What Does the Future of Education Look Like? - Shaily Baranwal / Founder of Elevate K-12 & Classblox - Tech In Chicago

Shaily Baranwal is the CEO and Founder of Elevate K-12 and Classblox. Elevate K-12 provides digital instruction and online resources to  millions of at-risk students across the US. Since launching in 2008, Elevate K-12 has provided over 1 million hours of online instruction and has averaged a 35 percent increase in student test scores. Shaily's latest product, Classblox, is for consumers and it offers on-demand, online classes taught by real teachers. Students take hour long virtual, interactive classes from vetted teachers in subjects like algebra, Spanish, and ACT prep.  Shaily and her company’s mission is to help ensure that every student gets one-on-one, online instructional support, irrespective of geography, demography and ethnicity.  In This Episode You Will Learn: * How Shaily started Elevate K-12 while still in school * What makes Elevate K-12 better than MOOCs * How they are able to provide personalized teaching for a reasonable price * Why Shaily started her company in Chicago * Why she hasn’t moved the company * Why she’s a big fan of distributed teams * How she was able to bootstrap for so many years * Why she decided to finally raise money * How she made her first sales * What she wished she knew when she got started * Why attitude and passion are everything when hiring * Why she likes to hire athletes Selected Links From The Episode: * 7 Semi-Serious Reasons I Chose Chicago Over San Francisco for the growth of my company by Shaily Baranwal * Why I got my first investor after 5+ years of successful bootstrapping by Shaily Baranwal Favorite Books: * Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't by Jim Collins * Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins * The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries * The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz * The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone * Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant * Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight Sponsored By: * Propllr: a Chicago public relations firm that helps startups and innovators build credibility and awareness for their companies, people, products and services.
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