E-Line Media is a publisher of game-based learning products and services that engage, educate and empower, helping to prepare youth for lives and careers in the 21st century. E-Line works with leading foundations, academics, nonprofits and government agencies to harness the power of games for learning, health and social impact.
E-Line’s Pathways slate of game-based learning products and services tap into the natural passions of youth, connect these passions to 21st century skills and critical areas of core curriculum, and create pathways of learning, from middle school to college. We couple our high-tech platforms with high-touch services including professional development, youth mentorship, and access to a network of community-based and national experts within each domain of learning.
E-Line’s Services group provides strategic impact game advisory, development and publishing to help leading foundations, government agencies and universities turn their most promising impact game research and initiatives into market viable, sustainable, and scalable products and services.
E-Line is dedicated to rising the overall sector of impact games through innovative Initiatives, partnerships and presentations that allow us to work with others who share our mission of empowering and educating youth and providing them with important 21st century skills and knowledge.
E-Line is a for-profit, double-bottom-line company that was founded specifically with the mission of scaling research-based learning platforms in a manner that balances financial sustainability, affordability and reach to underserved communities. The executive team has extensive experience in the commercial game industry and deep domain expertise in the areas of digital media and web-based services.
Together, the senior members of E-Line have personally invested millions of dollars to enable the company to pursue this impact mission with rigor and to balance financial and social return. E-Line is committed to rising the overall sector of game-based learning and interest-driven education and has invested significantly in field- building initiatives.
We first conceived E-Line Ventures with the vision of angel investing in digital media that could engage and empower youth. We wanted to create proof points of companies that could find the organic alignment between making money and making meaningful social impact. Based on these proof points, the plan was to raise a double-bottom-line fund focused on impact games and, possibly, other youth media platforms. We studied a number of media sectors and ultimately concluded that we could make the most impact with a primary focus on computer and video games.
After looking at more than hundred potential investment opportunities, it was clear that there is a gap in publishing expertise within the ecosystem of learning and social impact games. We found leading commercial game industry and educational publishers reluctant to embrace these projects because the risk profile is too high and the teams leading these projects lack certain core skills and assets required to support impact-focused games. Despite a growing number of venture capitalists that want to invest in the educational space, most projects lack investable management teams to attract venture capital. Until more experienced management teams demonstrate evidence of market traction or can refer to success stories in the sector, venture investors will continue to watch from the sidelines.
This is a visual that summarizes what we observed:
To help realize the potential for digital games to make meaningful learning impact and to help scale the overall sector, we felt we could be most effective as a publisher of game-based learning products and services. Our E-Line Ventures investment approach became the E-Line Media publishing approach, with a new goal to create a double-bottom line company founded specifically with the mission of scaling research-based learning platforms in a manner that balances financial sustainability, affordability, and reach to underserved communities. We hope that we will create commercial proof points as well as methodologies that can help rise the overall sector of game-based learning and ultimately positively effect more youth.
The Engagement Challenge
One of the key drivers of E-Line’s vision is address the increasing lack of engagement with youth in school. School dropout rates across the country have reached epidemic proportions, and America is falling behind our competitor nations on math, science and literacy scores. Nearly one-third of U.S. public high school students and nearly one-half of all blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans fail to graduate from public high school with their class.
While there is no single cause driving student dropout, one overarching factor is the lack of motivation and relevance most adolescents report in assessing their school environments. In one study conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 69% of students said they were not motivated or inspired in school. They expressed feelings of being disconnected and bored, and doubted the real-world relevance of their classes. The economic and social impact of this problem is massive in terms of unemployment, public assistance, incarceration and public health.
Game-based learning has emerged as one of the most promising areas of innovation in making academic content more engaging and relevant for America’s youth, and in promoting the types of skills demanded by growing numbers of employers. Computer and video games have shown promise in promoting inquiry, literacy, creativity, collaboration, problem solving,and system design skills needed to learn standards-based content, develop an understanding of STEM concepts, and build critical skills that are essential for preparing youth for successful high school completion, college success, and eventually 21st century careers.