Investing in Israel: Interview with East Wind Advisors Founder Joshua Schwartz
In early June, the Israel EdTech Summit took place at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. The Summit was hosted by EdTech Israel and East Wind Advisors in collaboration with Tel Aviv University, and covered a variety of edtech-related topics, including: online learning, higher education, the skills gap, and edtech startup growth.
We sat down with Joshua Schwartz, who helped co-host the summit. Schwartz is the founder of East Wind Advisors, an independent, industry-focused investment firm.
Schwartz formed East Wind Advisors with the idea of bringing quality services to “emerging growth and corporate finance services, lower middle-market and late-stage venture companies.” EWA focuses heavily on several specific industries — one being education.
Since EWA’s creation 15 years ago, the firm has primarily made waves in the education industry. Schwartz explains that over a decade ago, “There was no such thing as edtech.”
Since then, he and EWA have made plans to transform education through technology.
“[W]e thought that it would result in many different companies that would work to solve some of the key problems and pursue some of the opportunities.”
Schwartz believes that going into education is a great business opportunity, noting that every year the market continues to grow significantly. The for-profit part of the industry is the type of clients that East Wind Advisors aims to serve. These clients hope to impact topics such as literacy, proficiency, numeracy, and closing the skills gap.
EWA is looking for clients with high growth prospects, a profitable model, possibly large in size, and one that can gain a sustainable competitive advantage for a period of time. “This can occur in a number of different sub-sectors of the education sector, in could be in the workforce, higher education, k-12, early childhood learning, on the curriculum side, the administrative side,” explains Schwartz.
Schwartz stressed that “for-profit” should not be “a dirty word” in education circles, noting that mixing profit and education can mean that many people may benefit after if entrepreneurial talent believes they can come into the sector and do well. Just because it’s business, does not discount the fact that the effects may make the world a better place.
Listen in to hear more about the intersection between business and education technology in Israel.
Elizabeth hails from New Jersey and studies journalism at Emerson College, where she works for two publications: a lifestyle magazine and a music magazine. In addition to education, she also enjoys writing about health and fitness and pop culture.