Kidaptive is an innovative media and technology company dedicated to smart storytelling on iPads and a curriculum developed in collaboration with top university researchers to create entertaining and adaptive content that helps children learn.
Our technology will use embedded assessments to customize learning, support metacognitive development, and provide parents with actionable intelligence and useful tips about how to further support their child's progress and interests.
Our platform will ultimately expand to address the entire "early learning" market (ages 3-11), both in and out of school. We will entertain and educate these children with a product pipeline that will support them and their parents (and eventually teachers) through the children's entire early-learning trajectory.
Our interdisciplinary team includes experts in learning sciences, animation, writing, game design, film and television production, music, and software development. (We even have a few black belts in Taekwondo.)
P.J. has two daughters
Since 2003 P.J. Gunsagar served as Co-Founder and President of Prana Studios, a leading 3D animation and visual effects studio with approximately 1,000 employees based between Los Angeles and Mumbai, India. Prana produces award-winning content, animation and visual effects for the film, television, and themed entertainment industries. P.J. managed the Company's 3D animation studio in India and supported penetration of Prana's products/services globally.
Before starting Prana, P.J. worked at Intel Capital advising software and services companies within Intel's Asia portfolio. He also Co-Founded and led the business development efforts at Ettache.com in San Francisco, which was acquired by Adhesion Technologies in 2001. He has also worked at UBS Warburg as a mergers and acquisitions Investment Banker focused on the technology sector.
P.J. has earned bachelors degrees in Economics, Business and Political Science from UCLA and a Law Degree from Stanford University.
Dylan has two sons
Dylan is a learning scientist with a background in cognitive science, philosophy, and statistics. He has run many experimental studies, presented at numerous conferences, and written multiple publications on the topic of game-based learning.
Dylan started out as a software developer at Oracle, but after a few years he returned to graduate school at Stanford, where he worked on both game-based learning and next-generation assessment as a MacArthur Emerging Scholar in Digital Media and Learning. Dylan has also been a Gordon Commission Science and Technology Fellow, a Stanford Graduate Fellow in Science and Engineering, a Gerald J. Lieberman Fellow, a FrameWorks Fellow, and a United States Presidential Scholar.
Dylan has earned a bachelor's degree in Symbolic Systems, a master's in Philosophy and a master's in Statistics, and a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Technology Design (in the program for Developmental and Psychological Sciences), all from Stanford University.
Dan has two daughters
After graduating from CSUN with a B.A. in English, Dan spent several years writing and editing comic books for Malibu and Marvel Comics. Although he enjoyed writing stories about heroes and villains battling each other with the fate of the Earth in the balance, he sought deeper meaning in his own life and thus found his way into the world of television where he has written for shows as diverse as "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Rugrats." In addition to being head writer on Nickelodeon's "Fresh Beat Band," Dan won an Emmy for his work on PBS' "WordWorld" and was recently nominated as "Best Writer" for his graphic novel biography of Leonardo Da Vinci for Campfire publishing.
In addition to head writing over 500 episodes of animated TV, Dan has developed shows as diverse as "The DaVincibles", "Teenage Fairy Tale Dropouts", "Pet Alien", "Leonardo" and "SuperNormal" for international broadcast. With an eye on the global market, Dan has guided multiple properties from concept to broadcast in worldwide territories.
Craig Selmeier is an avid game developer with a background in both software and audio engineering. He has a passion for any game that leaves a lasting impression on the player, inspiring and captivating them for years to come.
Prior to joining Kidaptive, Craig worked on small and large scale games for the mass market. At Trion Worlds, he worked to implement dialogue and effects into the hit MMORPG, Rift. He also released the social/mobile gaming title Kymera Keeper with Santa Clara-based game developer Red Seraphim. Craig has also been involved in a number of recording and engineering projects, and has a passion for crafting high-end sample libraries and digital instruments. Craig has a B.S. in Digital Audio Technology from Cogswell College.
In his spare time he enjoys developing interesting apps, and spending time with family. He looks forward to being the parent of avid learners.
David has a son and daughter
David is a learning scientist with a background in science education, video game design, and assessment. His Ph.D. research focused on developing and testing innovative performance-based assessment models for measuring complex thinking and designing simulated professional practicum experiences for young people. Prior to joining Kidaptive, David was a research scientist with the Epistemic Games research lab and the Games, Learning and Society center, both at the University of Wisconsin.
