We would like to thank our generous supporters who have helped us grow and kept our core operations running.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring that all students in the United States have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. We invest in programs with a common aim: to strengthen the connection between teacher and student. To that end, we work with educators, policymakers, parents, and communities to expand and accelerate successful programs and identify innovative new solutions that can help unlock students’ potential.
New Schools Seed Fund
New Schools Seed Fund invests in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations that are working to improve public education in a variety of ways.
Vicki Abeles is a former Wall Street attorney turned filmmaker, author and education advocate. Her first feature documentary, “Race to Nowhere”, is a vivid portrayal of the pressurecooker culture dominating America’s schools. Using a cuttingedge community distribution model that has showcased the film in more than 7,000 communitysponsored screenings, Abeles has brought “Race to Nowhere” to millions of viewers around the globe. Abeles launched a nonprofit committed to providing resources and tools to support awareness, dialogue and community action connected to the issues the film raises. Abeles is currently in production on two new education documentaries: a film about the math crisis in America and the inspiring educators on a mission to solve it and a film featuring innovative schools on the cuttingedge of education reform showing it’s possible to transcend outmoded, testobsessed education policies and create a more equitable, empowering, studentcentered education culture. She is also working on a book to be published by Simon & Schuster. Additional credits include Associate Producer on the Sundance favorite “Miss Representation”, Associate Producer on “Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish” and coauthor of the End the Race Companion Book for parents, educators and students.
Luc Barthelet was executive director at Wolfram|Alpha Inc (December 2010 – May 2014). Prior to this he was CEO of TirNua, Inc, a games company, which developed an eponymous MMO virtual world. TirNua was acquired by RockYou! in December 2010. Between 1998 and May 2008 he worked for Electronic Arts. He is famous in the gaming community for engaging with players on blogs and in discussion boards. In his previous post of Group Studio Head, Electronic Arts, he was also instrumental in the development of persistent state worlds, a responsibility that included Majestic, Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond, Ultima Online and The Sims Online. Before ascending to that position, Barthelet was General Manager of Maxis where he led product development for titles such as The Sims, The Sims 2, SimCity 4 and SimCity 3000.
Carol S. Dweck
Sebastian Thrun is a co-founder and CEO of Udacity and a research professor at Stanford University. Sebastian founded Google X, home to Google’s self driving car, and Google glass. In 2011, Thrun received the Max-Planck-Research Award and the inaugural AAAI Ed Feigenbaum Prize. Fast Company selected Thrun as the fifth most creative person in business in the world. The Guardian recognized Thrun as one of 20 “fighters for internet freedom”. Udacity stands for “we are audacious, for you, the student”. It attempts to democratize higher education by creating the notion of “nanodegrees” which empowers people from all traits and ages to find employment in the tech industry.