At CEO (Boardroom Media) we track over 1,000,000 startups and over 5,000,000 people who hold key positions in these companies. We use this directory of startups to highlight top employees, founders and board members we think deserve more appreciation than they are currently getting.
This list showcases the top Chicago based CEO’ operating in the EdTech space. If you think a CEO’ is missing from this list, feel free to contact our editor on [email protected].
The individuals on this list have been included because of exceptional performance in one of the following categories:
- Innovation – Operating as a key part in an extremely innovative business or startup.
- Growth – Operating as a key figure in the growth and upscale of a market leading business or startup.
- Management – Showing exceptional management skills.
- Societal impact – Putting their business on the map for their positive societal or environmental impact.
Our Data – We source our data from OSINT (open source intelligence) and public directories such as Crunchbase, SemRush and many more. The data from these sources should be treated with a degree of caution and verified yourself.
CEO & Founder of GetSet
Karan Goel is an experienced entrepreneur with a track record of success, having led two successful exits in enterprise education technology. Prior to founding GetSet, he created PrepMe, a successful college readiness business that built the first adaptive learning platform and helped hundreds of thousands of students succeed in college. He has a B.A. in Economics and M.B.A. in Finance and Entrepreneurship from The University of Chicago.
Follow Karan Goel:
About GetSet: GetSet, a new stealthy US edtech startup that’s aiming to reduce the high college drop-out rate
Chief Executive Officer of Amerigo Education
Craig’s leadership of Amerigo builds on more than a decade of experience driving growth and innovation in education. Prior to Amerigo, Craig was President & CEO of Deltak, a pioneering provider of online education services for leading American universities. In 2014, after leading the sale of Deltak to John Wiley & Sons, he became a Managing Director in Wiley’s Corporate Development group, identifying and executing acquisitions and strategic partnerships. Craig is passionate about building a dynamic and cohesive team culture that drives successful outcomes for Amerigo’s students. He received a B.S. in Finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
Follow Craig Pines:
About Amerigo Education: Amerigo supports international students at elite U.S. high schools with a holistic approach that emphasizes excellent academic outcomes.
Founder & CEO of MyColLife
Follow Sam Kann:
About MyColLife: Welcome to MyColLife, world’s first Student Social Network and Social Relationship Management (SRM) services technology.
Founder & CEO of L Street Collaborative
Jay Sebben is the Founder & CEO at L Street Collaborative, LLC.
Follow Jay Sebben:
About Crowdfind, Fultonbridge Partners, L Street Collaborative, Quicksilver Studios, Stetco Group: L Street Collaborative is a venture development company focused on developing enterprise software platforms.
CEO of Codeverse
Specialties:software development, scalable web architectures, social business models, viral marketing
Follow Craig Ulliott:
About Codeverse: Codeverse is the world’s first interactive coding studio & edtech platform,, founded on the mission to teach a billion kids to code.
Jessica Droste Yagan
CEO & Managing Partner of Impact Engine
Jessica Droste Yagan is CEO of Impact Engine, a venture fund that invests financial and human capital in early-stage, for-profit technology startups that are improving education, health, economic empowerment, and resource efficiency. Prior to Impact Engine, Jessica led the creation of McDonald’s Corporation’s sustainable sourcing strategy, most recently as Director of Sustainable Supply for McDonald’s USA. In that role, she enabled the integration of ethical, environmental, and economic sustainability across all food and packaging sourcing. She also architected numerous specific projects including Marine Stewardship Council-certified fish and a multi-million dollar investment in improving the livelihoods of Guatemalan coffee farmers while simultaneously strengthening the coffee supply chain. Prior to her work with McDonald’s USA, Jessica led strategy and alignment of global sustainable sourcing at McDonald’s and consulted with city, non-profit, and corporate clients in the areas of strategic planning, corporate social responsibility, and inner city economic development. She has co-authored two Harvard University case studies on public-private partnerships and currently serves as a board member for Social Venture Partners Chicago, OneGoal Chicago, The Honeycomb Project, Metropolitan Planning Council, and Piece & Co. Jessica earned recognition on Chicago Crain’s 40-Under-40 list in 2013 and served as a 2014 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Haverford College, an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. She attended the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IL for high school. Most importantly, Jessica tries to keep up with logistics for her wonderful and active family. She lives in Chicago with her husband Sam and three children.
