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With Ash Kaluarachchi (Founder, StartEd), Amy Jones (COO & Head of Education Technology & Services, 85 Advisors), Steven Freitas (Exec MD, 85 Advisors).
Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 06:00 PM   Absolutely Free
Amplify, 55 Washington St, #800

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Join us for a conversation with two experienced EdTech investors. Get an insiders view, learn how funding decisions are made & how to succeed with or without using outside capital. Topics include:

- why focusing on revenue/validation/evidence matters before raising investment/why traction matters, even before investment
- how to find/recognize investors that fit your company & stage of progress
- how to find free resources & advice

Speakers will be Ash Kaluarachchi, CoFounder, StartEd & Amy Jones, COO & Head of Education Technology & Services, 85 Advisors & Steven Freitas - Executive Managing Director, 85 Advisors

Ash Kaluarachchi, CoFounder, StartEd
Ash Kaluarachchi has directly advised & built partnerships for 5,000+ founders, educators, & investors solving problems in education innovation. As an advocate for entrepreneurs, he has advised, launched & operated multiple edtech accelerators, including for Techstars, the #1 startup accelerator & mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund in the world. He is Co-founder at StartEd (, which enables investment & ntensive mentorship via the worlds strongest network of mentors & investors in education innovation. He is Producer of NY EDTECH WEEK (, a global education innovation festival for global education leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, & educations. Ash has an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown & a Bachelor of Arts in psychology & economics from Grinnell University.

Amy Jones - COO & Head of Education Technology & Services, 85 Advisors

Amy Jones has nearly 20 years of education leadership & administration experience. Currently, she serves as the COO & Head of Education Services for 85 Advisors. 85 Advisors helps technology companies plan, analyze & execute successful growth & M&A strategies. Prior to joining 85 Advisors, she was Chief Academic Officer & Deputy Chief Executive for Special Education for the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the United States with 1.1 million students & a $24 billion operating budget. In addition, she oversaw numerous projects to reengineer instruction & systems for the multi-billion dollar Division of Specialized Instruction & Student Support, including learning management systems, management information systems, analytics, student information systems, inventory & ERP, personalized learning, assistive technology & accessibility of education materials. Earlier in her career, she served as a teacher, a school principal, an adjunct professor for online graduate courses, & Director of University Partnerships for Teach For America. Amy earned an M.A. in Organization & Leadership from Columbia University & a B.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She currently serves on the New York board of Teach for America.

Steven Freitas - Executive Managing Director, 85 Advisors

Steven Freitas is the Founder & Executive Managing Director of 85 Advisors, a boutique mergers, acquisition, & growth advisory firm. Steven has 20 years of investment banking, strategic advisory, & technology industry research experience. Prior to founding 85 Advisors, he was Managing Partner at a leading technology-focused investment banking boutique in New York City where he oversaw all aspects of client engagements & transaction execution for a global client base of enterprise software, cybersecurity, & communications companies. Steven earned an M.B.A from Wake Forest University & a Bachelor of Arts degree in Financial & Economic Studies from the University of Western Ontario.

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