David also has a bachelor's degree in Biology from Virginia Tech, and studied English Literature at North Carolina State University.
Fabrice has a son
Fabrice has more than 20 years of experience in software engineering and consulting working with the complete lexicon of software technologies. His heart, however, is in games and mobile software, and he has a full catalog of games and mobile applications to his name on iOS, BREW, J2ME and many other platforms. Renowned for his resourcefulness, Fabrice loves nothing more than being told that something cannot be implemented, and then going away for a couple of hours and doing it.
Greg has a daughter
Greg has been designing children's learning games for over 16 years and has continued his passion for creating art since the age of 5. Before graduating with a degree in Illustration from the Academy of Art University in SF, he started working for Scientific Learning developing fun characters, animations, illustrations, sound effects, character voices, and original music as well as the neuroscience based games they were created for. Greg eventually moved from art production to leading art production and directing animators for games in the educational app market while keeping his roots firmly planted in the art world.
Greg has a daughter
Greg's experience is chiefly in designing and coding web based enterprise applications which aggregate large and diverse data sets into useful and usable user interfaces. Over the last decade and a half, Greg has worked on a diverse set of projects ranging from automated electronic medical claim submission to solar panel array data collection and reporting. Most recently, he worked as lead developer for RealNetwork's GameHouse.com, a large scale Casual Game distribution platform and subscription service.
After earning degrees in Anthropology and Philosophy from the University of Montana, Greg spent the next decade and change, living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico learning the 'whys and hows' of software development on the job. He and his family are now happily nestled under the redwoods in the mountains above Santa Cruz, CA.
Jessica is a learning scientist with expertise in elementary mathematics thinking and learning, neuroimaging, and curriculum design. Her Ph.D. research addressed questions ranging from how the brain and math knowledge are related, to how games can be used to teach negative numbers to children. Before attending graduate school, Jessica worked in urban school reform and in promoting physical activity for underserved youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Stanford University.
Making scribbles since he could hold a pencil, Keith Conroy went on to hone his chosen vocation in such establishments as the H.S of Art and Design, The Art Students League and The School of Visual Arts.
He made a move into animation, thanks to his early days as an in-house artist at Malibu Comics. After getting bitten by the animation bug, he worked on some Emmy-winning shows, such as Klasky-Csupo's Rugrats and Cartoon Pizza/ Disney's STANLEY. He has worked on numerous productions, as both a Story Artist and Lead Designer. He also enjoyed a long run as the Design Supervisor on the 4kids TMNT animated series.
He hopes to share great storytelling, color, and emotion with Kidaptive and Leo's Pad, and he looks forward to seeing what they can accomplish together.
Nick is a software engineer with 16 years of development experience. He is curious, enjoys imaginative stories, and enjoys interacting with playful people.
He has spent a dozen years working at start-ups building mobile web browsers, mapping tools, live multimedia applications, games, and educational applications.
Nick earned his computer science degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Tina's work is rooted in process, exploratory game design, and evaluating user experience. Tina completed her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in computer science, but her research spans computer graphics, visual perception, and spatial thinking. These areas allowed Tina to study individual differences in spatial cognition, and gain a better understanding of how our differences affect our experiences with 3D computer games and applications. After graduate school, Tina worked as a designer and user experience researcher for Will Wright, creator of SimCity and The Sims.
Raj has a son and a daughter
Raj has held product management roles at Storm8, Zynga (Farmville), Intel (tablets) and Microsoft.
At Intel, Raj product managed tablets with a stint at Intel Capital, investing in clean tech and semiconductor manufacturing. Before Intel, Raj led business development for Zonbu, a thin client computing startup. Earlier, he held finance and product management roles at Microsoft, spanning Business Applications, Windows, and Emerging Market Incubations.
Raj started out in technology investment banking at Robertson Stephens. He has consulted for nComputing (virtualization) and ACK-Media (Indian children's media) and has also held technical positions with Boeing, DuPont Merck, and Tata Motors. Passionate about the history of technology, Raj also serves on the NextGen Board at the Computer History Museum.
Raj graduated from the Management and Technology Program at the University of Pennsylvania with Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics (Wharton) and a minor in South Asia Regional Studies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
A strong proponent of changing the world through play, Kees has always had a vested interest in the power of games. He loves assimilating knowledge and creating fun and engaging ways to share information. During his last year as an undergraduate, he devoted his thesis work to combining art and interactive media to teach middle-school students basic chemistry.