Follow Jessica Droste Yagan:
About Impact Engine: Impact Engine is a venture capital and private equity firm that invests financial and human capital in early-stage companies.
CEO of CampusGuard
Gannon is the Chief Executive Officer of CampusGuard, an international provider of PCI DSS compliance services. He also serves as an Executive Director for Nelnet, Inc. (NNI/NYSE) a leading provider of services and solutions for the public sector, including government and education institutions globally. Previously, Mr. Gannon was Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of infiNET Solutions, the largest provider of Automated Billing, Payment Processing and Campus Commerce solutions for higher education institutions in the United States, until its sale to Nelnet, Inc. in 2006. After its sale to Nelnet, Inc. he became President of the Nelnet Business Solutions, which provides full-service business office automation, campus commerce, centralized payment processing and information delivery solutions for colleges and universities. Mr. Gannon is a dynamic speaker that provides a clear vision for the future of technology as an enabler of solutions, and their effect on society, business and education. His unique ability to apply practical thinking to technology’s role in people’s lives and work has made audiences applaud, laugh, and walk away with a fresh perspective on technology and its impact on them. He has shared his vision and insight as a speaker and on Higher Education industry panels and as a keynote speaker at conferences across the globe. In addition, Mr. Gannon has served as the President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lake County, IL, where he managed all the activities of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. He holds separate undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Management.
Follow Harvey Gannon:
About CampusGuard: CampusGuard Providing PCI compliance and information security services to the campus-based community
CEO of Nuro Learning LLC dba Nuro Retention
The son of a fisherman, Tom grew up on a Gaelic-speaking island off the west coast of Ireland. He describes his childhood as a cross between Little House on the Prairie and the Deadliest Catch. He is a very proud Irishman, so don’t ask him about it if you have to be somewhere in the next hour. He and his siblings were the first generation of his family to attend university. The opportunities he was afforded by education led him to a successful career in finance before giving it up to become a college administrator over fifteen years ago. He jumped at the chance to join the Nuro Retention team, knowing firsthand the life-changing benefits of completing university and the difficulties faced by first generation students. He is tremendously motivated to lead Nuro Retention to make a clear difference in college completion. He lives in Chicago with his wife and family, is heavily involved in the local community, and loves to coach his kids’ soccer.
Follow Tom McNamara:
About Nuro Learning LLC dba Nuro Retention, Nuro Retention, Unitek Learning: Our innovative use of data, pioneering software, and motivated team are helping thousands of students get the help they need to graduate.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Adtalem Global Education
Lisa W. Wardell is President and Chief Executive Officer of Adtalem Global Education. Adtalem Global Education is a leading global education provider and the parent organization of Adtalem Educacional do Brasil (IBMEC, Damásio and Wyden institutions), American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, Becker Professional Education, Chamberlain University, EduPristine, Ross University School of Medicine and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Adtalem is a member of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. Wardell was appointed President and CEO in 2016 and has been a member of Adtalem’s board of directors since 2008. She is the only African-American female CEO in the S&P 400 Index. Prior to her current position with Adtalem, Wardell was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for The RLJ Companies, a diversified holding company with portfolio companies in the financial services, asset management, real estate, hospitality, professional sports, film production and gaming industries. As COO, Wardell was responsible for managing The RLJ Companies portfolio, including strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, business strategy, operations and finance. With significant experience in structuring and negotiating private equity deals and mergers and acquisitions, Wardell was a key member of the team that led the formation of RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive, now RML, which is the largest minority automotive dealership in the U.S. with more than $1.3 billion in annual revenues. RML has successfully acquired $100 million of additional Harley-Davidson motorcycle and multi-brand automotive dealerships since inception. Prior to joining The RLJ Companies, Wardell was a Principal at Katalyst Venture Partners, a private equity firm that invested in start-up technology companies in the media and communications industries from 2000 to 2003. From 1998 to 2000, Wardell worked as a Senior Consultant for Accenture in the organization’s communications and technology strategic services practice where she assisted with development of new business architectures for internet technologies and determined key convergence components enabled for telecommunications providers. Wardell earned her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her law degree from Stanford Law School. She earned her master’s degree in finance and entrepreneurial management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Wardell serves on the Board of Directors for Lowe’s Home Improvement (NYSE: LOW), a Fortune 50 company, as well as THINK450, the innovation engine of the National Basketball Players Association, and Global Citizen, a nonprofit engaging individuals to take action towards ending extreme poverty. She is also a member of The Business Council, the Executive Leadership Council, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion and the Fortune CEO Initiative. Among numerous recognitions, she was recently selected by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the “300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” (2017) and has been featured on Savoy Magazine’sTM Power 300: Most Influential Black Corporate Directors list (2017 and 2016). Wardell is often featured for her strategic insights by media outlets, including Bloomberg, Fortune, Politico, Investor’s Business Daily, Washington Post, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.
