Newsletter: Dec. 3, 2018

Dear Friends,

We are excited to share with you that Sterling Partners’ Education Opportunity Fund (EOF) has invested in Big Blue Marble Academy (BBMA), a growing early childhood education organization that operates twenty-two community-based schools and six public elementary after school programs in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas. We look forward to supporting BBMA as it broadens its reach and prepares for its next chapter of growth. You can read more about the partnership here.

This marks EOF’s fifth investment for the fund. Our team is deliberate about the companies and leaders we partner with to advance learning and career opportunities. With EOF, BBMA can provide more families with access to high-quality early childhood education in order to promote student readiness and success.

Founded in 2012 by Nan Rikard, BBMA provides education-based programs for children ranging from infancy through age four, as well as before and after school and summer camp programs. The company offers a unique, proprietary curriculum, a rich language immersion program, and a series of hands-on, student-led philanthropic activities that are core to its mission. Joining BBMA’s executive management team is Scott Cotter, who will serve as CEO. Scott brings decades of leadership and industry experience.

Earlier this year, we formed a partnered with Scott that was grounded in a common vision to build a new best-in-class early childhood organization. We collaborated on a market entry strategy that culminated in the BBMA transaction. Prior to partnering with EOF, Scott spent the last eighteen years at Childcare Network, the fourth largest private childcare provider in the U.S. Acting most recently as its CEO, Scott was integral in growing that business by over 150 locations through acquisition and greenfield development.

Since EOF’s initial investment in BBMA, the company has made follow-on investments in East Lake Academy and Brenwood Academy, which are now part of the BBMA family of schools. Additionally, the company has three new greenfield school development projects underway. Going forward, Scott and team will look to expand BBMA’s network by acquiring exceptional schools in attractive markets across the U.S.

Please direct any interesting investment opportunities for BBMA to the EOF deal team.

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