The founder of Learning Bird is Henry Ryan; he founded the company in 2011 upon a single idea, that every child should be afforded an opportunity to learn and suceed in a way that free’s their potential, regardless of their family location or income. Beyond being the co-founder, he is also the acting CEO.
Learning Birds’s solution is a library of digital lessons that cover all subject areas for grades 6 through 12. They are alligned to local curriculums and have gone through a vetting process by real teachers. By incorporating algorithims, Learning Bird is able to suggest lesson plans based on succesful learning paths for other students. They also offer customized plans for implementation to aid both educators and schools in bringing Learning Bird into the classroom. It’s unique value is in the total offering; vetted content that uses multiple approaches along with guided implementation systems. Beyond that, Learning Bird offers full integration into other learning programs and access to both lesson plans (individual and long-term) as well as quizzes to periodicially check and assess learning.
Ryan’s background is impressive and incoproates work experience into a variety of backgrounds. Most importantly, he is serving as the ongoing president of 15 Ventures Inc, an angel investment company specializing in local investors. This would have given him exposure to an endless amount of venture opportunitues and has honed his skill at identifying worthy and promising start-ups. Prior to working within the investment/venture field, Henry Ryan worked for 2 companies, spanning about 15 years, that would have exposed him to a wide range of collaborative technology and directives. Quazal, a company which he co-owned upon leaving, is a back-end development company focusing on C++ and a collaborative ‘lobby’ platform to allow players to communicate across different states of playing a game (joining, sitting AFK, playing, etc). The company was purchased in 2010 by Ubisoft, one of the largest video game companies. Prior to Quazal, Ryan served as the Director of Online Engineering & Operations for Electronics Arts, one of the other largest video game companies. This experience led him into managing large teams of people (up to 50, spanning 5 countries) all simultaneously working on single projects. This experience would have provided him ample opportunity to select the best-skilled people for the job and trained in him in aligning specialists from different areas in order to reach a single goal.
Henry has said that his motiviation for creating Learning Bird was his own personal experience of coming from a low-income family yet having an educational support system that was able to help identify the best learning paths for him to come. It was through his recognition that many students are not afforded this opportunity that led him to found Learning Bird in an attempt to provide the chance to every child.
I was very inspired reading about Henry Ryan. His background seems to be within the private technology field (like my own), but has shifted his impressive skill set and experiences to create a company able to give back to the public in a meaningful way. I hope to one day be able to do the same thing.