Launch Pad: Jeremy Rogoff, Founder of KickUp

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Which is harder, being an algebra teacher or a startup CEO?

According to Jeremy Rogoff—who has done both—algebra teacher is harder. No contest.

Jeremy is the Founder and CEO of KickUp, which is, in his words, “focused on helping schools and K12 districts understand and improve the impact of their professional learning for teachers.” They use surveys and analytics to help schools understand which of the professional learning the teachers are doing are actually being useful—helping to make the teachers better teachers, and improving student outcomes.

Jeremy didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. He was ready to be an educator, and he taught, first with Teach for America, teaching algebra and Spanish in the Mississippi Delta, then at a charter school in Washington DC. But he saw ways to help teachers, and after he left the classroom, he gave himself three months “to try to put something together, and get some people to care about the idea, and it has continued to progress ever since.”

That’s not to say there haven’t been difficulties. Listen to Karl and Jeremy talk about a major pivot, and the important insight that “you have to figure out a) what problem you’re solving, and b) does that problem fall into the ‘urgent and important’ category.”