The initial lineup of influential senior-level executives, entrepreneurial innovators, technologists and investors for 2011 is below. Please check back regularly to see the latest additions to the Venture Capital in Education program.


Nolan Bushnell
Mr. Bushnell is best known as the founder of Atari Corporation and Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater, and is justifiably revered as the “Father of the Video Game Industry”. Over the past 20 years, he has founded numerous companies, including Catalyst Technologies, the first technology incubator; Etak, the first car navigation system whose mapping is still the basis for car navigation systems today; Androbot, a personal robotics company; and ByVideo, the first online ordering system (1982), which allowed customers to order and pay for product from kiosks.

Over the years, Bushnell has received numerous awards of distinction, including being named ASI’s “Man of the Year” in 1997, as well as being inducted into the “Video Game Hall of Fame”. In January 2000 Bushnell became one of the first 50 inductees into the Consumer Electronics Association’s “Hall of Fame”, and was named one of Newsweek’s “50 Men That Changed America”. In March of 2009 Bushnell was honored with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ Fellowship Award, the highest accolade the Academy bestows, for his outstanding creative contribution to the Video Games Industry. And in June 2010 he was awarded the LARA Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by the German Games Award for his outstanding achievements in the International Games Industry. Currently a biopic about Bushnell, tentatively titled “Atari”, is in pre-production. The property was acquired by Paramount Pictures and is set to star Leonardo diCaprio.

Bushnell received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah, where he is a “Distinguished Fellow”, and also attended Stanford University Graduate School. With a passion for enhancing and improving the educational process and a desire to motivate others, Bushnell frequently lectures at major universities and conferences throughout the United States, inspiring others with his views on entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and education.


Josh Coates
Josh is the CEO of Instructure and began his career in distributed systems research at the University of California, Berkeley and Microsoft’s Bay Area Research Center. Josh specialized in high performance and parallel disk and network I/O. In 1998 he graduated with a degree in Computer Science and began working at Inktomi Corporation developing network caching software.

In 1999 Josh founded Scale Eight, which developed scalable storage software technologies. Scale Eight’s customers included Microsoft, Viacom and Fujitsu. Scale Eight closed operations in early 2003 and sold its intellectual property to Intel Corporation. After relocating to Utah, Josh founded Berkeley Data Systems (Mozy.com) in 2005. Two years later in October 2007, EMC Corp acquired Mozy for $76 million. In 2007, Josh took a volunteer position as an adjunct instructor at Brigham Young University. Josh was an early investor in Instructure and joined the board in 2008. In 2010, he became CEO of Instructure.

Hilary DeCesare
Hilary is Everloop’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. An award-winning entrepreneur, experienced in all aspects of launching and growing a business, Hilary is also a mom of 13 year old twins and a tween. She developed the Everloop platform to give kids under 13 age-appropriate content and sophisticated social networking tools they desire with the most powerful online privacy protection technologies.

Previously Hilary co-founded White Space Ink, a management-consulting firm that specialized in technology start-ups. Prior to White Space Ink, Hilary worked at Oracle Corporation in various sales management positions where garnered more than 100 worldwide managerial sales awards.

A leader in the areas of children and technology, Hilary was invited to White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. She has been recognized as one of AlwaysOn’s “2010 Top 25 Women in Tech to Watch” and honored with the prestigious DEMOgod Award at the 2010 DEMO Conference for emerging technologies.

Away from the office, Hilary teaches kids about Internet safety, technology, free enterprise, business and economics. She has served as chapter director for Tweenangels, a division of WiredSafety that educates and empowers kids to teach other kids about Internet safety. Hilary graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a B.A. in Psychology.


Daniel J. Devine
Dan was the visionary behind the Compass Knowledge Group’s strategy of partnering with esteemed higher learning institutions to satisfy students’ demands for innovative learning options while ensuring that university standards, tradition, identity, and integrity are not only preserved, but enhanced. In response to the rapidly growing and changing market for online degree programs, Mr. Devine recently merged Compass Knowledge Group with Embanet, another leader in serving the non-for-profit online higher education market. The combined strengths of these two organizations will create the stability and agility required to meet the growing global demand for online learning. Mr. Devine will continue to strategically guide the company as Vice Chairman of the Embanet-Compass Knowledge Group Board of Directors.

