WEDNESday, november 16, 2022
Becoming Beam by David Helene, CEO
Today marks an exciting day in our company’s history: we become Beam, formerly Edquity.
Since 2016, Edquity has partnered with over 40 higher education institutions to revolutionize how they support students’ basic needs through the provision of emergency financial assistance. I’ve been tremendously proud of how we’ve scaled rapidly during the pandemic to support students and their institutions at a time they’ve needed it most.
As we’ve scaled however, we’ve recognized two critical things:
First, given the massive looming funding cliff faced by postsecondary institutions, students who have been beneficiaries of federal emergency aid in recent years will need to access the traditional safety net to make financial stability and credential attainment a reality in 2023 and beyond as they continue to face untenable cost of living barriers; and
Second, as we saw so many governments struggle to get critical benefits out to individuals, it became clear that the challenge of ensuring that critical cash benefits reach the most vulnerable individuals quickly, effectively, and securely is not one that is endemic only to postsecondary institutions but rather plagues traditional social safety net programs related to housing, transportation, child care, food, and utility assistance, among others, as well.
While we always lead with humility at Beam, we realized that our technology and our material subject matter expertise around cash assistance administration could help address these challenges. And we’ve embraced that rather than simply supporting students alone, we needed to show up to support every American facing financial need.
And we’ve begun to do so.
In the last 18 months, our flexible platform has administered over $180M to 300,000 households across programs that now include rental assistance, utility subsidies for low-income households, and direct cash assistance for childcare workers in addition to emergency student aid. Still growing rapidly, Beam partners with 53 institutions in more than 16 states that now includes governments and nonprofits and we expect to partner with many more across each of these segments in the months to come.
Edquity’s rebrand to Beam symbolizes this shift – from working solely with postsecondary institutions to working with all cash and benefit programs across government and communities to get timely support to all in need.