Empire State Development Announces $54,000 Investment in Kinvolved

February 23, 2021

NYC-based, women-led company, uses software to improve communication between schools and families in school districts across the country 

Empire State Development (ESD)’s NY Ventures provides capital to grow and support early-stage, high-growth startups located in New York State through direct investments.

Empire State Development today announced a $54,000 investment in Kinvolved, the NYC based women-led company leading the way to improve family engagement and prevent student absenteeism in school systems across the country. This investment was provided by New York Ventures, the venture capital arm of Empire State Development. 

Kinvolved works with school districts using KiNVO, an attendance and communications software that helps schools and families engage through voice calls, emails, and two-way SMS text messaging instantly translated into 80+ languages. The tool is used to fight chronic absenteeism and tardiness and has been key to supporting communications and information sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic—15+ million messages sent between March and June—including information about free meals, distribution of learning materials, and access to resources. Kinvolved works with more than 400,000 stakeholders in 12 states, including several of the largest public school districts in the United States such as New York City, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Washington, D.C., and Providence, R.I. In New York State, outside of New York City, Kinvolved serves school districts in the Capital, Mid-Hudson, Southern Tier, and Western NY regions. 

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “New York Ventures supports entrepreneurs and high-growth startups as they see their ideas through to reality. This investment in Kinvolved, which improves communication between schools and families, is especially critical as we help our students continue to learn and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Kinvolved CEO and Co-Founder Miriam Altman said, “We’re extremely grateful for the support of New York Ventures. The funding allows us to empower districts to reduce absenteeism in any learning scenario, and the opportunity to urgently serve more districts across our home state is a particular honor.”

Kinvolved’s holistic, research-based approach combines technology and human interaction. This multi-strategy approach includes professional learning and an attendance and communications software (KiNVO) that empowers districts to engage all students and families regardless of language, device, internet access, or location.

Kinvolved partner schools and districts have relied heavily on KiNVO throughout the pandemic; the software has helped districts:

  • Manage attendance in remote, in-person, and hybrid learning environments even while transitioning from one learning scenario to another
  • Identify unknown and incorrect contact information, and keep family contact information up to date
  • Create a unified district and school-wide communications strategy
  • Easily keep families in the loop about their students' attendance and provide staff with actionable attendance data

Miriam Altman, a former New York City high school history teacher, co-founded Kinvolved with Alexandra Meis in 2012 As a teacher, Altman had observed the impact that attendance and absenteeism had on her students. The Kinvolved approach incorporates her first-hand knowledge of what works – including making sure that families are informed about and involved in their student’s attendance.

New York State had previously invested $950,000 in Kinvolved through the New York Ventures Innovation Venture Capital Fund and its Minority and Women Business Investment Funds. This latest round of investment reinforces support for Kinvolved and the positive impact they have on New York State schools and the communities that they serve. For more information on Kinvolved, please visit https://kinvolved.com.

About New York Ventures

New York Ventures is the venture capital investment arm of Empire State Development, New York State’s chief economic development agency. New York Ventures meets the critical capital needs of the state’s innovation economy by providing funding to high-growth startups as they move from concept to commercialization, through early growth and expansion. More information is available here.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

Contact:
Kristin Devoe (ESD) | [email protected] | (518) 414-1087
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313