Before founding Compass Knowledge Group almost two decades ago, Mr. Devine was employed by Harris Corporation where he held positions in engineering and business development.

In 2009, he was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Florida Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, and won the prestigious award in 2010 in the technology category, evidence that others outside higher education recognize his extraordinary business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit.

Other honors include his appointment to both the University of Florida’s College of Pharmacy and the College of Public Health and Health Professions Advisory Boards. In 2008, he was the recipient of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy Outstanding Service Award.

On a personal level, Mr. Devine exhibits a strong belief in lifelong learning. Since graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, he completed Stanford University’s Executive Program for Growing Companies and is a graduate of the three-year Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program.


Greg DumontGreg DuMont
Greg is Executive Vice President of Corporate Development & Operations for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company (“HMHP”). Greg joined Houghton Mifflin Company in 2003 as Corporate Vice President, Controller and has held several leadership positions within the organization over the last 7 years including heading Strategic & Financial Planning and prior to his current role holding the position of Senior Vice President, Operations with company wide responsibilities over the global supply chain services, information technology and procurement functions.

Prior to joining HMHP, Greg worked at Vivendi Universal S.A. as Vice President, Finance & Audit leading the internal audit function and providing mergers & acquisition and integration support in the Americas. Greg began his career in public accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers working in the New York and London offices as a Senior Manager . He earned his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Rhode Island.


David M. Ewalt
David is a senior editor at Forbes Magazine, where he writes about games and technology. In 2008 he launched Forbes’ annual ranking of America’s Best Colleges, and served as the magazine’s first education editor.

An award-winning journalist, he previously worked as a reporter at InformationWeek, and in the Investigations department at Newsday. His byline has appeared in outlets as varied as the Harvard Business Review and The Village Voice, and he is a frequent guest in other media, including NPR’s All Things Considered and G4TV’s Attack of the Show. His first book, a history of the game Dungeons & Dragons, will be published by Scribner in 2012.


Jose FerreiraJose Ferreira
Jose Ferreira is the founder and CEO of Knewton, the world’s leading adaptive learning company. Knewton’s cloud-based platform uses concept-level data to create uniquely personalized learning plans, allowing educators to tailor their content to the exact needs of individual students. The company was named a 2011 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum at Davos.

Jose earned his MBA from Harvard and was formerly an executive at Kaplan, where he led a company-wide re-engineering effort to redesign the company’s courses. Most recently, he was a Partner at New Atlantic Ventures (formerly Draper Atlantic), investing in new media and SaaS companies. Jose has also been featured in publications from The Economist to Wired, and he lives in New York City.


Alan Gershenfeld
Alan has spent the last twenty years at the intersection of entertainment, technology and social entrepreneurship. He is currently Founder and President of E-Line Media, a publisher of digital entertainment that engages, educates and empowers – with a core focus on computer/video games. E-Line works with leading foundations, academics, non-profits and government agencies to harness the power of games for learning, health, and social impact.

Before Prior to E-Line, Alan spent seven years as CEO and Co-Founder of netomat, a leader in mobile-web community solutions. As CEO, Alan helped to transform a network-based art project into a pioneering software company, raising funding from VCs, strategic investors (Motorola, WPP, Forbes), foundations (Rockefeller’s ProVenEx double bottom line fund) and securing clients and partnerships with leading technology and content providers such as Electronic Arts, Warner Brothers, Motorola and Miramax.

Before netomat, Alan spent six years at Activision, a global leader in entertainment software. At Activision, Alan served as Senior Vice President of Activision Studios where he supervised all product development at the company’s Los Angeles studios. Titles released under Alan’s leadership include Civilization: Call to Power, Asteroids, Muppet Treasure Island, Spycraft, Pitfall, Zork and Tony Hawk Skateboarding.

Before Activision, Alan spent nearly ten years in the film industry where he worked in development, production and post-production with credits on numerous feature films and documentaries.

As a speaker, Alan has presented at a wide variety of conferences throughout the world including PC Forum, South By South West, Sundance Film Festival, Games for Change, CTIA, and Teach For America.

