The 2015 PE/VC Breakfast Celebrates the Xs and Os of Early Ed

At the 2015 Annual United Way Private Equity/Venture Capital Breakfast, 300 industry leaders packed the Fairmont Copley Hotel ballroom to talk about philanthropy, big impact, and the importance of data in creating transformative change.

We learned how the PE/VC industry and United Way are transforming early education with the DRIVE initiative.  And we were treated to special guests Boston Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens and Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who talked about the importance of data and the details in the sports world.

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PE/VC Emcee JD Martin and United Way President Mike Durkin

JD Martin of Thomas H. Lee Partners, a United Way volunteer who started out as an analyst passing out turkeys with us on Thanksgiving and then eventually joined the PE/VC Leadership Council, was our outstanding event emcee.

This year, JD and the Leadership Council helped raise a record breaking amount of sponsorship for the event, and then guests outdid themselves even more by pledging nearly $50,000 on the spot to support the next phase of the DRIVE Initiative – a signature project led by the PE/VC Council and United Way that is helping transform early education in Massachusetts through big data.

The Breakfast (and DRIVE) called to attention the startling number of Massachusetts children who are falling irreversibly behind by Kindergarten – largely due to how few children are screened for developmental delays that could easily be reversed.  We learned:

  • 1/3 of children 5 years old are entering kindergarten and are NOT ready to learn because they have developmental delays that weren’t identified and corrected.
  • An additional 1/3 of kids will score below proficient in MCAS reading tests in the THIRD GRADE — that’s 2/3 of children who are already set up to fail by the third grade.

“If this whole room of 300 guests at the Breakfast represents all the kids in Boston age 5 and under then just ONE TABLE represents the kids we’ve got data on so far. And we need to get this whole room!” explained JD Martin.

Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care Commissioner Tom Weber

Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber spoke about the importance of the work for all kids in Massachusetts – emphasizing that 75% of students who are behind by third grade, remain behind. But kids who receive screening and intervention will have a chance at getting back on track before kindergarten and successfully graduating high school.

Working together across partnerships with United Way, Thrive in 5, and more, DRIVE is working to make sure all students are properly screened and set up for success – not only for Boston, but the entire state of Massachusetts.

“Thank you for your strong leadership on the PE/VC Council and your commitment to changing the trajectory of children’s lives in Boston,” said Michael Durkin, President of United Way of Mass Bay.  “Big impact projects like the innovative DRIVE Initiative have been the hallmark of the PE/VC Council since its inception and are creating real change in our community.”

Read more about DRIVE:  DRIVE data fuels real-time change in early childhood programming

Thank you to our corporate sponsors!  Over the past 22 years, the PE/VC Council has engaged more than 124 of our industry’s strongest leaders from 71 different firms.

Presenting Sponsors:

  • Bain & Co.
  • Deloitte
  • EY
  • KPMG
  • And Ropes & Gray

Platinum Sponsors:

  • Antares Capital
  • Stax, Inc.
  • And Weil Gotshal

Gold Sponsors:

  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Burns & Levinson
  • CPI
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • Latham & Watkins LLP
  • PwC
  • RSM
  • And Willis

Silver Sponsors:

  • Boston Private
  • Choate, Hall & Stewart
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deerpath Capital
  • Dixon Hughes Goodman
  • Herbert Mines Associates
  • Houlihan Lokey
  • ICR
  • LEK Consulting
  • NewStar Capital
  • NEXT LEVEL Partners
  • Notch Partners, LLC
  • RR Donnelley
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • And West Monroe Partners