Panelists, Speakers & Judges
Dr. Geeta Aneja
Dr. Geeta Aneja is the Instructional Designer at iTutorGroup, the global leader in online education. iTutorGroup provides individualized, personalized learning experiences to hundreds of thousands of students and business professionals in countless subject matters by sourcing experts and teachers across thousands of centers, institutions, and cities around the world. Since its inception in 1998, iTutorGroup has become one of the largest live online platforms, driving human-to-human interactions worldwide. By combining world-class platforms with a personalized service model, we continue to lead the virtual education revolution.
Dr. Aneja is involved with multiple aspects of the company’s learning operations, including curriculum design, teacher education and onboarding, and strategic partnerships, particularly with universities and professional organizations. She serves as a company spokesperson in the education sector, including speaking various prominent educational and language-related events, such as the TESOL 2017 International Convention and Exposition. She is also responsible for building the company’s Academic Advisory Board, composed of scholars conducting cutting-edge research in international educational policy and EdTech.
Dr. Aneja holds a Ph.D in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She has over 10 years of experience in education and educational leadership in the non-profit, higher education, and for-profit sectors.
Dr. Wallace Boston
American Public University System
Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002.
Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, Dr. Boston led the parent company of APUS, American Public Education, Inc., to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. During his tenure, APUS grew to over 100,000 students majoring in 200 degree and certificate programs and the institution’s graduates increased to approximately 65,000. In July 2016, he retired as APUS president and continues as the CEO of APEI. Dr. Boston has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention.
In addition to his service to the University, Dr. Boston is a member of the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Advisors of Penn’s Graduate School of Education, a board member of the Presidents’ Forum of Excelsior College, a member of the Arizona State University Education Innovation Advisory Board, and board member of Therapeutic Research Center, Inc. He is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa.
Dr. Boston lives in Maryland with his wife, Sharon and their two daughters.
Cambium Learning Group
John Campbell serves as Chief Executive Officer of Cambium Learning Group.
Mr. Campbell served as President of Cambium Learning Technologies from December 2009 until March 2013, and COO of Voyager from January 2007 through December 2009. He joined ProQuest in January of 2004, which sold off its library business and changed its name to Voyager in January of 2007.
Before joining Cambium Learning Group, Mr. Campbell served as Chief Operating Officer and business unit head of a research-based reading company (Breakthrough to Literacy) within McGraw-Hill. Prior to joining Breakthrough/McGraw-Hill, he served as Director of Technology for Tribune Education.
Additionally, Mr. Campbell has experience as General Manager of a software start-up (Insight Industries Inc.) and as Director of Applications and Technical Support for a hardware manufacturer (Commodore International). John has also served on the Education Board for the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).
ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education
Finalist Judge & Panelist
Mark Claypool is a social entrepreneur who obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Sociology from Middle Tennessee State University. He has held various positions in both state government and the private sector in mental health, juvenile corrections and education, and has more than two decades of experience in K-12 education, special and alternative education, behavioral health and residential treatment programs.
In 1999, Mark founded Educational Services of America (ESA), a leading provider of behavior therapy and alternative and special education programs for children and young adults. In 2015, ESA became ChanceLight, which works with more than 20,000 clients and students on the autism spectrum or who have related disorders and with students who have not been successful in a traditional school setting. He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of ChanceLight.
He serves on the board of directors of Book’Em, a Nashville nonprofit that seeks to inspire a love of books and reading in all children, and that collects and distributes books to children and teens in lower-income families who might not otherwise have books of their own. Through Book’Em, Mr. Claypool also serves as a volunteer reader at an urban elementary school.
In 2016, Mark was named Ernst &Young’s Southeast Social Entrepreneur of the Year. He has co-authored two books:
- We’re In This Together: Public Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)
- How Autism is Changing Special Education: The Unbundling of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017 – January)
Danielle helps entrepreneurs access the internal and external network of one of the fastest growing technology and innovation companies in the world. As the Senior Director of Entrepreneurial Engagement, she looks for new ways for the company to engage with startups, accelerators, co-working spaces, investors and entrepreneurs, and programs that inspire Comcast NBCUniversal talent and culture. She is designing the new accelerator and entrepreneurs resource center that will open in the new Comcast Innovation & Technology Center in 2018.
Danielle was Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau for more than a decade, positioning Philadelphia as a world-class destination to international audiences. In that role, she chaired the Communications Council for the U.S. Travel Association. She also served as an Executive on Loan to the City of Philadelphia working with former Mayor Michael A. Nutter on the creation of the City’s Startup PHL seed fund, among other initiatives.
A Temple University grad and Old City Philadelphia resident, Danielle is on the boards of Philadelphia Academies, Inc., Philly Startup Leaders, and co-chaired the 2015 Economy League Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange.
She was inducted into the Philadelphia Public Relations Association Hall of Fame in 2014, named one of the 40 Under 40 to watch by the Philadelphia Business Journal in 2012, and on the list of 101 Emerging Connectors named by Leadership Philadelphia in 2008. She is also co-founder of a tech startup focused on in-patient hospital services called HOSPITALity.
