By Craig Driscoll, general partner, Highland Capital Partners
Today marks an exciting milestone for Trilogy Education with their sale to 2U. Trilogy started with a simple goal: partner with universities to provide effective training programs that teach in-demand, technical skills and help professionals further their career in today's digital economy. By partnering with leading universities, Trilogy provided the highest quality education for graduates competing in today's demanding job market.
Highland‘s journey with Trilogy started in New York City less than two and a half years ago. Co-founders Dan Sommer and David Berger laid out their vision and their traction validated their approach. The visible market was small and some in the industry asked “does the world need another boot camp?" That was not the right question to be asking, however. The right question was “are we effectively teaching people the skills they need to be successful?” With only 80,000 computer science graduates in the U.S. for a projected1.5 million job openings in 2020 in web development alone, there was clearly a skills gap. We were convinced this was one of the biggest issues facing today’s workforce and Trilogy was the company best positioned to solve the problem.
Fast forward to April 2019, Trilogy now partners with 46 universities to teach thousands of students each year. To date, Trilogy has helped more than 20,000 adult learners find thousands of jobs, and provided the technically-skilled talent needed at more than 2,000 companies, including Google, Microsoft and Bank of America. Trilogy is a movement of people investing in their own futures to find better jobs and build better lives. The student journeys and the dreams that are now being realized by Trilogy’s graduates are awe inspiring.
The Trilogy story is about mission-driven founders who saw an opportunity to change the world and charged after it. Dan, David and the entire team at Trilogy created a special company that has helped change the way we educate and work. Everything they did put their students and their university partners first. They matched their mission-orientation by creating a culture of performance and accountability. We were aligned with Dan and David on these guiding principles from the very start.
Our investment in Trilogy is the largest investment in Highland’s history. We led the Series A and Series B funding rounds in the company. The investment process, from start to finish, represents Highland at its best: prepared mind, collaborative, all-in, and doubling down on our winners. This was a full Highland team effort and there are few things more satisfying than a team win.