His design work focuses on user-role immersion, utilizing empathy and diligence to create experiences that users can relate to. While in school, he received international recognition for multiple projects focused on user-centered design, including most recently a visual education system for third-world micro-financing.
In addition to good design, Kees enjoys playing tactical console games and competitive table tennis, as well as studying chess theory. When possible, he also loves to give back to the community through tutoring and volunteer work.
Kees earned his bachelor's degree in Industrial Design from the School of Architecture at Virginia Tech.
Becky loves building things that promote creativity and believes that education technology should be cultivating a generation of passionate learners. She has a background in music education, curriculum development, and design thinking, and has done extensive research on the cognitive benefits of multimedia storytelling.
Prior to working at Kidaptive, Becky was a K-6 music teacher and an education technology consultant. In addition to her teaching experience, she designed an online literacy initiative for middle school students that promotes 21st-century skill development and serves on the marketing team for the Harvard Arts in Education alumni organization. She has worked for the American Repertory Theater, the Cambridge Public Schools, Launchpad Toys, and Fablevision.
Becky has a bachelor's degree in music education from Northwestern University and a master's degree in education from Harvard University.
Our Advisory Board brings deep expertise in cognitive science, educational assessment, product management, operations, and marketing.
Professor Schwartz studies student understanding and representation and the ways that technology can facilitate learning. He works at the intersection of cognitive science, computer science, and education, examining cognition and instruction in individual, cross-cultural, and technological settings. A theme throughout Professor Schwartz's research is how people's facility for spatial thinking can inform and influence processes of learning, instruction, assessment and problem solving. He finds that new media make it possible to exploit spatial representations and activities in fundamentally new ways, offering an exciting complement to the verbal approaches that dominate educational research and practice. Professor Schwartz earned his Ph.D. in Human Cognition and Learning from Columbia University and has been teaching at Stanford since 2000.
Professor Haertel is an expert in the area of educational testing and assessment. His research and teaching focus on psychometrics and educational policy, especially test-based accountability and related policy uses of test data. His recent work has examined standard setting methods, limitations of value-added models for teacher and school accountability, impacts of testing on curriculum, students, and educational policy, test reliability, and generalizability theory. Professor Haertel earned his Ph.D. in Measurement, Evaluation and Statistical Analysis at the University of Chicago and has been teaching at Stanford since 1980.
Mike Cassidy is a Director of Product Management at Google. He is currently working on a confidential project at GoogleX. Prior to joining Google, Mike was the Co-Founder and CEO of four start-ups: Ruba, Xfire, Direct Hit, and Stylus Innovation. Ruba helped travelers share their favorite places and was acquired by Google. Xfire helps gamers play online with their friends and was acquired by MTV for $110 million. Direct Hit was a revolutionary search engine whose customers included MSN, Lycos, AOL, etc. and was acquired by Ask Jeeves for $500 million. Stylus Innovation's flagship product was computer telephony software Visual Voice. Artisoft acquired Stylus for $13M. Mike has a BS/MS in Aerospace Engineering from MIT. He graduated from Harvard Business School. He studied jazz piano at Berklee College of Music. He has been an advisor to From the Top, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Endeavor.org, and numerous startup companies. He was selected for the DEMO Lifetime Achievement Award, nominated for a Webby award, and named a Forbes E-gang Trendsetter. His startup products have won PC Magazine's Top 100 Websites, Computer Telephony Product of the Year, CNET Editor's Choice, PC Magazine's Editor's Choice, and many other awards.
Ann Crady Weiss was most recently the SVP of Consumer Experience for BabyCenter, LLC. In this role, Ann oversaw BabyCenter's product management, editorial and community teams. Ann's team was focused on delivering a top-quality experience to BabyCenter's audience of 80% of all new and expectant moms in the US.
Prior to BabyCenter, Ann was the CEO and founder of Maya's Mom, a leading social networking site for parents, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. Prior to Maya's Mom, Ann served as director of business development and strategic initiatives for Yahoo! Autos. Ann also worked as the vice president of strategic development at 1stUp, where she was integral to the company's success as the second largest ISP at that time. Ann began her career as a corporate securities attorney with Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, working with a host of emerging-growth companies.
She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and received her JD from Georgetown University, where she graduated cum laude.