Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Jnan Dash, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Carmen Gonzalez

News Feed Item

The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Names Zachary Wissner-Gross and John Lee Winners of Inaugural Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative Grant

- School Yourself chosen for transformative, interactive delivery of the math and science learning experience

LIVERMORE, Calif., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation is pleased to announce that Hertz Fellow, Zachary D. Wissner-Gross and his partner, John Lee are named as winners of the $25,000 Inaugural Grant of the Newman Entrepreneurial Fund. School Yourself, the company Lee and Wissner-Gross founded earlier this year, was chosen in a highly competitive process that attracted proposals from a wide range of disciplines and entrepreneurs within the Hertz Fellows Community.

"I voice my heartiest congratulations to these deserving winners – as well as to all those who developed proposals for this Grant," stated Harold Newman, Hertz Director and principal benefactor of the Fund. "Over the years, I have noted the astonishing number of companies formed by Hertz Fellows while in school or promptly upon graduating. Some Fellows have formed companies even within the interval between their undergraduate and graduate schools. I've long wanted to show my support for these new ventures. It is extremely gratifying to see how far we've come today."

Applicants received first call for proposals in early July. Chaired by Bob Borchers, Hertz Director and General Partner at Opus Capital, the selection committee of Hertz Fellows and Directors including, David Galas and Stephen Fantone, as well as Fellows John Frank and Chris Loose, reviewed all proposals. Recommendations to the Hertz Foundation Board on which projects to support took place during the October 2012 Hertz Foundation Board of Directors meeting.

"This financial boost means a great deal to us as founders of a start-up," declared Wissner-Gross. "We are passionate about our value proposition. School Yourself delivers the unique hands-on experience students now require in this age of media rich communications environments. With our books, you don't just learn about formulas – you play with them." As a former Physics 15a: "Introductory Mechanics and Relativity" Teaching Fellow at Harvard, Wissner-Gross said the project combined his love of teaching with his fascination with how games engage people.

School Yourself is recreating education from the ground up by reformatting textbooks to take advantage of the interactive features on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. The company is "reimagining" education with the world's most immersive and interactive books in math and science for middle and high school students. The Hertz Foundation mission indirectly supports the mission of School Yourself: that all students should have the solid science, technology, engineering and mathematics foundation they need for today's world. "We are dedicated to making our content as accessible as possible," said Wisner-Gross.

"The ideas and business plans submitted as part of this initiative were simply amazing," said Borchers. "School Yourself stood out as an accomplished team, attacking an important market, with innovative products."

The current educational paradigm is unsustainable, according to Wissner-Gross. The trillions of taxpayer dollars spent on education exceed the national defense budget. Local districts are spending $8 billion per year on textbooks while they shed teachers due to shrinking budgets. School Yourself is part of a general trend towards more tech-savvy education. This trend includes the growing deluge of online courses like Stanford's Coursera and the Harvard and MIT EdX. While these are similar models to School Yourself, there are almost none in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields for middle and high school students.

"The Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative Grant is a very new and different mission for the Hertz Fellowship," stated Hertz Foundation President, Jay Davis. "Yet we believe this Fund will grow as a highly fruitful venture in the years ahead."

About School Yourself
School Yourself, founded in 2012, is based in Boston and New York. The company is rethinking the way education is delivered, making books come alive with engaging interactive content in high school and college-level math and science subjects for students throughout the world. School Yourself is creating the highest-quality educational experience for anyone by reinventing education from the ground up. Students receive an educational experience that traditional textbooks or lectures cannot provide. The highest quality content takes full advantage of computers and mobile devices to deliver an interactive and personalized educational experience. This learning experience is made affordable, unlike almost every textbook-based approach on the market. School Yourself has assembled a team of the highest caliber scientists, teachers and software engineers to create an entirely new educational experience. While static textbooks cost as much as $100, this experience is available to anyone for as low as $5. School Yourself currently has four employees and has published two books: Trigonometry and Hands-On Pre-Calculus – now available in the iTunes App Store. School Yourself was also named a runner-up in the inaugural Harvard President's Challenge

About the Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund

The Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund was established by Hertz Foundation Director, Harold Newman in 2011 to support entrepreneurial efforts by Hertz Fellows. Mr. Newman has long been an active supporter of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, serving both as a Board Director and as a generous donor. The $500K gift provides initial support in the amount of $25,000 for each new venture selected from within the Hertz Fellows Community.

About the Hertz Foundation
Now celebrating half a century of granting the Nation's most generous PhD Fellowship, the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation contributes to the scientific and engineering strength of this Nation. We invest in the young applied scientists and engineers whose good character and creative spirit have the power to change the world. The Hertz Foundation provides the financial support that gives Fellows the freedom to innovate in their doctoral research. The highly competitive selection process includes a comprehensive written application, four references, and two rounds of technical interviews by recognized leaders in applied science and engineering. In addition to supporting the Fellows in their graduate education, the Foundation provides unique seminars, workshops and symposia that take place away from their campus environments. These gatherings expose the in-school Fellows to national leaders and researchers. A flourishing Hertz Fellows Community sees collaboration across disciplines, augmenting the vibrancy of innovation. More information about the Hertz Foundation can be found at www.hertzfoundation.org.

About the School Yourself Founders – High definition photographs available upon request.

Zach Wissner-Gross, Co-founder, CEO – Zach, a 2007 Hertz Fellow, completed his PhD in Physics at Harvard, where he won multiple awards, including Harvard's White Award for Excellence in Teaching, for his undergraduate teaching in Harvard Physics after receiving a near-perfect instructor rating based on student feedback. He has published papers in neuroscience, biophysics, and biotechnology, and is the recipient of the Biophysical Society's Student Research Achievement Award. Zach attended MIT, where he majored in Physics and Biology, with Chemistry and Mathematics minors, and graduating Phi Beta Kappa.

John Lee Co-founder, Chief Engineer – John is a software engineer with a background in artificial intelligence and data mining. As a Senior Software Engineer at Google, he led the data extraction team on experimental projects to mine knowledge from the open Web and push the boundaries of open-domain question answering. He studied Physics and Computer Science at MIT and completed his Masters in Computer Science and Engineering. John has published papers in machine learning and AI and his thesis won MIT-wide and international awards.

SOURCE The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...