Online Startup Seeks To Rival The Ivy League

Ann McClure's picture
Thursday, April 5, 2012

Former Silicon Valley CEO Ben Nelson has two years and $25 million to transform higher education.

The 36-year-old executive, who has run the Snapfish photo-sharing website and the Redbeacon home-maintenance site, said this week that he had landed $25 million in seed money for an audacious new venture: creating an elite global university online. From scratch.

The Internet already teems with online universities, both private and public, respected and questionable. But Nelson is betting the world could use a brand-new model. He is not alone; several other high-profile educational entrepreneurs have launched innovative ventures this year in hopes of harnessing the Internet to upend the ivory towers.

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