MEP 075 Michael Staton Learn Capital

MEP #075 with Michael Staton, Partner at Learn Capital

In this episode of MEP, I had the chance to talk to Michael Staton, Partner at Learn Capital, and our conversation centered on the current educational landscape, where educational technology fits, and how it should fit.

Guest Bio:

Michael Staton is a Partner at Learn Capital. He is the founder and former CEO of Inigral, the pioneer of Social Enrollment Management technology in Higher Education and the first Lifecycle Engagement Platform. For Inigral, Michael secured the first ever venture investment from the Gates Foundation into a private company. Because of his years as a public school teacher and his intuitive understanding of K12 education, Michael served as a Venture Partner and still serves as a Community Advisor to NewSchools Venture Fund’s EdTech Portfolio. Michael was declared a top one hundred innovator by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and he is on the advisory board of SxSW EDU, the ASU Education Innovation Summit, and the Higher Education Working Group of the American Enterprise Institute and the New America Foundation.

Show Notes:

02:06 Michael’s background

07:04 What really gets you excited now about the different models of technologies that you’re investing in or looking at?

10:30 What I love about what you guys are doing is that you’re not constrained by specific pieces of the industry. Because the industry really is anybody interested in learning, whether that’s in a traditional school setting or an alternative school setting or different model, or just sitting around the house roaming the internet for information.

16:23 There’s an article about overall investment in education technology, it’s over $2 billion now. What are your thoughts overall with the current situation on education technology, and whether or not it’s a good or bad thing that there’s so much money pouring into it?

21:37 Where do you think it will be in a couple of years?  Do you think that number will double? Do you think we’ll start to see some of these data coming to fruition that a lot of these companies are making an impact?

26:09 What’s the book that has most influenced you and why?

Out of Poverty by Paul Polak

Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

28:45 Do you watch documentaries? And if so, do you have a favorite?

The Commanding Heights

31:23 If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?

John Doerr, Partner at Kleiner Perkins


Michael Staton:
Learn Capital:



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Nick DiNardo is the founder and host of the Meet Education Project, a podcast series featuring entrepreneurs, VCs and thought leaders taking action on the future of learning. Nick has worked in education for 10 years, working for some of the big players (Pearson & McGraw-Hill), as VP of Marketing for a seed stage ed tech startup, and an independent consultant. He also serves on the board of directors for Argosy Collegiate Charter School in Fall River, MA. When he's not chatting about the future of learning, Nick is reading, traveling, golfing, or drinking a glass of whisky (sometimes, all of the above).