Alan serves on the Board of Directors of FilmAid International, a nonprofit that uses film and video to empower refugees throughout the world and on the Advisory Boards of PBS Kids Next Generation Media, Creative Capital, Startl, Global Kids, We Are Family Foundation and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center For Educational Media and Research (Sesame Workshop). He is also on the Advisory Board and former Chairman of Games for Change, a nonprofit committed to rising the sector of social impact computer and video games.


Greg GunnGreg Gunn
Greg is an Entrepreneur in Residence at City Light. In 2000, he co-founded Wireless Generation, a leading educational software company now serving more than 3 million children with groundbreaking assessment and instruction products. As President, Greg created and led the product development team, shipping the award-winning mCLASS® handheld formative assessment platform. He took over and revamped the company’s sales division, landing key state and district sales and tripling the company’s revenue in 18 months. As Chief Scientist, he designed highly effective professional development techniques and created the company’s analytics and data mining division, turning raw data into new insights about student learning progressions. The company was sold to News Corporation in December 2010.

Prior to founding Wireless Generation, Greg served as Product Manager for InterDimensions, a Web solutions firm; as Product Manager for Clique.com, a New York based e-commerce startup; and as an associate at the Carlyle Group, where he focused on investments in new media, healthcare, and systems integration businesses.

Greg has experience teaching mathematics, physics, and computer science to all ages from grades 4 through postgraduate. He worked for the Champion International Middle School Partnership, where he developed technology-assisted teaching methods for 6th grade mathematics. During college, he taught in the University of Chicago’s Summer Math Program, where he helped develop innovative math experiences for grades 7-12.

Greg holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Chicago, an MBA and Master’s in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He currently serves on the boards of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the Concord Consortium, and the Oliver Program.


Anthony Ha
Anthony is a senior editor at VentureBeat, as well as its reporter on media, advertising, and social networks. Before joining the site in 2008, Anthony worked at the Hollister Free Lance, where he won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for breaking news coverage and writing. He attended Stanford University and now lives in San Francisco.


Eric HallsteinEric Hallstein

Eric brings a diverse background in business, academia, and technology to his role at Omidyar Network, where he invests across the Media, Markets & Transparency initiative. Currently a Kauffman Fellow, Eric has focused throughout his career on entrepreneurial endeavors that create positive impact in the world.

Most recently, Eric served on the founding team of GoodGuide.com, which disseminates information on products’ health, safety, and environmental impact. Prior to that role, Eric was a project leader for the Boston Consulting Group, working with clientele in the technology and financial services industries.

Previously, he worked as a research assistant for the Pacific Institute, the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, and the Native American Renewal Energy Education Program. Eric’s work on energy policy, trade, and consumer behavior has been published in popular press and top journals.

Eric earned a PhD and MS in energy and resources, as well as an MS in civil and environmental engineering, from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He graduated cum laude with an AB in East Asian Studies from Harvard College.


John HeilemannJohn Heilemann
John Heilemann is the national political correspondent and columnist for New York magazine. An award-winning journalist and the author of Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era and coauthor of Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, he is a former staff writer for The New Yorker, Wired, and The Economist. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Anya KamenetzAnya Kamenetz
Anya is a senior writer at Fast Company Magazine, a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media, and the author of two books, Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006), which dealt with generational economics including student loan policy, and DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, (Chelsea Green, 2010) which investigated the roots of the cost, access, and quality crises in higher education as well as innovationsin technology and social media to address these crises. She was nameda 2010 Game Changer in Education by the Huffington Post, received national awards in 2009 and 2010 for education reporting from the Education Writers Association, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing by the Village Voice in 2005. Her next book, The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential, will be released as a free ebook funded by the Gates Foundation in summer 2011. Twitter: @anya1anya


Jon KarlenJon Karlen
Jon is a General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners whose investment interests and experience include enterprise software, consumer-focused products and online services, and energy technology. He currently represents the firm on the boards of 33Across, Digital Lumens, Open English and Virtual Computer, Inc. He also previously sat on the board of Eka Systems (acquired by Cooper Power Systems), GamerDNA (acquired by Crispy Gamer), and (acquired by Dell) ZING Systems.

