Startup Directory


While teaching elementary school in Brooklyn, Tess Brustein ‘09BC, found it was incredibly difficult to become an effective teacher for her students. She partnered with friend and former classmate, Michael Gerson ‘09SEAS, to found SmarterCookie.

SmarterCookie enables teachers to take control of their own professional development. It provides an easy video coaching and sharing platform for professional development, enabling teachers to receive personalized and frequent support from their school leaders.

“At my school, everyone is so busy teaching, and there is little time to watch one another. SmarterCookie allows me to receive more feedback than I would get otherwise.” Rebecca Y., New York

SmarterCookie was launched in fall 2012 while participating in ImagineK12, an education technology incubator in Silicon Valley. A year after launching, SmarterCookie continues to help thousands of teachers across the country collaborate, share best practices, and improve their craft. Following a freemium business model, SmarterCookie provides a free video sharing service to teachers, while selling paid subscriptions for a private video professional development platform to schools, organizations, districts, and universities.

Before founding SmarterCookie, Tess Brustein taught elementary school as a Teach for America corps member. She received her M.Ed. from Relay Graduate School of Education. While at Barnard, she directed Peace by P.E.A.C.E., a volunteer organization teaching peaceful conflict resolution to students in Columbia’s surrounding communities.

Mike Gerson is a former technology and strategy consultant at Accenture where he managed multi-million dollar software development projects. During college, he ran a successful technology consulting business.