After completing Teach For America (TFA) in Arizona, Zak Ringelstein ’08CC and Leah Schrader ’07BC taught at an international school in Tanzania. Their classrooms there were incredibly diverse and they wished to connect with their students back in Phoenix. After surveying the global collaboration landscape, they realized that there were no great tools to do so. With a deep desire and passion to connect students around the world, Zak and Leah founded UClass (formerly known as United Classrooms). The company was launched in August 2012 after a successful crowdfunding campaign and with the endorsement of Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University professor, and Wendy Kopp, CEO and founder of Teach For America.
In March 2013, UClass was accepted into the mission-aligned accelerator Hub Ventures, based in San Francisco. The company relocated and Chris Yim ’10CC and Varun Gulati ’10SEAS joined the team. Through the accelerator, the product evolved and grew into a content platform for teachers to share and find lessons and for students to collaborate around these lessons with students across the world. UClass today is a global lesson exchange that saves teachers countless hours finding and creating high-quality Common Core aligned lessons. Currently, the company is nearing the end of its seed round, they hired its first employee and they are aggressively growing its sales force to enter schools and new geographic regions.
The UClass mission is to connect the minds and resources of teachers and students around the world to ensure that students have access to a high quality education. The team is composed of three former TFA alumni, three former East Campus roommates and 1 former Googler.
Zak Ringelstein is the CEO; Chris Yim is the COO; Varun Gulati is the CTO and Leah Schrader is the Community Manager.