Prior to joining the firm in October 2005, Jon served as Director of Product Marketing at OATSystems, an RFID software company, where he led the company’s product positioning and marketing activities. Jon joined the company following a successful Entrepreneur-in-Residence position at Greylock, where he developed the investment opportunity in OATSystems.

Before Greylock, Jon was an executive at NTRU Cryptosystems, an early-stage company focused on commercializing data encryption technology for constrained devices. During his tenure at NTRU, Jon served as General Manager for the RFID and Smart Card group and Director of Product Management. Jon also spent time as an Associate with Greylock and an Equity Research Associate at Montgomery Securities.

Jon holds a BA in Philosophy from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.


Karin Klein
Karin currently focuses on business development and corporate development at Bloomberg L.P. She puts over fifteen years of operating and venture capital experience to work by assessing acquisition opportunities, crafting strategy and forming new partnerships for Bloomberg.

Before joining Bloomberg, Ms. Klein was a Vice President at Softbank where she sourced new investment opportunities and worked closely with portfolio companies to help them build their businesses. Ms. Klein oversaw the firm’s review of new investments and provided post-investment assistance to portfolio companies and their management teams, with a particular focus on business development.

Prior to Softbank, Ms. Klein worked with the MC Group and Knowledge Universe, where she conducted strategic reviews of new investments in the media, education and technology sectors and partnered with management teams to develop and implement operating and growth plans.

Ms. Klein first developed her passion for building businesses when she co-founded an educational training program for children.

Ms. Klein graduated on the Director’s List with an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, and she has undergraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania – a B.S. from The Wharton School and a B.A. from the Annenberg School of Communications. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Ms. Klein currently serves on the board of Buddy Media and the advisory board for O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo New York and mentors for TechStars and First Growth. She also enjoys speaking and serving as a judge at conferences focusing on online media and entrepreneurship.


Leslie Anglesey
Leslie is an affiliate university professor at University of Southern California and loves to spend her free time writing. She is an editor at EssayTigers, a new generation essay writing service. Leslie is always helping other people to bring passion to their writing.



Roger NovakRoger Novak
Roger brings over 25 years of experience as a venture capitalist, “angel” investor, and operating principal. Novak Biddle Venture Partners (NBVP) is a premier early stage venture capital firm backed by some of the country’s most prestigious investors. Over the last five years, Novak Biddle has been the most active venture capital firm investing in education. Two of their deals, Capital Schools, Inc. and 2tor, Inc., were recognized by the NVCA (National Venture Capital Association) as 2010 top education deals.

Prior to co-founding Novak Biddle, Roger served as general partner of Grotech Partners, a private investment company. He also led investment banking and served on the executive committee at Baker, Watts & Co. Currently, Roger serves on the boards of a number of private companies, and serves as a board member, executive committee member, and treasurer of the National Venture Capital Association. He also serves on the advisory boards of a venture fund and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s PREDICT (Protected Repository for the Defense of Infrastructure Against Cyber Threats), and is a member of the Office of the Secretary of Defense DeVenCI program.

Recently, Roger was awarded the Early Stage East Sal Buccieri Memorial Venture Impact Award. The honor recognizes an individual who has clearly impacted early stage technology and fast growth opportunities.


Torrance RobinsonTorrance Robinson
Torrance brings years of experience developing, marketing and implementing web-based businesses, as well as creating and implementing technology solutions in K-12 schools and districts. At Jumbo.com (now Jupiter Media), Torrance created and launched the education channel Homeworkcentral.com and the Business and Finance Channel. In 1997, he was recruited to help develop and grow Bloomberg’s new Web offering, Bloomberg.com. In 1999 founded eChalk . Torrance was the Founder and Chairman of the Board of NYConnects (1994-2000), a nonprofit organization that helped connect more than 100 New York schools to the Internet. He is a Term Member on the Council of Foreign Relations and a member of the Board of Directors of the Citizens Union.


