Kim Smith co-founded NewSchools Venture Fund in 1998 to transform public education by supporting education entrepreneurs. In NewSchools, Kim created a new “hybrid” approach to investing in social entrepreneurs. NewSchools uses grants, loans and equity investments to support a portfolio that includes nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurs who are building sustainable, scalable education ventures. Kim served as CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund from 1998 until the fall of 2005, and currently serves as a senior advisor and board member.
Kim began her career as a consultant specializing in business-education partnerships. In 1989, she became a founding team member of Teach For America (TFA). She then put her TFA experience to work in the post of founding director of BAYAC AmeriCorps, a consortium of nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area working to develop young leaders in education. Kim’s background includes marketing experience with Silicon Graphics’ Education Industry Group, where she focused on the online learning industry, and her role as the founding director of a trade show venture.
Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from Columbia College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 2001, Kim was featured in Newsweek’s report on the “Women of the 21st Century” as “the kind of woman who will shape America’s new century.” She is a member of the 2002 Class of Henry Crown Fellows of the Aspen Institute. Kim has also served on many education venture and advisory boards; these currently include Education Sector, EdVoice, Good Capital LLC, and the Stanford University School of Education.