Why am I here? Why now?
I was introduced to the founding team as a mentor at the Harvard iLab and simply put I liked them and greatly respected their passion, drive, and intellect.
And the more I dug around into the college admissions space the more I realized there was something very troubled about this market. Nowhere else have I seen folks signaling such pain through anxiety and stress. At a fundamental level, college admissions is a market with information asymmetry where sellers (the universities) hold huge advantages over the buyers (families) who are making a high stakes decision.
The colleges are clearly in an arms race for rankings, and they are gaming the system in ways that are unhelpful to families. Moreover, as a product of private schools, I know all too well the advantages that accrue to those that can afford to opt out of public schools whose guidance budgets got cut 20 years ago and never recovered.
What if we could build a next generation admissions platform? What if we could harness the expertise that talented college students have gained by going through the process, knowing their schools, and receiving state of the art training? What if we could make the very best college admissions guidance available to everyone?
That is a big idea. That is why I am here now.
When Jon was a sophomore at Babson College, he started a beer keg delivery business for fraternities in the Boston area and an entrepreneurial career was born. Other than brief stints at Boeing (sales), McKinsey & Co. (junior analyst), and two years at the Yale School of Management, he has always worked on his own ventures which for the last 20 years have always emphasized a social impact mission. To date, Jon has started, built, and sold four companies, the largest of which was Family Education Network which became the largest K-12 website on the Internet ultimately acquired by Pearson. His most recent company was BiddingForGood, a $60m marketplace for charity auctions. In 1999 Jon was profiled by e-School News as one of the 25 most influential people in education technology. In 2008 Jon was an initial inductee into the Babson College Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. In 2009 Jon was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award (New England Region). In 2015 Jon was featured in Insights—Reflections From 101 Of Yale’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs. Jon has served on the boards of the National School Boards Foundation, The National PTA, Net Impact, Trinity Boston Foundation, and Americas Charities.