NextStage Leads Financing of HigherNext, Inc., Adds Sixteenth Portfolio Company



Company First to Address Diminishing

Return on Investment for College Degrees


Audubon, PA, July 24, 2012 – NextStage Capital, L.P., a leading early stage venture capital fund focused on investing in technology companies located in the Mid-Atlantic region, today announced its investment into, HigherNext, Inc. (  Pennsylvania- based HigherNext aims to become the standard for measuring the knowledge and skills of undergraduate business students as they seek employment in the corporate world.     

HigherNext was founded by Wharton graduate Guy Friedman.  Guy is joined by Chief Operating Officer John Brady, the former executive director of The College Board, which produces and administers the standardized ACT and SAT tests.  HigherNext helps college students stand out in a crowded job market by providing a validated assessment of a student’s skills and knowledge.  By measuring competency, employers and recruiters can improve their hiring by significantly broadening their candidate pools beyond college pedigree and grades.  Numerous colleges, honor societies, recruiters, and employers are engaged and actively using the company’s first standardized test – the Certified Business Laureate.  A recent Facebook launch by one of HigherNext’s customers demonstrated the pent-up demand of students and parents who are looking for ways to improve their chances of being hired.     

Dan McKinney, Managing Partner at NextStage Capital, commented: “Every week there is another article questioning the return on investment of a college degree and the need to find a standard way to measure the efficacy of higher-education.  Until HigherNext and its Certified Business Laureate program, there has been no standard way to identify highly competent college graduates, some of whom may not be in top tier schools.  Not only do employers benefit but so do colleges, students, and their parents.”  HigherNext founder Guy Friedman said, “NextStage Capital spent the necessary time to understand the true opportunity and they stepped forward, leading this important financing for HigherNext.  With NextStage’s financial and strategic assistance we are able to address the immediate needs of an enormous opportunity.”

In conjunction with the investment from NextStage, HigherNext will headquarter itself in the Lehigh Valley, where it use its capital raised to will draw upon the region’s vast information technology human capital resources.


About NextStage Capital

NextStage Capital, L.P. is a leading seed and early stage venture capital fund focused on investing in undiscovered software and hardware technology and/or services companies in the Mid-Atlantic region. NextStage Capital's investment approach is to find entrepreneurs with solid track records who offer a unique and powerful value proposition to customers in growing market sectors. For more information on NextStage Capital, please visit:


About HigherNext

HigherNext, Inc. is a business-education firm committed to helping entry-level job seekers differentiate themselves while quantifiably demonstrating their abilities to prospective employers. The firm created the Certified Business Laureate™ Program, featuring a business skills exam that tests practical business knowledge in five key areas: financial proficiency, basic accounting, general marketing, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and business writing, and an accompanying certifying credential for top-scoring candidates. For more information, visit