Founders Parade

David Blake, Founder and CEO, Degreed

David Blake holding a sign that says "Education id broken someone should fix it"

David Blake. Used under Canada’s Fair Dealing Guidelines.

David Blake is the founder of Degreed, a platform that allows students to earn and digitally display accreditation. He was the founding product manager at Zinch, a social networking site geared specifically to college student, which was acquired by Chegg. He is also a Stanford dSchool EdTech Entrepreneur.He has a Bachelors degree in Economics from BYU. Degreed provides a platform for learners to publicly track their academic, professional and lifelong learning.

Degreed is unique from other badge platforms because it allows users to display badges, but also degrees from institutions (including their transcript), events attended, what media they are consuming and their future goals. In a Huffington Post blog David likens educational institutions to real estate agents. He proposes that online realty platforms were not successful in moving customers away from real estate agents the way Expedia was successful in moving customers away from travel agents due to the high personal impact of failure to sell a home. His suggestion is that students and employers are moving away from their traditional agents to gain and express learning.

The founding team includes Eric Sharpe, Director of Software Dev at MediConnect Global, recently acquired by Verisk, an analytics company for businesses. Sharpe has in MBA from BYU. This is not a first venture for either David or Eric and they have already been successful in being granted the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator funds in 2013 allowing them to grow their team from 6 members to 10. This also allowed them to hire a COO, Chris McCarthy from Chegg, a textbook rental company.

It is obvious that BYU and Chegg have had a large influence in the leadership team at Degreed. The exposure to the college demographic through Chegg and Zinch likely give David interesting insight into the venture opportunities in the college demographic. Degreed has also had a surprisingly warm welcome from issuing institutions of traditional degrees, who are partnering with Degreed.

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