Apogee Equity Partners
Mr. David I. Cumberbatch is a Partner at Apogee Equity Partners, a boutique private equity fund focused on the education technology and healthcare sectors. Mr. Cumberbatch is also a Senior Advisor to New Markets Ventures, and a member of the board of advisors for Village Capital. Mr. Cumberbatch served as the Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President at K12, Inc. from 2014 to 2016. Mr. Cumberbatch also served as the Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of ACT Inc. (the leader in college and career readiness assessment in the US) from 2011 to 2014.
Mr. Cumberbatch has held leadership positions with start-ups such as Imagitas and Simpletuition. Prior to that, Mr. Cumberbatch played an instrumental role at Microsoft Corporation where his business development work was featured in Fortune magazine. Mr. Cumberbatch also served as a Brand Manager of Procter & Gamble in Europe and Latin America. Mr. Cumberbatch earned a B.A. in Computing and Economics (Hons, First Class) from the University of Kent at Canterbury, and an MPhil in Management Studies from the University of Oxford where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He began his working life as an Assistant Teacher in the public school system of his native Trinidad and Tobago and remains passionate about the potential for technology to transform global education. He resides in the Washington DC metro area with his wife and two sons.
Angela Duckworth is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the founder and scientific director of the Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development.
Angela studies grit and self-control, two attributes that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being. A 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, Angela has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Currently, she serves as a Faculty Director for Wharton People Analytics, an initiative that helps organizations adopt the latest insights from social science research.
Prior to her career in research, Angela founded a summer school for low-income children that was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study and, in 2012, celebrated its twentieth anniversary. She has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a math and science teacher in the public schools of New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Angela completed her undergraduate degree in Advanced Studies Neurobiology at Harvard, graduating magna cum laude. With the support of a Marshall Scholarship, she completed an MSc with Distinction in Neuroscience from Oxford University. She completed her PhD in Psychology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.
Angela has received numerous awards for her contributions to K-12 education, including a Beyond Z Award from the KIPP Foundation. Her first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, debuted May 3, 2016 as an immediate New York Times bestseller.
Torus Teens connects teens to life changing opportunities outside of the classroom. We aim to get teens exploring their interests, getting exposure to different environments, and expanding their networks through out-of-school programs and resources.
Dean Pam Grossman
Pam Grossman joined Penn as the Dean of the Graduate School of Education in January 2015. A distinguished scholar, she came to Penn from Stanford University’s School of Education, where she was the Nomellini-Olivier Professor of Education. At Stanford, she founded and led the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching and established the Hollyhock Fellowship for early career teachers in underserved schools. Before joining Stanford, she was the Boeing Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Washington.
Dr. Grossman serves on the boards of some of the nation’s foremost organizations for promoting rigorous educational research and teacher excellence. She was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2009 and currently sits on the Academy’s Board of Directors. She is Vice Chair of the Spencer Foundation Board of Directors and is an incoming member of the Board of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She also served as Member at Large and Vice President of the Division on Teaching and Teacher Education for the American Educational Research Association.
Innovation @ Penn GSE
Dr. Barbara (Bobbi) Kurshan is a leader, researcher and expert in the fields of education technology, entrepreneurship and investment in education. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Academic Innovation and a Senior Fellow in Education at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania where she runs the Milken-GSE Business Plan Competition, chairs EDSi (Education Design Studio) and oversees the Masters in Education Entrepreneurship program. Previously, as the President of Educorp Consultants Corporation, she provided strategic consulting in the areas of education, technology and innovation; and as the Executive Vice President of WorldSage, a consortium of for-profit higher education institutions in the EU to address education for the 21st century, she created a global network of tertiary institutions in the EU. As the past Executive Director of Curriki, she helped to build a robust global open source education community and conducted primary research on the use of OER. Dr. Kurshan served as the Co-CEO of Core Learning, an education investment fund, and the Chief Academic Officer of bigchalk. Numerous publishing credits and research articles include topics that explore women’s attitudes toward technology, how kids learn using computers, OER, and innovation in education.
Brad Lindaas has 20 years of management experience within the education industry leading teams in many organizational disciplines including strategy, business development, sales, services and executive management.
Brad is Vice President of Strategy at ACT, Inc., a leading education nonprofit that has been helping individuals attain education and career success for over 50 years. In his role, Brad leads the formulation, development and implementation of organizational strategies and supporting policies. Brad is also responsible for the development of strategic alliances, mergers, and acquisitions to advance ACT’s corporate strategy and mission.
Brad serves on the Board of Directors of CollegeNET, a Portland based provider of web based administrative services to over 1,300 colleges, universities, and nonprofits. These services include admissions application processing, room and event scheduling, commencement processing, faculty evaluation, and tuition processing. He also serves on the Board of Directors of ProExam, a New York based provider of next generation noncognitive assessments and credential services.
Brad received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Science in Communication from Northwestern University. He recently completed a master's degree in Educational Entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education and is currently studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he is pursuing an MBA with an expected completion in December 2017.
