Michael Chasen, Innovator and Founder of Blackboard Inc.

Michael Chasen is the president and chief executive officer for Blackboard Inc.  He and Matthew Pittinsky founded Blackboard in 1997. According to Blackboard Inc., “his expertise managing fast growth Internet software companies coupled with a passion to enhance education through technology has been critical to Blackboard’s success.” Chasen is recognized as an innovator. Among his many awards and acknowledgements, Chasen was honoured by the The Kilby Awards Foundation as a young Innovator “for having recognized and delivered on the demand for a high-quality, easy-to-use, and cost-effective online educational software platform” http://www.blackboard.com/About-Bb/Who-We-Are/Leadership/Michael-Chasen.aspx.

With a value proposition that focused on e-learning educational technology, Blackboard Inc. has expanded both customer base and service breadth to become a multibillion dollar company that provides a service to millions of people. Blackboard Inc. offers an array of learning and educational management services through a variety of online platforms. Through strategic mergers and acquisitions the company has grown from a one product company to an integrated multiplatform education enterprise software provider. Its platforms are Blackboard: Learn, Transact, Engage, Connect, Mobile, Collaborate, and Analytics.  Much of this growth is attributed to Michael Chasen and his team.

Michael Chasen’s profile reveals a man who garnered the necessary skills and experience to create Blackboard and champion its vision; as well as a man who harnesses key leaders to guide the ship. His education and training includes an MBA from Georgetown University and an undergraduate degree in computer science from American University. Prior to founding Blackboard, Chasen worked at KPMG as a part of the company’s Higher Education Practice. “He worked closely with several universities and colleges to implement wide-ranging software systems and also managed high-profile online development projects within the U.S. Department of Education” http://www.blackboard.com/About-Bb/Who-We-Are/Leadership/Michael-Chasen.aspx. While the degrees armed him with the necessary foundations in business and computer science to establish Blackboard, I think the experience garnered at KPMG was crucial to his understanding of the education market, its players and the pain points that existed. He was able to leverage into the development solutions via of Blackboard’s various platforms.

Blackboard’s leadership team comprises a diverse skill set suitable for the platforms that they lead or for their roles they have. Blackboard’s hiring practices reflect a focus on leaders with proven track records honed through many years of experience in their fields. The team’s wealth of experience and expertise build and enhance the company’s credibility, help to cement its place in the market and expands Blackboard’s connections and network. See each member’s profile at http://www.blackboard.com/About-Bb/Who-We-Are/Leadership.aspx.

Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp