About the Founders
Don Burton has worked for more than two decades with some of the best minds in education to create products and services and build businesses based on the latest educational research and technology. He has proven experience building startups within large companies. At the Walt Disney Company, Burton was the second person hired to start up a critical Education initiative to launch Disney into the more formal education markets, creating a Scholastic-like business unit within Disney Interactive. He also helped Kaplan start their initial Internet businesses in the late 90s. Prior to those startups while at McKinsey & Co, Burton helped found a Interactive Media Practice and developed a thriving business making digital media strategy recommendations to clients like IBM, Sony, Apple, AT&T, Cox Cable, Viacom, and Disney.
He has proven experience as a serial entrepreneur building his own educational companies - ParentPartners, A-Ha! Learning, eebee’s Adventures and CreatorBox. ParentPartners was sold to Kaplan/Washington Post for approximately 10X invested capital. The A-Ha! Learning Parenting Center in New York City became the research and development lab for his startup eebee’s Adventures, which became the country’s most respected baby media company with DVD, TV and cable programming that penetrated 85 million US households and spawned a line of books and toys. CreatorBox brings inspiring STEM projects to homes with kids 6 to 11 with its subscription ecommerce business.
He also has proven experience with start-up investing and advising. As a seasoned edtech entrepreneur and angel investor, Burton has an extensive edtech network throughout the country and is able to attract and identify high potential companies, founders, and talent. As Managing Director for Techstars, Burton identified and recruited more than 20 of the best Edtech startups to the Kaplan/Techstars program. The current market valuation for his initial 2013 class in now well over $150 million. In addition, Burton has placed personal angel investments in companies that have raised more than 10 million dollars. In a short period, these companies have achieved a step up in valuation of at least 3X.
Jonathan D. Harber For over 20 years, Jonathan has been a pioneer in education technology. As CEO of Harber Advisors, LLC, he advises private equity funds and large education companies on mergers and acquisitions. He is also an Advisor to Rethink Education, a venture capital fund focused on education technology companies.
Until January 2014, Harber served as CEO of Pearson K12 Technology following its acquisition of Schoolnet. In this role, he was responsible for Pearson's K12 Technology business, managing a team of 1,000 employees -- serving over 25 million students.
Jonathan was CEO and co-founder of Schoolnet, Inc., a company with the goal of helping school systems use data to increase academic achievement. Schoolnet was a finalist for a dozen CODIE Awards, was recognized twice with Inc. Magazine's Inc 500 Award, and three times with Deloitte's Fast 50 Award. In 2007, Ernst & Young recognized Jonathan as the Entrepreneur of the Year in New York. Schoolnet was acquired by Pearson in 2011.
Prior to launching Schoolnet, Jonathan was the co-founder of two other EdTech companies that were sold to public companies; Diva, publisher of the award-winning video authoring system, was sold to Avid Technology concurrent with its IPO in 1993. NewKidCo, the first company to develop and market children's education video games for the Playstation and N64 such as Elmo's Letter and Number Journey, was sold to SoftQuad in 1998.
Jonathan serves as the founding Chairman of the Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School in Brooklyn. For a decade, he served on the board of NYC Outward Bound. Both organizations manage schools in underserved NYC neighborhoods offering an education rooted in project-based active learning and character development.
Jonathan received his masters from MIT and completed a joint thesis on education technology between the MIT Sloan School and the MIT Media Lab. He completed his undergraduate degree with Honors in Cognitive Science from Wesleyan University.