Erick Schonfeld
Erik is the Co-Editor of TechCrunch. He has been covering startups and technology news since 1993. Prior to TechCrunch, he was Editor-at-Large for Business 2.0 magazine, where he wrote feature stories and ran their main blog, Next Net, which had nearly 50,000 RSS subscribers. He also does a lot of video work and hosts regular panels of industry luminaries.

Schonfeld started his career at Fortune magazine. In 1999, he won the prize for best information technology submission at London’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards, and in 2001 he won the prize for best space submission at the Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards in Paris. In 1996 and 1997, Schonfeld was recognized in the TJFR Business News Reporter’s list of the “best and brightest financial journalists under the age of 30.” He appears regularly on CNBC, CNN, and NY1, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.


Frederick Singer
Fred is an internet pioneer who has started, invested and let Internet businesses over the past 20 years. Currently, he is CEO of Echo360, a global educational software company serving 400+ institutions worldwide in 28 countries with automated classroom capture and distance learning.

Previously he has served as CEO of Grab Networks. He also served as personal Advisor to Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank Corporation/Yahoo Japan, COO America Online Interactive Services, was a founder of Washingtonpost.com and formerly a strategy consultant with Bain & Company.

Mr. Singer has or is serving on the boards of Grab Networks, DoubleClick, Motley Fool, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (International), The Langley School, Queen’s University School of Business and Upper Canada College in Toronto. He has also been active in funding pioneering work on Autism spectrum disorder with the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC, The Langley School in McLean Virginia. He has an MBA from Harvard and a LLB, MA Philosophy, BA Philosophy with Distinction and B. Commerce with Honours from Queen’s University in Canada. He lives in Great Falls, VA with his wife Elizabeth and their 3 boys.


Kevin Slavin
In 2005, Slavin co-founded Area/Code Entertainment (acquired by Zyngain 2011) which pioneered new forms of game design and cross-mediaentertainment with clients including Nike, Nokia, Puma, Disney, MTV,CBS, FremantleMedia, A&E, EA, and the Discovery Channel.

Slavin was named to the Creativity 50 in 2007, and Area/Code’s work has gatheredrecognition from the Clios, the One Show, MoMA, the London International Awards, Dwell, BLDGBLOG, the AIGA and Brandweek, and hasbeen extensively featured, most recently as chapters in the Thames andHudson edition “Sixty: Innovators Shaping our Creative Future”, “SpaceTime Play: Computer Games, Architecture and Urbanism” and JohnBrockman’s “This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape theFuture.”

Slavin co-founded Starling in 2010, a co-viewing platform forbroadcast TV. Still in beta, Starling is partnered with networks andproducers like MTV and Fremantle, and agencies including JWT and BBH.It has been profiled in Wired magazine and other major media.
Prior to 2005, Slavin worked in advertising for 10 years, at companieslike DDB, Chiat\Day and SS+K.

Slavin has taught Urban Computing and Thesis at NYU’s InteractiveTelecommunications Program, and has written for various publicationson design, games and game culture. Slavin has addressed and spoken atthe Aspen Institute, LIFT, Cannes (MIP + Advertising), the Cooper Union, the Royal Society of Art, the Creativity and Technology conference, and companiesincluding Pepsi, Nokia, and the BBC. He has exhibited internationally,including the Frankfurt Museum fuer Moderne Kunst, the Storefront forArt and Architecture, the New Museum, and has work in an upcoming showat MoMA.


John Tozzi
John covers entrepreneurship and small business for Bloomberg Businessweek. His reporting focuses on how changes in technology, finance, and policy affect entrepreneurs. He has chronicled the effects of the credit crunch and recession on business owners; the implications of financial regulation and health care reform for small businesses; and the rise of social entrepreneurship. He has reported on startups creating new markets, including digital textbooks and technology for open government.

Before joining Bloomberg Businessweek, he worked as a freelance writer and newspaper reporter, where his coverage included New York City public schools. His work has been recognized by the American Society of Business Publication Editors, the New York Press Association, and the Suburban Newspapers of America. He is a graduate of Boston University.


Fred Wilson, Union Square VenturesFred Wilson
Fred Wilson has been a venture capitalist since 1987. He currently is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures and also founded Flatiron Partners. Fred has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Fred is married with three kids and lives in New York City.