Alumni Ventures Turns Its Network Into Subscribers for Synthesis
Synthesis is a online program for kids inspired by Elon Musk's school
A prime example of AV’s value-add is our collaboration with Synthesis, an innovative learning experience created by the founder of a school for Elon Musk’s children. The program is designed to cultivate student voice, strategic thinking, and collaborative problem solving for kids ages 6 to 14.
Not only did we view Synthesis as an excellent investment opportunity, we felt that it had a strong product-market fit with our community. Our team connected with Co-Founder and CEO Chrisman Frank to produce an episode of AVTV, a video series that allows our portfolio companies to broadcast their elevator pitch and most salient asks to our community. Frank discussed his company’s inspiration, revolutionary value proposition, and vision of the future.
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The email campaign AV used to promote the video was a resounding success, with the content immediately generating traction:
- 65% open rate
- 32% sign-up conversion
- 13% purchase conversion
Ultimately, our campaign generated $500,000 in ARR for Synthesis. We’re pleased that our collaborative promotional efforts with Synthesis resulted in real bottom-line contributions while showcasing the company’s product and core values to our community. The mutually beneficial arrangement is an ideal blueprint of how not only AV finds quality startups to invest in, but how we utilize our community and expertise to help those same companies grow.
Synthesis was added to the Alumni Ventures portfolio in 2020 when our team invested in the company’s $5 million Series A led by Pomp Investments. Synthesis’ commitment and passion to redefining traditional education along with its team’s passion as teachers epitomizes the types of impactful opportunities we aim to source for our investors.
Synthesis has designed a new educational experience that uses simulations, case studies, fabrication, design projects, strategic thinking, and collaborative problem solving to develop students that are enthralled by complexity and solving for the unknown. The company was profoundly influenced by Elon Musk’s Ad Astra school, which one of the co-founders helped create.
About the Founders
Chrisman FrankCo-Founder and CEO of Synthesis
Chrisman Frank was the first hire at ClassDojo where he served as an engineer, product designer, and growth marketer at one of the world's fastest-growing education technology companies. Its products are currently used by teachers at 1 in 3 US schools and 150 countries worldwide.
Joshua DahnCo-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Synthesis
Joshua Dahn serves as the Executive Director and founder of Astra Nova School in Los Angeles. Previously, Josh was the co-founder of Ad Astra School located on the campus of SpaceX from 2014-2020 and a Teach for America member.
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