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With founder/CEOs Michelle Brown (CommonLit), Varun Gulati (Koalluh), Sabina Bharwani (Hello World), Nadeen Issa (Education Growth Partners), Bodo Hoenen (CEO, NOLEJ), Amber Oliver & Sergio Marrero (MD, Robin Hood Foundation).
Thu, Jun 15, 2023 @ 05:00 PM   FREE   Venue, 150 Court St, 2nd Fl

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The use of AI is on the rise in every part of our world, & K-12 education is no exception. Join us for a panel to learn more about the journeys of three EdTech founders & the opportunities, challenges, applications, & creative ways in which AI is changing how they work & the learning environments they are supporting. AI has the potential to tailor learning to students' specific interests & identities, prioritizing creative & complex thinking. Could generative AI foster the transformation needed to radically improve our education system? Q&A to follow.

Discussion presented by Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund

Hosted by Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood

Our panelists:

Panel 1

Michelle Brown, CEO & Founder, CommonLit

Varun Gulati, CEO & Co-Founder, Koalluh

Sabina Bharwani, CEO & Founder, Hello World

Amber Oliver, Managing Director, Robin Hood Foundation (Moderator)

Panel 2

Nadeen Issa, Investor, Education Growth Partners

Bodo Hoenen, Co-Founder & US CEO, NOLEJ

Sergio Marrero, Managing Director, Robin Hood Foundation (Moderator)


Sabina Bharwani is the founder of Hello World, a computer science program that partners with K12 schools to build autonomous learners who approach & solve problems like engineers. Prior to this, Sabina led Teach For America's EdTech & Innovation Strategy teams. Sabina has experience teaching in public schools, where she implemented the use of edtech tools at the classroom level & coached teachers on pedagogical & curricular practices across all grades & subject areas. Sabina holds an M.P.P. from Harvard University, an M.S. in Education & Development from the Relay Graduate School of Education & a B.S. in Mathematics from Rice University.

Michelle Brown is the founder & CEO of CommonLit, a highly effective & free online reading program that has grown to reach over 20 million students in grades 3-12 in the United States & Latin America. She is an experienced classroom teacher with expertise in program evaluation & adolescent literacy & speaks fluent Spanish. In her spare time, Michelle coaches early stage edtech entrepreneurs & blogs for Women@Forbes. Michelle holds a B.A. in English Literature & Spanish from Butler University & a master's degree in Education Policy & Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Varun Gulati is the CEO & Co-founder of Koalluh, an engaging reading platform where kids create personalized, leveled stories with AI. Koalluh helps teachers deepen student reading engagement & build reading/writing proficiency. Previously, Varun was CTO & co-founder of UClass, a "Dropbox for K-12" that he scaled to 5,000 schools & sold to Renaissance Learning. He most recently served as the Head of Product & Growth at Mystery Science, used by over half of all elementary school classrooms. Varun was a public high school math teacher. He holds a B.A. in Operations Research & Engineering Management Systems from Columbia University.

Amber Oliver is the Managing Director of the Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund, a collaboration between Robin Hood, Overdeck Family Foundation & Siegel Family Endowment to leverage technology to transform learning & advance achievement for NYC students living in poverty. Previously, Amber was the co-founder & COO of GripTape, where she helped build a strategy to put 1M youth in the driver's seat of their own learning. Amber also served as the VP of Globaloria, now Proto & part of Carnegie Learning, which helped thousands of students become knowledge-producers as they learned to design & code their own educational games. Amber has also held positions at UNICEF, the United Nations Secretariat, The World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit, & led efforts in Bangladesh, France, India, Niger & Senegal. She holds a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University & a Bachelor's degree from Brown University.

Bodo Hoenen is a cofounder of NOLEJ, a generative AI for education. He is a collective intelligence scientist & serial entrepreneur whose previous startup's include an LMS that he sold to Google. Since then, he's been developing a Collective Intelligence Engine to rapidly accelerate the rate at which we can learn & apply that learning to innovate.

Sergio Marrero is the Managing Director of Blue Ridge Labs, the innovation lab of the Robin Hood Foundation, the largest poverty fighting organization in New York City. He is also Founder of Rebel One, an investor network focused on accelerating founders for a better world. He graduated from the Harvard Business School & the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Previously he led the George Schultz Innovation Fund at the University of Chicago & worked at Gotham Ventures, PepsiCo, Teach For America, & Deloitte Consulting. While in graduate school he conducted his thesis on venture studios & accelerating impact innovation at the intersection of business & government. He also runs a LiveStream series advocating for diversity in venture capital & entrepreneurship.


150 Court St., 2nd Fl

Brooklyn, NY 11201
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