AltSchool: School Reimagined
Max Ventilla and his team launches in 2013 AltSchool, a new network of tech-savvy independent K-8 "micro-schools." AltSchool is born out of Ventilla's frustration with the education options available for his young daughter. During his search, Ventilla comes to the conclusion that American schools are not adequately preparing students for the future. Ventilla leverages his network and his expertise in personalization developed during his time as a serial entrepreneur and a founding team member of Google+; he sets about recruiting engineers, educators, VC investors, and families to set in motion his mission to provide high-quality personalized education that will change the way parents, students, and educators experience the school day. Ventilla focuses on three aspects: 1) using technology to reduce operational costs of the traditional school, 2) intense focus on customer service and reframing school as a service for parents, teachers, and students, and 3) using technology and data in the classroom to create a continuous improvement cycle. As Max and the AltSchool team wrap up their first year in operation, they reflect on lessons learned from their iterative process; they reflect on the best ways for the team to grow their network of schools, to demonstrate success to their investors, and to have an impact on changing education in America. The case gives students the opportunity to explore how an education technology company can build new education technology tools, and alter school structures and funding models to set the stage for a new model for the education sector.