Founders Parade

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

Sal from Khan Academy

Salman (Sal) Khan,

Founder & Executive Director, Khan Academy

About the Product

Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides high-quality free online education. It consists of a library of thousands of educational resources available to anyone with a computer and access to the internet. The resources include interactive activities, assessments and short YouTube tutorials on topics ranging from Math and Science to Economics and History and even Computer Science. The Academy employs an adaptive assessment environment allowing self-pace learning. To date the Academy has delivered more than 300 million lessons and has over 10 million users per month.

About the Founder

Founder, Sal Khan, started the venture after noticing that his math tutorials on YouTube intended for his cousins were gaining popularity by other internet users. He then decided to quit his job as a manager of a hedge fund and dedicate himself full-time to creating tutorials, making high-quality education accessible to anyone anywhere and provide an alternative to traditional classrooms where students could learn at their own pace.

Sal holds three degrees from MIT (one in Mathematics, and two in Computer Science) and an MBA from Harvard.  In addition to his skillset, he has a well-rounded pool of talent in his staff who bring expertise in computer science, finance, education and design with experience working for prominent companies such as Google and McKinsey & Company, government sectors and the non-profit world.

My Reflection

Sal is an innovator.  He conceived the original idea of Khan Academy and brought it to fruition by successfully leveraging his talent in delivering simple, yet engaging video tutorials, recruiting the right pool of talent to grow the venture, and gain support and financial backing from major organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, Google awarded two million dollars to the Academy to create new courses and translate them into the world’s main languages.

From my analysis of Khan Academy, I have learned that having the right individuals to support your venture, who are passionate about your idea regardless of the risks involved, is important in order for your venture to succeed. From studying the profiles of Sal’s team, it is apparent that many had left their jobs in leading tech companies and consulting firms to join Khan Academy.


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