Founders Parade

Remind 101

Remind 101 is a tool to help teachers text message students and parents.   Students and parents sign up through the Remind 101 website and use a free app for IOS or Android. Use of the service is unlimited and does not contain any advertising. Much of the success of the startup is attributed to the simplicity of the service, the fact that it saves teachers time, and its ability to maintain privacy. Communication using this tool is only in one direction; it is designed to send reminders only, not to engage in dialogue with students or parents, and private numbers are kept hidden. The company currently has 25 employees, an advisory board of 75 teachers. It also has a number of investors and sponsors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who have helped a number of startups find success, including Amazon, Electronic Arts and Twitter.

Co-Founder Brett Kopf got the idea while trying to achieve his undergraduate degree. Dyslexia and ADD made staying organized particularly difficult for Brett.  Co-Founder and brother David Kopf  helped come up with the solution in the form of easy-to-use reminders, tailored for smart phone technology. Both of the Kopf brothers have key skills and the motivation needed to be successful entrepreneurs. Brett’s background is in social media; he owned Social Bonfire and  helped develop social media engagement strategies for the Career Services Network at Michigan State University. David’s background as a software and systems engineer with experience at IBM has surely been helpful, but he also attributes the startup’s success to their networking and choosing a good team.  In an interview, Brett expressed the importance of  being thorough when networking and interviewing; finding the right people is key.  The Remind 101 team is comprised of a number of engineers and programmers who have worked for large and successful companies like Microsoft and Adobe. The team includes several marketers and managers, some of whom have their own entrepreneurial experiences. Even though Remind 101 has had success fundraising and claims to have sent over 100 Million messages, it is unclear what direction Brett and David Kopf intend to take the free service.

The story of Brett and David Kopf highlights motivation as a key component in being a successful entrepreneur. In this case, having a personal connection to the problem one’s venture intends to solve,  has achieved the type of motivation necessary to not only start the venture, but to persevere through the highs and lows in doing so.


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