A New Type of Student Recruitment CRM for Higher Ed, Element451, Secures $1 Million in Seed Financing from Cofounders Capital

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Element451 is closer to its vision of making advanced recruiting technology accessible to more colleges thanks to a $1 million seed round investment from tech venture fund Cofounders Capital.

Creators of the cloud-based customer relationship management platform say they will use the funding and strategic guidance to accelerate company growth.

The news comes at a time when colleges are struggling to find innovative ways to increase student enrollment and simultaneously cut costs. Post-secondary enrollments decreased 1.7 percent from 2018 to 2019, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. 2019 was the eighth consecutive year enrollment in the U.S. decreased.

Bucking that trend are schools like Villa Maria College in Buffalo, N.Y., which saw a 12 percent increase in new student enrollment for fall 2019.

The college began using Element451 this year for everything from managing its online application for attending the school to attracting applicants with personalized email marketing campaigns.

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“It’s a great example of how combining our software with strategies like offering new, in-demand academic programs the way Villa Maria has done, can bring in more students,” explained Element451 founder and CEO Ardis Kadiu.

According to Kadiu, Element451 is different from other higher-ed CRMs because it makes efficiency-boosting technology like marketing automation and predictive analytics easy to use. The front-end experience for prospective students is also more akin to consumer sites and apps.

“Most other CRMs require coding ability. Some even a technical staff member dedicated to managing the platform,” says Kadiu. “There’s zero code to learn with Element451 so current staff can use it after just a few days of training. This makes it much more cost-effective.”

Element451’s potential to improve how college admissions and enrollment departments operate, and in turn, stay competitive, is what attracted Cofounders Capital.

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“The way colleges operate will have to change. The way people work has already changed. And the expectations of students changed a long time ago,” says Cofounders partner and founder David Gardner.

“Element451 answers the call for software that optimizes higher-ed recruiting and matches what today’s professionals and students expect — user-friendly online products that get out of their way and help them get things done.”

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