Online startup seeks to rival the Ivy League

Former Silicon Valley CEO Ben Nelson has two years and $25 million to transform higher education, Reuters reports. The 36-year-old executive, who has run the Snapfish photo-sharing website and the Redbeacon home-maintenance site, said this week that he had landed $25 million in seed money for an audacious new venture: creating an elite global university online. From scratch. The Internet already teems with online universities, both private and public, respected and questionable. But Nelson is betting the world could use a brand-new model. He is not alone; several other high-profile educational entrepreneurs have launched innovative ventures this year in hopes of harnessing the Internet to upend the ivory towers. At a time of immense concern in the United States about the soaring cost of college — and growing doubts about how much students actually learn on campus — the ventures are attracting considerable interest from students, investors and education experts…

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