Twin Cities Startup Week 2021 Twin Cities Startup Week 2021
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Early EdTech Founders Panel

Teresa Marchek
Be the Match operated by National Marrow Donor Program, Senior Director of Provider Marketing

Strategist with over 20 years of experience driving growth and new product development within industries as varied as healthcare & digital health, e-learning & higher education, banking & payment technologies.

Jessica Thompson
Designing for Equity, LLC, Founder & CEO

Experiencing, observing, and listening to students’ struggles with oppressive educational institutions has driven me to commit my professional, academic, and personal life to being an agent of change within the field of higher education. Drawing from my multidisciplinary background in Higher Education, Social Work, and Youth Studies, I unify theories and concepts from these disciplines to examine, explore, and engage with issues impacting the success of undergraduate students. My multidisciplinary approach to student development and engagement provides me a distinctive vantage point that positions me to be an active learner, ally, accomplice, advocate, and cultural navigator. I strive to reflect my commitment to being a catalyst for change within higher education and ending educational inequity by bringing the voices of underserved student populations to the forefront so they are not forgotten.

Josh Thelemann
Proserva, Founder & CEO

Josh Thelemann is the owner and Founder of Proserva. Josh is a former elementary school educator who started his first nonprofit in college. That nonprofit and its affiliate have since gone on to allocate just under $1million dollars in programming and resources to schools whose student population is 85% or more on free and reduced lunch. He is also the co-founder of New Leaders Council - Twin Cities, a cross-sector leadership institute with over 40 chapters across the county and 10,000+ alumni and fellows. Josh also co-founded an ed-tech startup that scaled to support schools and districts serving over 500,000 students. Most recently, Josh was the Founding/Interim Director of Black Men Teach - a local nonprofit focused on increasing the number of Black, male elementary school teachers.

Chris Nelson
Instructiv, GBC, CPO, VP Product and Founder

Chris has been an entrepreneur, investor, CIO, CTO, strategist, and technologist during his career. He's now honored to help educators, administrators, parents, and advocates as the founder of Instructiv, GBC. Instructiv is building a set of SaaS-based technologies that improve the connection between schools, special educators, and the parents of and advocates for exceptional children. As a supporter of socially conscious ventures, he is proud to have steered Instructiv to B-Corp status.
He has been blessed to have worked for some great companies alongside many exceptional people. It’s a rare thing today to enjoy a fulfilling and engaging job and make a real impact every day in building the next world that his children and everyone else's will live in.   He is grateful for that opportunity.
In his personal life, he indicates he is an ambivert who loves spending time with his wife and kids, distance running, mountain biking, mixed martial arts, and spending every minute he can outdoors, on a boat, or at our cabin with family.

Tuning in virtually? Watch live on Hopin on the Stage here.

Panel of founders of education startups will explore topics such as: How they identified and refined the education problem they are trying to solve? What progress have they made? What have been their biggest challenges so far? What advice do they have for other founders?

Attend this event in person or participate from the comfort of your home or office through Hopin.


There is a large paid parking lot right next to the T3 building (323 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401).