Follow Lisa Wardell:
About Adtalem Global Education: Adtalem Global Education is a provider of educational services and the parent organization of Advanced Academics
CEO & Chief Dabbler of Dabble
CEO & Chief Dabbler. Swoboda manages national operations, strategy and company growth as CEO for Dabble with a focus on expanding Dabble in new markets around the globe as well as securing funding and investment for future growth. His enthusiasm for Dabble led him to approach the company in the Spring of 2013 about taking on a leadership role in expanding Dabble. Instead, he took the reins in July 2014. Jemal dabbles in ultra marathons, fiddle playing and vegetarian cooking and has proudly driven in a demolition derby at a county fair and pole vaulted nearly 15 feet.
Follow Jemal Swoboda:
About Dabble: Dabble is a marketplace for people to discover, teach and host in-person classes, events & experiences in the community.
Chief Executive Officer and Head of Client Experience of mStoner
Voltaire Miran hold a BS in communication from Northwestern University and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Business. He also spent a few years in the bioethics program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School before trading in his theology books for guitar lessons at Old Town School of Folk Music.
Follow Voltaire Miran:
About mStoner: mStoner bring your institution’s unique story to life.
Founder & CEO of Sage Corps
Matt Meltzer is Founder & CEO at Sage Corps.
Follow Matt Meltzer:
About Sage Corps: Sage Corps is an international internship program that sends top college students to intern abroad with global startups worldwide.
CEO & Co-founder of Edovo
Follow Brian Hill:
About Edovo: Edovo provides intuitive educational courses where inmates are rewarded for learning.
CEO of CCKF
Follow Manoj Kulkarni:
About CCKF: Intelligent Adaptive Learning
Chief Executive Officer of Rapunzl – Invest. Share. Win.
I am the co-founder of Rapunzl and a passionate supporter of any and all things related to financial education. At a young age, I was incredibly fortunate to receive broad exposure to entrepreneurship and the stock market through my family. That’s why, during my senior year at Amherst College, I developed Rapunzl. I partnered with my highschool friend, Myles Gage, and together we designed a developed an app that could solve the three roadblocks that prohibit many from understanding the stock market: fear, exposure, and accessibility. We decided to provide users with a risk-free, $10,000 simulated portfolio in order to eliminate the fear we all first feel when we look at the stock market. We then increased exposure by working with high schools and colleges and providing weekly, monthly, and (soon) annual competitions for cash prizes! Finally we made the stock market accessible by integrating social media into our simulator. Users can connect with their friends, share how they trade, and discuss their investment strategies. People need game-based learning tools which simulate the real world and contexualize their learning if they are ever to learn how to properly invest. Rapunzl provides an incentive to learn, a place to share findings, and a risk-free community to make mistakes along the way. Rapunzl is my career, passion, and best effort to combat our nation’s financial illiteracy crisis. Let’s connect and talk about it.
Follow Brian Curcio:
About Rapunzl – Invest. Share. Win.: Rapunzl is an award-winning app that allows you to earn cash & scholarship prizes while you learn how to invest.
Founder and CEO of iLoveCoding
Follow Aziz Ali:
CEO & Co-Founder of Everspring
Follow Jeffrey Conlon:
About Everspring: Everspring develops online and hybrid courses that deliver engagement free from traditional constraints.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Certiverse
Ruben Arturo Garcia is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Certiverse.
Follow Ruben Garcia:
About Certiverse: Certiverse leverages proprietary technology and proven, economic-based crowdsourcing models to develop high-quality certification exams.
Founder & CEO of EssayTagger
Fellow teachers! I built EssayTagger because grading essays was killing me! We can make grading essays less painful while giving our students better feedback!
Follow Keith Mukai:
About EssayTagger: EssayTagger is a web-based tool that helps teachers grade essays by eliminating the repetitive and inefficient aspects of grading papers.
CEO of Collective Shift
Follow Connie Yowell:
About Collective Shift, LRNG: Redesigning social systems for the connected age.