The educational technology that I chose to research is titled, Remind. Remind, which is a communication platform used in the K-12 education space, allows educators and administrators to connect with communities, families and the education institution itself. Founded by Brett Kopf & David Kopf in 2011, this company is based in San Francisco, California and has received nearly $18 million in series A and series B fundraising.
Description of the Venture
The main premise of the Remind app is to make education communication more efficient by real-time messaging and scheduling features. It is an application that makes communication easy for students and parents over any device. Remind also motivates students by pushing reminders and prompts to ensure successful completion of assignments and tasks, while also connecting on a social level with classmates. Currently, there are over 23 million active users including educators, students and parents and over 90% of US K-12 school districts are using the app.
Biography of the Founders
Brett and David Kopf, who inherently are brothers from Chicago, began their journey with what appears to be limited entrepreneurial and technological experience. David, who was the original coder of the application, has a Bachelor of Science from DePaul University in Network Technology. His recent roles include Systems/Software Engineer, Application Development Analyst and also Systems Management. Brett, on the other hand, initiated the business by consulting with educators around the nation. Brett’s experience includes a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University, and also several Sales positions in prior roles. Now that the company is established, they have several hundred employees with specialized skills. For example, their CEO, David Grey, has significant experience in CEO start-ups, board member positions and was also a lecturer for Stanford with a focus in media, team management and brand sponsorship. Remind is an organization that is very diverse in its skillset including specialties in Finance, Engineering, Marketing, Sales and Customer Success. In 2016, the company welcomed Brian as its CEO after sales and user memberships sky-rocketed. Based on the information available for Remind, I would argue that this company is well-established, and also diverse with a significant skillset to ensure its success going forward.
In the welcome video of Remind, the founders used the analogy that starting a company is like riding a bike in San Francisco. It is a struggle to get to the top, you use energy and may struggle to get there. Finally, when you get to the top, you feel good, but you realize there are several other hills to climb. After hearing this analogy, it was apparent how many up’s and down’s that Brett and David endeavoured before becoming an established and successful company. What also resonated with me was there passion – they brought in personal experiences and hardships as students and developed an application that met the need they also faced. It is apparent that even though you may not have the most regimented skills of an entrepreneur, they had passion, they were focused, and they brought in expertise rather than accomplishing the business on their own. I believe that it is this skillset that makes entrepreneurs succeed.
For more information on the application and the founders themselves, visit www.remind.com