Milken Family Foundation, March Capital Partners
Gregory Milken, Managing Director at March Capital, has 15 years of entrepreneurial and operational experience. For several years, he was the co-founder and COO of AltEgo, a cloud-based technology and gaming company. Prior to this, Gregory worked in new business development at Warner Bros. in Hong Kong and London, and at Twentieth Century Fox. Most recently, he was a senior executive at Knowledge Universe, a privately held education company where he did strategic planning and government relations for over 1,500 preschool centers. Through this, he held positions at KinderCare and Global Scholar.
Gregory is an active angel investor in media, gaming and education companies. His knowledge and experience in entertainment, technology, and gaming fuels his passion for investing in these areas. His current investments include viagogo, Schoola, Raise, and Scrible. He founded the Milken Penn GSE Education Business Competition in 2009 and each year helps choose the best idea from over 200 entries from around the world. He continues also to be a reader for the Milken Educator Awards. Gregory also holds a board seat at EDSi (Education Design Studio Inc.)
Actively involved in philanthropy, Gregory currently serves on the Board of Overseers for the Graduate School of Education, and the boards of the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation, and is the director of the Milken Scholars Program. Gregory received his M.B.A. and M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford University, as well as two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Gregory lives in Los Angeles with his wife, EJ and their three sons and daughter.
Makeda Ricketts founded PinkThink, an education technology company in 2013. PinkThink is an interest-oriented and peer-supported web and mobile platform that makes (S)cience, (T)echnology, (E)ngineering, and (M)ath education powerful, relevant, and engaging for girls. PinkThink is known for creating cStyle Bracelets, an innovative wearable that teaches coding skills.
As CEO of PinkThink, Makeda has received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including winning the Yale School of Management Business Plan Competition, receiving a National Science Foundation Innovation Grant, and being named the 2015 Maker of the Year by the International Alley Awards. She has also been featured in the Huffington Post and other local and national publications, and she was recognized by FWChicago Magazine as a 2016 “Woman to Watch.” In addition, Makeda has been a guest on several podcasts and the keynote speaker for prestigious events, such as the Educational Opportunity Association's National STEM conference.
Makeda earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economics from Wellesley College and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. On a personal note, Makeda has a passion for education and has taught in Ethiopia and Harlem, New York.
Zak Ringelstein is a Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur, musician and teacher who co-founded UClass, a world leader in K-12 curriculum which he sold to Renaissance Learning in 2015. A Columbia University graduate, Zak has worked for the United Nations in East Africa and has taught elementary school for five years. Having worked on early childhood education policy at the White House and given a TED talk on the importance of seeing students for more than their test scores, Zak recently co-founded PowerToPublic to promote the virtues of American public education and to encourage entrepreneurs to find ways to innovate within the system.
City of Philadelphia
Finalist Judge & Panelist
Archna Sahay currently serves as Director of Entrepreneurial Investment for the City of Philadelphia. In this role, she is responsible for business and economic development in Philadelphia’s tech sector and acts as the City’s liaison with the entrepreneurial community. Archna also manages the City’s StartupPHL platform, which includes the Call for Ideas grant program and a $6 million fund for investments in early stage ventures in Philadelphia.
Melissa Schipke is the CEO and Founder of Tassl, a Philadelphia-based company that builds technology solutions to help manage networks more effectively. Tassl creates value throughout the entire education ecosystem by leveraging mobile technology to bring resources and opportunities to network constituents and integrating management and analytic SaaS tools for network administrators and volunteers to simplify relationship building.
Katrina Stevens, the former Deputy Director of the Office of Educational Technology, has extensive experience in multiple roles in the edtech ecosystem: teacher, administrator, startup cofounder, consultant, professional development facilitator, grant writer, advisor, angel investor, journalist and community organizer. Throughout these roles, including 20 years as a teacher and administrator in K-12 schools, her focus has been on bringing together stakeholders from across the edtech ecosystem for meaningful dialogue and action.
As OET Deputy Director, Katrina led the work for rapid cycle tech evaluations, Future Ready, edtech developer outreach, and education innovation clusters. Previous to working at the U.S. Department of Education, Stevens served as the EdSurge Summit Director and Founding Executive Director of EdTech Maryland. In both roles, Stevens fostered collaboration among educators, edtech startups, researchers, and community leaders. In her role at EdSurge, Stevens oversaw the development of the Tech for Schools Summits around the country, which bring together 30+ companies with 500+ educators to create better tools for schools. She also wrote extensively about edtech issues internationally.
Through her consulting work, Katrina advised edtech companies at all stages of development, and provided support for educational organizations including foundations, K-12 schools and higher education. Katrina cofounded and moderates #edtechchat, a weekly Twitter conversation, served as an international Startup Weekend Education Facilitator, and launched an active monthly edtech happy hour.
Before working in central office in Baltimore County Public Schools, Katrina spent three years working with the Ministry of Education in Bermuda for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth to launch a lab school and gifted program for students from across the island.