Joanna Smith – Founder and CEO of AllHere

About AllHere

AllHere’s mission is to strengthen student outcomes, attendance and boost effectiveness by offering easy-to-use, technology-powered, evidence-based education support services. AllHere supports families and students on the path to and through school by connecting them to education support services. 

Through the use of their propriety solution and Chatbot engine, the AllHere Virtual Advisor (AVA) fosters student success by using artificial intelligence powered mobile messaging. AVA connects the right student with the right support at the right time and actively sends proactive communications based on a knowledge pool that provides automatic responses 24/7. AVA ensures that each school district can communicate consistent, accurate information to families and students. Allhere centers their support services around all-in-one systems that are easy to use, reducing staff time so they are able to focus on the highest-impact education and engagement activities.

Founder Background

AllHere was founded by Joanna Smith, a former district attendance and family engagement coordinator. Her experience revealed the frustrations when trying to connect students with the right support at the right time along with overwhelming administrative burdens and communication obstacles that divert the teacher’s attention from effective interactions.

Although there were policies in place to boost participation, attendance, persistence, and graduation, Joanna discovered there were few tools for proactive, targeted intervention for problems like chronic absenteeism and that the tools that did exist were often time-intensive for teachers and staff. Research has found that absence is a leading cause of dropping out of school. To address this, Joanna and a team of experts spent two years gathering research and collaborating with educators in the Boston Public School system and charter schools in order to build an attendance intervention support system approved by teachers.

Features of Allhere

  • Personalized Outreach for Students and Families
  • Intelligent, evidence-based mobile messaging powered by AI to support enrollment and attendance.
  • Interactive Nudges, On-Demand Assistance, 24/7 Availability, Conversational AI, Proactive Outreach


Attendance has always been a problem for many teachers, especially in higher education where students have greater autonomy to decide whether they want to attend class. As a educator, I’m always trying to create new ways to maintain my student’s interest while motivating them to attend class. It’s not an easy task and one that requires lots of communication, mutual understanding and interaction.

Allhere’s AI and Chatbot approach has captured my attention as personally, I believe AI will play a massive role in how education is shaped and delivered in the future. Education is all about forming connections and providing students with the right support, Allhere focuses on the intrinsic elements of education (attendance) instead of extrinsic values such as boosting grades or teaching students how to tackle particular subjects. What I appreciate about this approach is it goes deeper into the root cause of the problem and attempts to understand and intervene the issue of low attendance rates and general disinterest in school. If that problem isn’t solved, it’s pointless to apply other forms of educational technology as students needs to genuinely enjoy learning in order for everyone to get the most out of their educational experience. 

Joanna’s sense of determination and drive is also respectable as for most entrepreneurs, failure doesn’t mean the end of your venture. Having the vision to succeed where you failed is important and teaches us a great lesson that, having passion and consistency for your venture is one of the keys to success in building up our own ideas and businesses. 

Further Reading

( Average Rating: 5 )

3 responses to “Joanna Smith – Founder and CEO of AllHere”

  1. alexis reeves

    I can appreciate how Joanna saw a problem, took the time to conduct the research and then took that research/evidence to back her idea for an innovative solution to help with absenteeism and preventing school dropouts. I think a lot of people may have ideas or be inventors so to speak but actually dedicating your time to research that can back these ideas and then implement them takes passion, drive and patience as Joanna exhibited. Her dedication to helping address a problem affecting a lot of students and families is inspirational and can be seen as motivating to budding entrepreneurs in the education industry.

    ( 1 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  2. John Wu

    Indeed, it also reminds us that it’s important to research your market before attempting to start a venture. Having accurate data and a good picture of your target audience is a large contributor to success and drives home the point that lots of preparation work goes into the creation and establishment of each venture.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  3. mstr

    I found this Founder’s idea to be impactful because it made my think of something new. I had not given much consideration to AI in attendance prior to this post. I also appreciated how Joanna was able to find a solution to a problem she had a lot of first hand experience with. The conversation and dialogue capabilities that the tool claims to provide seem impressive. Another reason I selected this entrepreneur is that I feel that the topic is important. Accessible supports for students in education should be a priority for educators and I do think the 24 hour service that AI chatbots provide is needed. Personally I’ve noticed many of my students working on their courses in the wee hours of the morning, and messaging me at that time, I of course am unable to respond until the next morning. This post inspired me to further research this product as I think it could be personally helpful.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )

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