Venture Café St. Louis announces first expert-in-residence for new EdHub program

Venture Café St. Louis, a nonprofit organization connecting aspiring entrepreneurs and founders, recently launched an expert-in-residence program to support individuals and teams building early-stage startups and education programs that address educational inequity and other systemic challenges. Part of the organization’s EdHub initiative, the expert-in-residence program will feature Dr. Marcus Howard as its first expert. Howard…

Photo courtesy of St. Louis Venture Café
Photo courtesy of St. Louis Venture Café

Venture Café St. Louis, a nonprofit organization connecting aspiring entrepreneurs and founders, recently launched an expert-in-residence program to support individuals and teams building early-stage startups and education programs that address educational inequity and other systemic challenges.

Part of the organization’s EdHub initiative, the expert-in-residence program will feature Dr. Marcus Howard as its first expert. Howard is an educator and edtech entrepreneur focused on designing equitable and future-ready education systems for low-income students of color. He is currently building a startup, ROSA, to address mental health and executive function in students to help increase their STEM scores.

Dr. Marcus Howard. Photo courtesy of St. Louis Venture Café

Tyler Mathews, executive director of Venture Café, said Howard brings to the program a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise gained from a diverse background in both education and startups, including time spent leading strategic innovations for Teach For America, a nonprofit that gives low-income neighborhoods access to high-quality teachers.

“Dr. Howard’s experience makes him an incredible fit,” Mathews said. “He has helped us create a strong program to increase the chances of success for our future Fellows.” 

Howard’s role as expert-in-residence at Venture Café’s EdHub program will be to oversee the Education Innovation Fellowship, which supports individuals and teams building early-stage education programs and startups. 

The EdHub Education Innovation Fellowship serves education intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs alike, Mathews said. Whether fellows launch a new business or bring systemic change to a large organization, the goal of the fellowship is to encourage the development and expansion of transformative education initiatives. Fellows lead a “mission-critical” project, program or initiative for their school district, charter school, government education agency, community organization or education program while receiving mentorship and insight from industry leaders.  

Regarding his new role, Howard said he wanted to keep the focus on individuals whose voices have traditionally been unheard or ignored.

“We must prepare all young people by affording them the opportunity to develop skills for the twenty-first century,” Howard said. “To help realize this vision, we must be intentional in grounding the voices of those furthest from opportunity in the design and implementation of the new ideas coming out of EdHub.”

Howard also announced the launch of a new thought leadership series for Venture Café’s weekly virtual Thursday Gatherings, a program of learning labs, interviews and events designed to help founders launch and grow. Howard’s series debuts tonight. More information can be found on the Venture Café St. Louis website.

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