Flywheel Fund, a member-managed capital fund run by The Mill, today announced a $50,000 investment in Invoke Learning, a higher education augmented-analytics company. Invoke Learning leverages artificial intelligence to provide higher education institutions with personalized data insights to help them improve student enrollment, retention, engagement, and DEI.

Invoke Learning was founded by Lige Hensley, former Chief Technology Officer for Ivy Tech Community College, and Brendan Aldrich, former Chief Data Officer in the Office of the Chancellor for the California State University system.

Pat East, Executive Director of The Mill, commented, “Higher education is at a crossroads.”

“Enrollment is down, many students aren’t graduating on time or at all, and fulfilling the promise of diversity, equity, and inclusion has become a priority. Invoke provides the clear, actionable data colleges and universities need to navigate and address these challenges.” 

Invoke Learning’s products, such as the InvokeDataLake, provide solutions for each stage of the student journey, from recruitment through application, enrollment, engagement, course completion, and retention. Behavioral analytics, like those used in the private sector for years, help paint a picture of how well the institution is achieving its goals, for example, those regarding equity and inclusion. Invoke Learning estimates that the higher ed market spends over $155 billion annually to address all of these student success issues.

Brian Hatton, Venture Partner for Flywheel Fund, commented, “Lige Hensley and Brendan Aldrich bring extensive experience from some of the largest higher ed institutions in the US and have won several international awards for their work with data and education. They deeply understand their market’s needs and have the technical knowledge to develop the right tools to meet those needs.”

Hatton noted that Invoke Learning’s tools provide a broad range of data on critical but difficult to quantify factors such as student and faculty engagement. “In addition to surfacing insights from aggregate data, Invoke Learning’s AI allows schools to measure stress and anxiety levels for each individual student on a daily basis,” Hatton said. “Particularly in the post-COVID era, these are essential predictors of student success.”

“We had a great 2021, with significant growth in our customer base and their ability to positively impact the full student journey at their institutions,” said Lige Hensley, CEO and co-founder of Invoke Learning. “Our InvokeDataLake and supporting solutions are proving to be beneficial in facilitating improved results. This additional funding from Flywheel Fund will help us invest further in sales and marketing and expand our impact in higher ed.”

Invoke Learning has raised just over $2 million to date, signed 18 colleges and universities, and secured partnerships with Google, Snowflake, and others.