provide 1776 members and its coalition of investment, school, academic, association and corporate partners, with the most relevant and effective curriculum, mentorship programs, strategic advice, seed and growth capital and distribution networks in education.

Prior to joining 1776, Greiff was Learnist’s Chief Strategy & Development Officer one of the fastest growing global consumer, school and mobile learning, curation and knowledge-sharing companies on the Web. With the same investor and executive team as Learnist, Rusty served on the Board and was on the founding executive team of Grockit, a pioneering collaborative and social learning platform that was acquired by Kaplan Test Prep in 2013.

Prior to joining Grockit and Learnist, Rusty held senior executive positions at USA Interactive and Educate, Inc., including Hooked on Phonics, Catapult Learning and Sylvan Learning, where he lead Sylvan’s national college prep and readiness business. Greiff has advised and served on Boards of venture capital and private equity firms, national charter schools, edtech companies, virtual schools, post-secondary institutions internationally and national nonprofits in education and economic development. He is a contributing panelist on national forums in educational disruption and social entrepreneurship.

Greiff began his career working in the Clinton Administration launching the AmeriCorps program, and for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee as an education, technology policy and outreach aide to Senators John Kerry and Tom Daschle.

ABOUT 1776

1776 is a global incubator and seed fund that finds promising startups focused on solving the world’s most fundamental challenges and helps engineer their success.

Just two years old, 1776 has helped more than 250 startups grow by vetting their viability and connecting them to a “swat team” of support, from investors to mentors, government officials, and institutional market partners that they need to succeed.

1776 focuses on startups in the most broken, entrenched industries and sectors that impact millions of lives every day—specifically education, energy & sustainability, health, transportation, and cities.

Because solving big challenges in entrenched industries requires a different approach, 1776 is revolutionizing the startup landscape. From its hub in Washington, D.C., it is sparking a global movement of “problem-solving’ startups through its Challenge Cup and Startup Federation, the premiere network of incubators throughout the world.

By creating a global community of startups, mentors, partners, and investors, 1776 is proving that its unique approach to incubation can create a sustained cycle of innovation that connects existing enterprises, corporations, and government entities to the startups that are solving the world’s biggest problems.

1776 was founded in February 2013 by Donna Harris, a serial entrepreneur and the former Managing Director of the Startup America Partnership, and Evan Burfield, founder of netDecide, a provider of enterprise wealth management solutions, and the consulting firm Synteractive.