Education Start-up Edbacker Featured in Virgin Atlantic’s “Business is an Adventure” Entrepreneur Event in Washington

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CEO Gary Hensley One of Three D.C. Businesses Featured in “Start-up Showcase” Before Sir Richard Branson, 1776 Community and Area Business Leaders


Edbacker CEO Gary Hensley

Just as 'business is an adventure' for global brands like Virgin Atlantic and start-ups across the D.C. tech community, funding education is daily adventure for parents and schools.

On April 26, Edbacker, an education technology start-up designed to help schools raise funds, connect with donors and recruit volunteers, joined Sir Richard Branson, the 1776 start-up community and D.C. area-based business leaders for a “Business is an Adventure” event to discuss how entrepreneurship fuels change.

Edbacker CEO Gary Hensley was one of three business leaders featured at the event’s “start-up showcase” and invited to present forward thinking ideas in return for guidance and advice from a panel of experts, including Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group; Kevin Plank, Founder & CEO, Under Armour; Donna Harris, Co-founder and Co-CEO, 1776; and Sheila C. Johnson, Founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts and Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

“It was an honor to ask questions and share the Edbacker platform with the D.C. start-up community, which I am proud to be a part of,” said Gary Hensley, CEO of Edbacker. "Just as 'business is an adventure' for global brands like Virgin Atlantic and start-ups across the D.C. tech community, funding education is daily adventure for parents and schools. I was excited to hear several panelists agree that the education industry is prime for disruption. I thank the 1776 community, Richard Branson and the entire Virgin Atlantic team for inviting me to help celebrate our entrepreneurial scene and talk about ways to find success on a global stage."

Edbacker, a Virginia-based company that grew out of the 1776 start-up community, has gone from connecting 200 schools and 3,000 parents in the 2014-2015 school year to 1,400 schools and 120,000 parents in the second quarter of 2016. Edbacker also continues to connect businesses and corporations to local districts, having recently announced Samsung Austin Semiconductor distributed more than $10,000 to the Manor Independent School District (ISD) in Austin, Texas through the Edbacker platform. Virgin Atlantic named Edbacker one of “Washington’s hottest start-ups.”

Designed by technology entrepreneurs and educational advocates, Edbacker allows any school in the country to publish individualized funding sites detailing their most pressing needs. The platform aims to bring the efficiency and reach of technology to the previously ignored arena of public education fundraising, eliminate barriers between school districts and businesses and serve as a digital development arm for corporate funding on a local level.

The “Business is an Adventure” event was hosted by Richard Branson at the Long View Gallery in Washington in partnership with 1776 and General Assembly. Moderated by Kristen Soltis Anderson, Political Pollster and Author of The Selfie Vote, the event was attended by over 250 peers, investors and media.

About Edbacker:

Edbacker is an answer to a pressing problem facing our nation’s schools: the educational funding gap. Founded by experienced education tech entrepreneurs, Edbacker is the first online platform specifically designed to address the pain points of public education fundraising – from every side of the equation. By seamlessly connecting parent organizations, districts and corporate donors, Edbacker helps maximize funding while ensuring equity, transparency and recognition for districts and corporate giving partners. Since launching, Edbacker has helped to raise nearly a million dollars for students across the United States. For more information about Edbacker, visit

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