Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program
#565656
Project Type: 
Tech Innovation Initiative
Client: 
Students and Faculty
Duration: 
Ongoing
Overview

The Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Program, is a new initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Education, created as a  collaborative effort between GSE IT and the Dean’s Office, to offer advising services to faculty and students on innovative projects in education.

Launched in 2018, the EIR Program brings one accomplished entrepreneurial leader to campus for a year at a time to provide mentorship and guidance to the GSE community on social impact, business strategy and design, and to help connect investors and other edtech executives with researchers. The EIR program also serves to convene experts in the area of educational entrepreneurship. The EIR will lead various seminars, workshops and conferences to share real-world experiences with the GSE community and create development and engagement opportunities with relevant leaders.

"Our focus is on helping our students and faculty improve the lives of all learners through the research they do and the training programs they conduct," says Geoff Cox, senior associate dean at the GSE. "With this program, we can help bridge what happens here with what's happening outside of academia. We can help our scholars bring their work, in innovative ways, to a wider audience."

2020 Entrepreneur-in-Residence: Christopher Thomas

Christopher J. Thomas, PhD ’96, has spent the past 25 years traveling to some of the poorest countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, working to improve educational systems from preschool to higher ed. He volunteered in West Africa with the Peace Corps after college, then went back to graduate school before taking a job with the World Bank, where he’s worked ever since.

He’s overseen a multitude of education and social welfare programs over the years. In Pakistan he supported an initiative that dramatically expanded girls’ access to schooling, more than doubling enrollment and completion in just six years. In Vietnam, he helped the government establish school quality standards and new teacher preparation programs after the first-ever national math and reading assessment revealed stark discrepancies between rural and urban students.

More recently, he’s become interested in programs to support disability inclusion in developing countries. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the United Nations in 2006, is opening up dialogue on policy in ministries of education around the world, he says. “It’s an exciting time, and an opportunity to help school systems—and ultimately societies—become more inclusive.”

As the 2020 social entrepreneur in residence at the GSE, he is helping to demystify the players and possibilities in global education work. “It can be a bit bewildering. It’s hard to understand the ecosystem and find your place in it,” he says. “And when you’re in it, there are a lot of competing pressures on you.” His advice to students starting out? “Point yourself in a general direction and start doing things you care about. That’s where you’re likely to succeed.”

2018 Entrepreneur-in-Residence: Sergio Monsalve

Monsalve, a venture partner at Norwest Venture Partners in Palo Alto, has been a successful founder/entrepreneur, technology product manager and operator at companies including eBay, Paypal and various other startups.

He is actively involved as an investor and/or board member in several relevant edtech and “future of work” companies, including Udemy, the leading global online lifelong learning and teaching marketplace with over 19 million students, 20,000 instructors and 96 million course enrollments, Kahoot, a K-12 learning application with over 50 million active users in more than 180 countries, and Adaptive Insights, a financial planning software solution with over 3,500 clients focused on the future of work.

Monsalve has also been an active entrepreneurship mentor at Stanford’s School of Engineering for over five years and is a repeat member of the Stanford Class of 1993 Reunion Committee this year. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Harvey Mudd College, a leading undergraduate College for computer science, engineering, and science.

Sergio Monsalve
Sergio Monsalve leads the new Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, advising faculty and students on innovative projects in education.
Outcome
Photo of Sergio teaching the course

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Education Technology Course
The course offers a framework and skills necessary to successfully assess new educational technology products, their viability in respective markets, and their value to clients or customers.
Learn more about EDUC 295

Speaker Series
Guest speaker executives and entrepreneurs from successful edtech startups are invited to speak and answer questions about their inventions. 

Photo of a guy with his phone

One-on-One Consultations
One-one-One consultations help the GSE community foster new ideas and launch new projects with a focus on social impact and innovations in edtech and the future of work.