Lane Rankin, Founder at Illuminate Education, 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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Sramana Mitra: How much were you pricing?
Hank Luhring: It was $100 a month. This was before the cloud. There was a term back then called Application Service Provider.
Sramana Mitra: I remember that. It was the precursor to the cloud.>>>
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Sramana Mitra: When you started doing this alone, how long did that solo journey last before you started hiring programmers?
Hank Luhring: Six months. My first client was Volvo Penta. The colleague of a former colleague called and said, “Do you know anybody who can develop some applications?” It happened to be a homebuilder’s association. They needed a new membership database. They had ideas for what they wanted the package to do.>>>
My friend Betsy Corcoran, also my former editor at Forbes, came to one of my roundtables this year to discuss EdTech. She’s also the founder of EdSurge.
She read this poem that I have chosen to close the year with, and wish you happy holidays.
What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade
Written by Brad Aaron Modlin
Mrs. Nelson explained how to stand still and listen
to the wind, how to find meaning in pumping gas,
how peeling potatoes can be a form of prayer. She took
questions on how not to feel lost in the dark
After lunch she distributed worksheets
that covered ways to remember your grandfather’s
voice. Then the class discussed falling asleep
without feeling you had forgotten to do something else—
something important—and how to believe
the house you wake in is your home. This prompted
Mrs. Nelson to draw a chalkboard diagram detailing
how to chant the Psalms during cigarette breaks,
and how not to squirm for sound when your own thoughts
are all you hear; also, that you have enough.
The English lesson was that I am
is a complete sentence.
And just before the afternoon bell, she made the math equation
look easy. The one that proves that hundreds of questions,
and feeling cold, and all those nights spent looking
for whatever it was you lost, and one person
add up to something.
Be safe as Omicron rages.
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Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing startup sectors. If you’re interested in Healthcare innovation, we offer 11 Udemy courses that can help you with building a digital health startup.>>>