Donald Trump wants to restrict immigrants, especially those from Muslim countries, and especially from Iran. Well, read this Iranian entrepreneur’s story.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born and in what kind of background?
Farnaz Ronaghi: I was born in Tehran, Iran. I came to the United States for graduate school. I was accepted in Stanford University for a Master’s degree in Management Science and Engineering. That is where I met my adviser and co-founder. After that, I started my Ph.D. My work was related to the intersection of computer science and social science similar to human-computer interaction but was more focused on incentives and game theory. One of the pain points that I had >>>
Online education in K-12 has had very few ventures survive or scale. Apex Learning is one of those rare birds. We first covered their story eight years back. This is a catch up conversation with their CEO Cheryl Vedoe that steps us through the ongoing evolution of the K-12 online education sector.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with giving our audience a little bit of an update on where you are and where Apex is. We did an Entrepreneur Journeys story on you and the company about eight years ago. A lot of things have happened in the industry and in your company since. Give us a bit of an update.
Cheryl Vedoe: I think there is a lot that is very much the same when you compare with where we were eight years ago. There is also a great deal that is very different. Our focus remains digital curriculum with an orientation towards personalizing learning and increasing the quality of educational options available to >>>
UPenn has both an incubator for EdTech ventures, and an entrepreneurship education program for EdTech. This discussion delves into both programs and more.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to UPenn’s online education activities.
Bobbi Kurshnan: I am the Executive Director of Academic Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. I run a variety of programs including all our online initiatives. I also run our incubator program for educational startups. That is both virtual as well as in-person. We just concluded our fourth and fifth cohorts this week. We also run the largest business competition for education entrepreneurs. >>>
Lane was first a teacher, then a school and school district administrator. His background is not of a typical tech entrepreneur. However, his deep domain knowledge and relationships in the education field have propelled him to become a very successful EdTech entrepreneur. Great story!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Lane Rankin: I’m currently in California. I was born in Seattle, Washington. I have a Bachelors degree in Applied Mathematics and went on to get a Masters in Leadership. I started my first company back in 1999. >>>
This discussion is about CSU’s online program that caters to 17,000 students. Many online higher education trends are discussed at length.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as your activities at Colorado State.
Becky Takeda-Tinker: I’m the President of Colorado State University Global Campus. We are the nation’s only 100% online fully-accredited state institution. We serve non-traditional students between the ages of 18 to 65. Our average student is 35 years old. Our mission is very unique in that it is driven for workplace success in a global marketplace through education.
We are always looking to address what will prepare our students for workplace success in a global market. We have a very different approach in how we look at >>>
Rob and I discuss the evolution of personalized learning, skill gap analysis, curriculum design, and much more in this excellent interview.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to Curriculum Associates.
Rob Waldron: I’m the CEO of Curriculum Associates. We’re a K-12 ed tech company. We’ve actually been in business for a long time. We became a tech company five or six years ago but we continue to have a healthy print business as well. The pencil and paper still works in education, but increasingly a majority of our business comes from technology. >>>
Online education and training continue to grow in popularity. It costs less for students to get bachelor’s and master’s degrees online. Employers, too, save money by arranging for employees to take training courses online and on their own time. Through the following interviews with five leaders in online education, you will find a synthesis of the various trends and opportunities that I see at this point.
Adrian started Study.com in 2002. Read how the trends in online education have impacted the evolution of a very interesting business. Excellent story.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to Study.com. What do you do? Where is the company located?
Adrian Ridner: What we try to do is develop the simplest way to learn. We’ve created over 20,000 short, animated video lessons. We’ve organized them all in courses covering major subject areas, all the way from elementary school to college. We’re currently helping over 25 million students and teachers every month to improve their grades and even earn low-cost college credit. We’re located in Mountain View, California and have been bootstrapped since 2002.
Sramana Mitra: How does what you do fit into the context of all the other things that are happening in the online education segment, especially K-12 and college? For example, how does what you offer compare with Khan Academy? >>>