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Online Education

Do Women Entrepreneurs Build Unicorns?

Posted on Monday, Apr 3rd 2017

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 10.13.58 AM

There is a myth in the startup eco-system that women entrepreneurs do not build billion dollar companies.

This is a MYTH.

Watch this inspiring 1 minute 33 second video of how Therese Tucker did build one:


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From Iran to Stanford to Silicon Valley Entrepreneur: Farnaz Ronaghi, Co-Founder and CTO of NovoEd (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Mar 31st 2017

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 >>>

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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Cheryl Vedoe, CEO of Apex Learning (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Mar 13th 2017


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 >>>

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Billion Dollar Unicorns: BlackLine Continues to Grow Post IPO

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 28th 2017


Last October, Los Angeles-based BlackLine (Nasdaq: BL) known for its SaaS financial reconciliation software, had gone public despite the weak IPO market. But the company’s strong product offering and a keen business sense have kept it in good stead. It recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and the market was pleased with its performance.


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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Executive Director of Academic Innovation at University of Pennsylvania, Bobbi Kurshnan (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Feb 27th 2017

Bobbi Kurshan photo

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. >>>

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March 22 – Sramana Mitra to Moderate Panel, “Women Building Businesses from the Ground Up”

Posted on Friday, Feb 24th 2017

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or just curious about the experience of women in the business world, please join Sramana at Kepler’s as this panel of insightful and successful women will discuss building their businesses from the ground up. Learn more here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
7:30pm 8:30pm

1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA, 94025 United States


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Building Multiple Bootstrapped Education Software Companies: Lane Rankin, CEO of Illuminate Education (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Feb 10th 2017


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. >>>

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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Becky Takeda-Tinker, President of Colorado State University Global Campus (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Dec 26th 2016

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 >>>

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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Dec 12th 2016

Curriculum Associates executive head shots.  Rob Waldron,

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. >>>

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How Should Colleges Be Kept Accountable for the Success of Their Students?

Posted on Friday, Dec 2nd 2016

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