February 16, 2022

Teachers had an enormous influence on the trajectory of Ulupreneur Chris White’s life. He believes his life would have turned out very differently without the good fortune of wonderfully empathetic and skilled teachers who walked with him through his formative years. They became his surrogate parents, providing him with guidance, compassion, hope, and self-confidence.

While Chris saw some of the inadequacies of online education during the pandemic, his own family experienced first-hand how the ease and convenience of online learning can actually sharpen one’s attention on the course material—provided that the courses are well-designed (e.g., readily facilitating peer discussion and engagement) and the students are adequately supported.

There are three main legs to the stool that makes up a high-school education. Chris sees teachers looking for ways to continue doing what they love: impacting children’s lives and inspiring them. Parents struggle with how best to educate their children and strive to give them as many opportunities as possible to have a bright future, knowing that the best options may exist outside of their local schools. And children just want engaging and relevant classes, without sacrificing social bonds to get them.

Chris and his co-founders Eric Westendorf and Jamie Forrest—also fathers—began exploring the best way to design courses for online engagement, including ways that software might support small group discussions, and about building a company designed for inclusion. They launched Coursello in Summer 2021.

For Chris, the company is a path to change the direction of public education for the better. He believes the best way to do that is to improve the education experience of all stakeholders—teachers, parents, and children.

Bio

Chris White is Co-Founder and CFO of Coursello, which provides schools and districts with high-quality online courses that combine the flexibility of asynchronous learning (learning that can happen at any time) with the interactivity of synchronous, small-group learning (learning that happens live at a scheduled time via videoconference). Before Coursello, Chris served as a finance, strategy, and operations consultant at Macropoint Advisors, where he successfully guided start-up and scale-up companies across various industries. Prior to that, Chris held finance leadership positions at eBay, including CFO of Kijiji, one of the top-10 websites in Canada, as well as Group Director of FP&A and Business Analytics of the company’s global portfolio of classifieds businesses. Chris holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Harvard.

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About the Author: Rusty Dornin

Rusty Dornin is the director of marketing and communications for Ulu Ventures. An award-winning radio and television journalist, she was a CNN correspondent for nearly 18 years covering domestic and world news ranging from war to natural disasters and tales of crime and politics