EdTech Companies by Educators - Educators Turned Entrepreneurs


educator turned entrepreneurNow, the emerging trend of thinking creative has lead many to start a new business or be an “Entrepreneurs”.  And specially, when, in our country almost 50 % are opting to start something new and different passions, entrepreneurs are no less here. But point is here about how educators turned entrepreneurs are managing it.  Educators are the one who teaches the concepts of their principle subject to students.  So what happens when higher education professionals turned founders combine their knowledge, experience and technology to do something new. And that led them to be motivated and provide a live example on how many other educators start a company.

The Edtech insights are here very clearly. There are some educators who bring out the innovator in them by using their own expertise in education. Here are profiles of six founders with big ideas (and big companies), who have their roots firmly in higher education technology.

John Katzman, 2u (Formerly 2Tor)
John Katzman , a professor at Princeton University has innovated ideas to teach students and keep them on focus. According to Wikipedia, John Katzman is an education entrepreneur. He is the founder of Noodle Education, a search and recommendation engine for schools, tutors, instructional videos, coaches, and any other education resource.
John Katzman, founder of 2Tor, works with a selective group of institutions to deliver degree programs online, providing the partner program with $10 million in capital, global marketing, technology, instructional design and infrastructure. Prior to 2Tor, Katzman founded The Princeton Review and served as its CEO until 2007. Katzman is the co-author of five books on testing and admissions, and a frequent lecturer and panelist. He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the National Association of Independent Schools.

Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, Coursera
Coursera was created by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, both renowned professors in the Computer Science Department at Stanford. Coursera officially launched this month, offering free online courses from Princeton, Penn State, University of Michigan and Stanford. Courses cover the full spectrum of topics including math, computer science, humanities, economics and medicine. The Coursera software was developed by Stanford undergrad and graduate students.
Moreover I, myself is logged in as learner and my experience is just awesome.  Coursera provides a platform for many students to experience being a live student at their dream universities.  And with their feature of comment and interaction level , its more or less , a class environment. 

Farb Nivi, Grockit
Grockit is an online social learning game company. Grockit prepares students for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT and GRE standardized exams.Students can take practice tests while collaborating online with other users. And About Frab, Farb is the founder & CEO of Grockit.com.  Was senior in shaping the curriculum and teaching efforts at Kaplan & Princeton Review.  Raised angel money from Rob Lord, Reid Hoffman, Benchmark Capital and others.  Farb talks about how he did that.  Total round was $2.5 million. He Went on to present at TechCrunch 50. Raised $8 million from Benchmark and Integral. Recently raised $7 million from Atlas Ventures out of Boston.
Farb Nivi is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Grockit. Grockit provides online test preperation services for GMAT, SAT, ACT, GRE, and other tests required for college admissions. Prior to Gorckit, Nivi was a teacher and a trainer for The Princeton Review, where he wrote curriculum and pedagogy and was honored with their Teacher of the Year Award. Nivi also advises the Kennedy Centers Millenium Stage and the World Peace Institute, working with youth artists and musicians.

Michael Staton, Inigral
Facebook has become a part of life ,as we sort it often.  But using this as an advantage, various advertising company are making their way into it to gain more profit.  Now education has taken toll and making use of it.  According to survey, Students are more active on social media and they gain more information and knowledge there.  
Michael Staton created the Inigral Facebook app, which creates a private social network for schools, with the goal to improve enrollment and retention. Inigral allows new students to meet their future classmates, ask questions, share interests, and get familiar with the college experience. Prior to starting Inigral, Stanton was a secondary educator and curriculum designer and developed the idea for Inigral after he observed how popular Facebook was becoming with his students.
   

Matthew Pittinsky, Parchment
Only an Educator expertise helps in companies and proof for this is, the initiative taken by Matthew Pittinsky. Lead by him, today, Parchment.com is the easy and secure way to manage your transcript credentials online and lists top of its kind.
Matthew Pittinsky co-founded Blackboard in 2007. He now leads the team at Parchment as CEO. Parchment provides a software platform for users to easily request, store and share electronic academic transcripts. Between Blackboard and Parchament, Pittinksy was Assistant Professor of Sociology at Arizona State University. He remains a Research Assistant Professor at ASU today, with specializations in economic sociology, sociology of education, and social network analysis.

Sebastian Thrun, Udacity
Udacity is similar to Coursera and is also developed by Stanford university. But the advantage of taking up course here is “certification”.  Udacity is bit more simple and provide an complete overview of the course, duration and about instructor.
Udacity was founded by three roboticists at Standford who believed much of the educational value of their university classes could be offered online. Founder Sebastian Thrun, taught an Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class at Standford and built the Udacity platform to make the course available to anyone in the world for free. The Udacity website has grown to now offer six computer science courses, including Web Application Engineering, Building a Search Engine and Programming Languages.

Know any educators that have started an edtech company? Add their name to the list in the comments below.

About the Author
Author: Sudhir

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