Meet the SoftTech VC Founders Honored on Forbes’ 2013 30 Under 30
Forbes released its third annual ’30 Under 30‘ list of young disrupters, innovators and entrepreneurs — and we’re proud to see many of SoftTech’s founders represented again this year and joined by several our new rising stars. Meet our founders that made the list and a huge congratulations to Aaron, Xan, David, Alex, Sam, Liam, Tyler, San, and Rafael!
The Yale grads (from left: Feuer, Tanner, Carel) saw their company become one of the most talked about ed tech startups of the year when it announced $4 million in seeding funding from Mark Zuckerberg’s Startup: Education, among others, in October. Panorama is specifically designed for K-12 schools to help them find data-driven solutions by collecting and analyzing feedback from teachers, parents, students and staff. It’s now used in more than 4,000 schools serving more than one million students, with clients such as the Los Angeles Unified School District and Connecticut State DOE.
A former Universal Music Group intern, White founded Next Big Sound to put analytics at the fingertips of artists and managers — in other words, Moneyball for music. He’s raised $6.5 million from the likes of IA Ventures and Foundry Group.
Co-CEOs Chaudhary (right) and Don left their native England in 2011 and shared a one-bedroom apartment for months while starting ClassDojo, a software company that helps teachers track classroom behavior. The company says that teachers using the system report 45%-90% increases in positive behavior and 50–85% decreases in negative behavior. Today approximately 18 million teachers and students in 150 countries are users. Chaudhary says Y-Combinator’s Paul Graham’s essays “inspired us to leave our jobs and PhDs in the UK, move to the US and start ClassDojo”.
This trio of Harvard classmates (all three have math and/or computer science degrees) cofounded one of the fastest growing ed tech companies in the US. Carroll (center) started with Teach for America in Denver. Later as a school IT director, he realized that there was no standardized software for updating and managing K-12 student data. Clever solves this problem by offering a universal API that connects schools with independent developers who can build apps to manage that information. The company just raised another $10 million after $3 million in seed funding.