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About us

Our Mission

We empower students and teachers around the world to become highly skillful innovators and entrepreneurs so they can make a difference ahead of schedule.

The EdgeMakers Value Proposition

This is the Age of Innovation. Innovation and entrepreneurship are valued today, whether to sustain competitive advantage or to drive economic development. Yet for most of us, these capacities are difficult to define, let alone put into practice.

If you want innovation, you need people who know how to do it. And if you want those people, you need to help them learn how to do it. EdgeMakers was founded to bring clarity to innovation and to bridge three important gaps:

  1. The gap between what schools typically teach and what students need to learn to become employable, fulfilled innovators;
  2. The gap between the wish for innovation and the ability to realize it;
  3. The gap between the challenges that society faces and the resources available to address them.

What We Teach

Innovation and entrepreneurship are challenging concepts to define, let alone teach. At EdgeMakers, we view innovation as a three-part process – generating ideas, developing ideas and realizing value from ideas. Our five core disciplines mirror this framework. We examine creativity as an individual, interpersonal, organizational and societal phenomenon. We provide a portfolio of disciplines that amplify and develop ideas – design, digital fluency, storytelling and collaboration. Finally, we cultivate the ability of entrepreneurs to realize value from ideas.

Who We Are

We are a team (and global community) of learning and interaction designers, innovation domain experts, and professional development specialists. We launched EdgeMakers because of our concern about the “missing ingredients” in formal education such as creativity and collaboration skills, digital fluency and entrepreneurship. In our view , these are required for professional and personal success. Our goal is a global community of engaged EdgeMakers who use their newfound capacities for innovation and entrepreneurship on behalf of the collective good.

Our Founder

John Kao has spent the better part of thirty years creating compelling learning experiences for emerging innovators and entrepreneurs. He ... Read More was a professor at Harvard Business School and also taught at the MIT Media Lab and Stanford’s Bowman House. His eclectic career mirrors the complexity of innovation and entrepreneurship; it includes business school professor, advisor to countries on innovation policy, best-selling author, Tony award winning producer of stage and screen, serial entrepreneur, Yamaha Music’s first “artist in Innovation.” Yale Medical school trained psychiatrist. Each experience has enriched his pedagogical approach. Dubbed “Mr. Creativity” and a “serial innovator” by The Economist, John Kao is a renaissance man and self-styled “innovation activist” whose creativity forms the DNA for our company.

Meet the EdgeMakers Team

Thais Alencar, VP of Product Development

Thais Alencar is an award-winning user experience designer with more than 18 years in the interactive industry. She leads EdgeMaker’s team ... Read More of designers and engineers as they conceive, develop, and validate the company’s tech and analog products. Thais has worked on several high profile projects, many of them financial and academic institutions. Her work includes the redesign of the University of Phoenix digital presence, Bank of America’s online banking system, and Charles Schwab’s billing and enrollment systems. Thais also served as the lead UX design process for companies like Nvidia, Activision, Lucas Film, Lego, and Visa.

Jenny Maxwell, VP of Business Development, Global Partnerships

Jenny Maxwell leads EdgeMakers’ global partnership efforts. She's spent more than a decade working with Pearson Education, the world's largest ... Read More educational publisher, to change the lives of students. Her passion stems from being the first in her family to attend and graduate college. Jenny feels that education is the great equalizer in disrupting poverty. She joined EdgeMakers to connect people around a critical mission: to empower young people to make a difference in this world.

Kevin Norman, Head of US Sales

Kevin Norman leads sales and marketing efforts for the United States K-12 market. In addition to managing sales teams, he is responsible for creating ... Read More partnerships with state educators, school districts, and national education associations. Prior to joining EdgeMakers, Kevin held sales management positions at Scholastic and Pivot Learning Partners. A former teacher, he is passionate about education. Kevin believes that everyone plays a role in the education of our youth and that their success depends on the quality of education we deliver to them. In addition to his work at EdgeMakers, Kevin participates on various innovation committees in schools across California.

Heather Von Fange

Director of Higher Education Partnerships- West

Paul Moorman

Director of Higher Education Partnerships - Central U.S.

Samantha Xie

Design Lead

Henry Hanley

Director of Operations

Mariana Carvalho

Marketing Director

Amy Bucher

Director of Academic Affairs

Ava Fruin

Director of Implementation and Efficacy

Ramit Bhatnagar, Head of India

Ramit is responsible for developing the India market for EdgeMakers. Ramit got a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. Ramit has ... Read More management consulting experience with McKinsey and Company. Ramit was selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2012.

Andrea Serrano, Head of Colombia

Andrea leads EdgeMakers’ Colombia team from headquarters in Bogota. Working with account executives and academic senior tutors, Andrea is bringing ... Read More EdgeMakers’ curriculum to K-12 students nationwide. She holds an undergraduate degree in marketing engineering from Universidad Piloto de Colombia and a master’s degree in marketing from Universidad de Los Andes. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.

About EdgeMakers Institute

EdgeMakers Institute offers scholarships for the full suite of EdgeMaker courses, contests, and camps. It also supports EdgeTeachers by providing funding for EdgeMakers’ comprehensive and inspiring professional development.