Shalom Life | December 22, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Promising Startup Panorama Education Gets Big Bucks, Names

Shalom Life speaks to Aaron Feuer on his revolutionary education software and on receiving investments from Mark Zuckerberg and Ashton Kutcher

By: Emily Brewes

Published: October 28th, 2013 in Business » World

Tech luminaries Mark Zuckerberg (who was recently listed as the highest-paid CEO of 2012) and Ashton Kutcher have provided vital seed funding to a startup that might just revolutionize education as we know it.

Imagine a software system that allows for constant, comparatively instantaneous, performance feedback for an entire school, an entire school district, or an entire education system.

That's what Panorama Education is cooking up in their Cambridge, Mass. headquarters. Yale graduate Aaron Feuer, along with classmates Xan Tanner and David Carel, have developed a system "which helps K-12 schools improve through data analysis and feedback surveys of teachers, parents and students," and they're keen to spread it around.

Last week, Panorama Education announced that $4 million in VC seed funding had been obtained from several sources, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Startup: Education, and Ashton Kutcher's A-Grade Investments.

Already used in more than 4,000 schools in 26 states, the recent infusion of funds is set to expand the program itself, as well as the company.

“Priscilla [Zuckerberg's wife] and I are excited to support Panorama Education and its mission,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Their company is an exciting example of the way technology can help teachers, parents and students make their voices heard.”

"Over the next eighteen months, we'll be expanding our team significantly," Feuer, CEO of Panorama Education, told Shalom Life. "We're adding ten engineers and ten outreach directors who work with our schools. We're beginning to work internationally and to accept our first clients outside the U.S."

The stamp of approval from some of the biggest names in tech helps to draw attention to a development that not only improves communication between everyone involved in education; it promises significant change in how the system responds to and implements change.

Feuer got involved in education reform at an early age. When he discovered that only about half the students in his freshman class graduated from the LA public high school he attended, he took it as a call to action. After his election to the presidency of the California Association of Student Councils, he helped pass a state law that encouraged students to give feedback to their teachers.

A major step forward that, as of two years ago, remained unenforced.

Panorama Education is intended to simplify and streamline the process of acquiring and analysing feedback, not only from students, but from those involved at every level of the education process. The hope is to ensure that feedback is obtained and reviewed on a regular basis so that effective change can happen in a timely manner.

"In the long term, we're also looking at our products and the problems are schools are using them to solve (such as stopping bullying, helping teachers grow, and engaging parents), and we're stepping back to consider other ways we can help our clients solve those problems," Feuer added.

Construction of First Coca-Cola Factory in Gaza Begins Construction of First Coca-Cola Factory in Gaza Begins TrendingHarvard President Not Sold on BDS Harvard President Not Sold on BDS TrendingStartup Club: Yo Sox Startup Club: Yo Sox Trending
 

Haaretz Journalist Arrested for 'Spitting' at IDF Soldiers

December 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Haaretz Journalist Arrested for 'Spitting' at IDF Soldiers

Gideon Levy, the popular Israeli columnist for the center-left publication, allegedly also cursed at soldiers at a Palestinian checkpoint

Read More

2014 A Sad Story for Gal Mekel as Pelicans Release Him

December 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
2014 A Sad Story for Gal Mekel as Pelicans Release Him

The Israeli point guard, who had only signed with the New Orleans squad two weeks ago, averaged 1.5 points and 3.3 assists in four games

Read More

Top 50 Hottest Jewish Women of 2014 (20-11)

December 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Top 50 Hottest Jewish Women of 2014 (20-11)

Join Shalom Life in celebrating the 50 most talented, intelligent, funny, and beautiful Jewish women of the year.

Read More

Israeli Santa Claus Hands Out Free Trees in Jerusalem [VIDEO]

December 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israeli Santa Claus Hands Out Free Trees in Jerusalem [VIDEO]

Jerusalem's Christian residents got a cheerful surprise Monday

Read More

Tel Aviv Sets World Record For Dreidel-Spinning

December 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Tel Aviv Sets World Record For Dreidel-Spinning

754 Israelis were able to spin their dreidels simultaneously for at least ten seconds

Read More

Construction of First Coca-Cola Factory in Gaza Begins

December 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Construction of First Coca-Cola Factory in Gaza Begins

The move could eventually lead to thousands of new jobs for Palestinian workers

Read More

REVIEW: 'Jersey Boys' Brings Cheer to Toronto For the Holiday Season

December 22, 2014 | By Annie Constantinescu
REVIEW: 'Jersey Boys' Brings Cheer to Toronto For the Holiday Season

Forget Rudolph, Frosty or Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights. Let Mirvish get The Four Season stuck in your head this holiday season.

Read More

Op-Ed: 'Eviction Notice' for Israel on US campuses

December 22, 2014 | By Peretz Lavie
Op-Ed: 'Eviction Notice' for Israel on US campuses

What began several years ago as a local initiative in a few universities has turned into a poisonous, organized and well-funded campaign with clear goals - isolating and boycotting Israel in general and the Israeli academia in particular

Read More

More Headlines